Download e-book for iPad: Torture Porn: Popular Horror after Saw by Steve Jones

By Steve Jones

ISBN-10: 0230319416

ISBN-13: 9780230319417

The 1st monograph to severely interact with the arguable horror movie subgenre often called 'torture porn', this publication dissects press responses to well known horror and analyses key torture porn motion pictures, mapping out the wider conceptual and contextual issues that form the meanings of either 'torture' and 'porn'.

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Additional resources for Torture Porn: Popular Horror after Saw

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Lenore Skenazy (2007) is particularly foreboding about what torture porn’s ‘extremity’ might indicate: ‘[i]f we start accepting this kind of movie as just “extreme” horror, the baseline will change ... If that’s the world you want to live in ... [i]t’s coming. But if you’d like a different future, you’ve got to act’. Skenazy hyperbolically heralds torture porn’s box-office performance as a symptom of impending social downfall. At this spectrum’s most hysterical end, some proponents have urged that the advertising campaign for Captivity is ‘a literal sign of the collapse of humanity’ (Whedon in Cochrane, 2007), and that the Saw films are ‘a sign of the apocalypse’ (Beale, 2009).

It is intertwined with wider conceptual networks that impact on its various meanings. Torture porn’s objectors have typically used the term to denunciate the subgenre, but also to delimit texts and fix their meanings. The two endeavours are incompatible, as the inconsistencies outlined in this chapter demonstrate. ‘Torture porn’ can instead be utilised as a starting point to stimulate engagement by connecting filmic content to the concepts that underpin the term. While the films themselves will be addressed in Part II, the next chapter will take stock of other off-screen contextualising factors that inform what ‘torture porn’ signifies.

When You Think the Worst has Happened ... Think Worse’:4 torture porn as a fad Torture porn’s violence is subsequently perceived as replacing narrative depth and characterisation. As Aftab (2009) inveighs, ‘[n]arrative development is a mere inconvenience in these films’ (see also Slotek, 2009a; Dalton, 2009b; Tookey, 2008a). , 2010; Muir, 2010b) and ‘meritless’ (Ordona, 2010b). Cashmore (2010), for example, describes the subgenre as a ‘sheer, ruptured-sewage-pipe deluge of gore, mutilation, and general unpleasantness’.

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Torture Porn: Popular Horror after Saw by Steve Jones


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