As a horror fan, I've never understood the appeal of the Saw movies. Can someone explain the psychology involved with liking that series and similar types of movies?
Blood and gore don't scare me, although realistic torture scenes do. I like horror. Gore is just human anatomy, nothing scary about that. I read autopsy reports. I've considered becoming a mortician. I used to study torture methods out of morbid curiosity and a lifelong hatred of man's inhumanity to man. Torture scenes, however, set me on edge. It's mostly the audio. The agonized screaming is too much. I've literally walked out of high school classes that forced us to watch religious videos involving graphic torture.
I used to have friends who practically worshipped the Saw
series. The crueler the scenes, the better. There's a local horror film club who I abhor because 90% of their viewings are all pointless gorefests and/or clips like Io Sono Morta (I'm Dead)
(Warning: Graphic torture scenes). In that clip you see a woman get her face bashed in with a brick, and that's not the most disturbing scene. When I went to their club, there'd be a scene of someone getting their fingernails pulled out and then their hands sawed off with a knife and when I looked around, everyone except me was watching raptly. I think I was the only one who couldn't watch. Again, the agonized screams set my teeth on edge. I asked a friend how he can watch that material and he said "It doesn't bother me." He had to explain that those movies are not, in fact, arousing to him, despite the fact that not even the Saw
films would disturb him in the slightest.
So. Why do
people enjoy the Saw
movies, or any other films that have only enough plot to sustain creative (sometimes) torture and rape scenes? To me, the alleged cleverness of the traps in the movie isn't enough to overcome the disturbing similarities to watching a snuff film. The agony the actors are in is too realistic to the agony that actual murder victims and torture victims probably really do experience. I'd call it "torture porn", but maybe that's just me being cynical.
Any thoughts on why these films have a cult following?