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Horror and Real Life:

A Look At How True Events Influence Violence In Cinema.
--By Crystal Angela (Super Tromette Asphyxia)

Violence shown in various forms of media is a reflection of the culture we currently live in. Ask any artist in any industry what his or her influences are and you’ll most likely hear stories about real life experiences. The horror movie genre tends to be the target of scrutiny because of intense portrayals of violence and gore. What people don’t realize is that these ideas are typically influenced by real life accounts of horrific events. A number of horror movie directors attribute their movie plots to these accounts. Wes Craven wrote A Nightmare on Elm Street after reading various articles regarding children who were mysteriously dying in their sleep after suffering from nightmares. Eli Roth stated that he got his idea for Hostel from stories he heard about people in Thailand who were in desperate need of money and would sell family members to an organization that would allow random people to pay thousands of dollars to shoot and kill them. People may automatically assume that writers for these movies must have a sick mind to come up with such sinister plots, but ultimately these ideas are influenced by events that are happening in societies all over the world.

Brian Trimble (left) and Blaine Norris(Right)

The urge to kill is innate. It is not caused by exposure to horror and violence shown in movies, TV shows or video games. At most, these forms of media may enhance the urges of mentally unstable individuals, but they should not be considered the direct cause of real life murders. Take for example, the story of Blaine Norris and Brian Trimble, two aspiring horror filmmakers from Pennsylvania. After a failed attempt at making a movie, due to financial constraints, Brian’s wife ends up brutally murdered. As it turns out, he hired Blaine to murder her and paid him the same amount of money that was needed to cover the debt from making the movie. In this case, the killer was injecting his murderous desires into his movie script, and when the project could no longer be financially supported, the

Todd Klick's film about the murders:

Rough Cut

fantasy of killing quickly turned to reality thanks to a partner who wanted his wife dead. Not surprisingly, the story of Blaine and Brian was turned into a documentary by Todd Klick entitled Rough Cut, further proving the point that true acts of horror highly influence the ideas of filmmakers.

It needs to be understood that violence is not a product of the media. The act of violence can more so be attributed to the environment in which a person is brought up. If a person grows up in a violent environment, he or she will most likely be easily influenced by violence seen in movies, television and video games because it mimics what is happening in his or her everyday life. Media, in this situation, demonstrates to these types of people that it is acceptable to behave in such a manner. Blaming the violence in horror movies for crimes committed by individuals who are already emotionally disturbed is a cop out for not properly taking care of those persons who need special attention.


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