By Linda Lovely
|I walked out on this "classic" due |
to its graphic violence.
I love mysteries and thrillers—books and movies. However, I try to avoid any entertainment medium that dishes up excessive violence and gore. While many people consider Clockwork Orange a movie classic, I walked out on that film when it premiered. I don’t need horrific, violent images polluting my mind and invading my nightmares. I’m not a fan of horror movies—even on Halloween.
I’m delighted when mystery/suspense/thrillers give me chills and goosebumps. I read/watch because, at least in my favorite books/films, the hero/heroine ultimately wins out over evil. For those of us who love these genres, the promise that right/justice can prevail (at least occasionally) is both comforting and inspiring.
I love books that make me eager to turn the page to find out what will happen next, to discover how the protagonists will escape what seems like inevitable doom. Dire situations are just dandy. But severed body parts, gallons of blood, and extended torture scenes are unnecessary and unwelcome for this reader/viewer. Spare me the chainsaw and slasher flicks. My imagination is quite adequate to feel the intense cruelty of a serial killer or psychopath without pages of gory description.
|Marathon Man is one of my favorite films |
even though the torture scene made me squirm.
However, I have to admit one of my favorite movies, Marathon Man, includes an extended torture scene—though the instruments of torture can be found in most dentists’ offices. That seems to suggest my tolerance for violence extends well beyond PG.
The the people who die in my mystery/suspense/thrillers don’t exactly pass away in their sleep either. Since my killers tend to be smart, I figure they’re entitled to come up with ingenious methods to engineer their victims’ deaths. Their weapons have included everything from fire ants and dog collars to eye drops. If you haven’t read my novels, I don’t want to give details that could be spoilers.
So how do you feel about scary books/movies? Do you choose to pass on the gore? Where do you draw the line on violence?