Monday, June 18, 2012

Missing Some Gory Details, Part 1

I've been watching a lot of movies lately thanks to Netflix, and I was recently chided by my wife for only liking sci-fi action movies where stuff blows up. This accusation came after watching a string of movies together where our opinions varied drastically--of particular note: Repo! The Genetic Opera and The Terminator.

My wife adores Repo! for its soundtrack and intriguing story. I think rather highly of Terminator for its clever concept and execution. Both feature a fair amount of gore and violence. I can handle most of what Terminator throws at the viewer, but there are a few moments--while cool--that are a little much for me, so I'll usually look away from the screen for a couple of seconds. I am incredibly squeamish where sharp objects and flowing blood are concerned, and especially when a huge component of a story is repossessing people's organs, you can imagine how quickly I walked away from Repo! Everything Is Sharp and Gooey. My wife couldn't wrap her head around how I could like one dark movie where almost everybody dies in a grisly way, and not another dark movie where only some people die in a grisly way.

There's a fundamental difference between what we both find to be too gory to stomach. There's no obvious reason why I can very comfortably go out to a shooting range but can barely handle my own kitchen knife without panicking a little. Some things bother us more than others, and it's not always logical or simple to explain. When I look at Terminator, I see an interesting story peppered with plenty of action, some of which is kinda gross. When I look at Repo!, it's not individual moments of grossness, but a pervasive atmosphere comprised of concepts, images, and even particular words that keep my stomach churning. No matter how interesting the story may have been, I couldn't overcome my involuntary gut reaction to the subject matter.

Such was the case with The Cabin in the Woods:

All my friends: "But it's Joss Whedon!"

Me: "But it's a horror movie!"

(after the film)

All my friends: "Joss Whedon, that was awesome!"
Me: "[bluh.]"

We'll take a closer look later this week; seems I've run out of time to finish this up today.

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