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JLeslie's avatar

Why do you enjoy watching violence?

Asked by JLeslie (47777 points ) January 3rd, 2013

Some people must. Violent movies do well and people gawk at fights when they break out?

If you like to watch violence, what does it feel like to you?

When I watch a comedy I feel happy. When I watch something sad I feel touched, emotional, empathy. When I watch violence I feel uncomfortable, many times disgusted, or appauled. I also don’t like scary movies or to be scared or surprised; not sure if all that is related in some way in the brain.

Are movies made with so much violence because people really do enjoy watching it? Or, are movies more violent, and people still go to see them because they want to see the overall story and filmakers misinterpret it as the public wanting a lot of violence in a movie?

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17 Answers

Sunny2's avatar

I dislike watching violence and often shut my eyes during scenes where people are being hurt.

Imadethisupwithnoforethought's avatar

Tension and release. I find a violent movie with realistic violence has a chilling effect on my senses. The more realistic violence, the better. For example, Jason Bourne movies have violence that feels intimate and real, and is much more satisfying than unbelievable violence, the kind you get in say, The Expendables, for example. I have actually read in several places the same brain centers are active in men watching violence as are triggered watching pornography.

I have been thinking about this a lot lately, as I have a female movie buddy. She complains I want to watch violent movies, and she picks sad ones. I am always shocked. Who the heck purposefully makes themselves sad?

I also find it ironic because I say things like “I like the Avengers”, and she remarks that I always want to watch violence. Her favorite shows include CSI and other police procedure dramas which describe far more violent deaths than anything displayed in the movies I like.

mazingerz88's avatar

Because I know they’re just staged and it gives me a fantasy window into the exciting world of heroic triumphs over the dark forces of evil. But when it comes to realistic portrayal of real life violence like Black Hawk Down, I could only watch that once, unlike say, the first Die Hard movie which I still watch from time to time.

Simone_De_Beauvoir's avatar

When I enjoy it, it’s because I really want to see revenge done to the characters hurt. But it would take a lot.

Only138's avatar

I do like violence. I’m attracted to it in a weird sort of way. If given the option of watching some queer assed “Happy” movie where everyone gets all they want in life, or watching a horror movie where people get killed, I’ll take the horror movie any day. I believe it peaks my curiosity more than the run of the mill “normality”. :)

Symbeline's avatar

I love horror movies, but for me that goes way beyond the violence. There are many very tame horror flicks that show barely any violence or gore, sometimes none at all. And I love those as much as the overly violent ones. Horror is my nature. Lol.

That said, I like violence in horror, too. Kinda feels satisfying, but I’m not entirely sure why. It’s just fun, I guess. Mind you, I’m actually really weak stomached when it comes to real footage of people getting fucked up. You can find that shit on the net everywhere and I’ve watched my share, but I don’t like it. Real violence as opposed to fictional violence is VERY different, and the real form is disturbing, sad and depressing. Some movies do a good job of making it look pretty real, but when I know it isn’t, I’m not affected. (what affects me more about real life violence are the sounds that come out of people, rather than what I see; horror exaggerates to no ends when it comes to how much blood people actually have in them)

My guess is that watching violence in movies, whether it’s fights in an action flick or murder in horror, can somehow cater to the sick, twisted savage in me, which for many of us is a facet which has been hidden since like, prehistoric days are whatever. Horror movies are often said to be a safe way to explore fear and the more animal like side of our nature, without actually having to feel or experience anything that might screw us up severely. Maybe for me, that’s why. When I’m angry or frustrated, I love seeing Michael Myers or Leatherface fuck shit up. If I’m sad, I might like to watch a more classy horror movie, something with romance, like Dracula or Sleepy Hollow. My answer as a horror movie fan, I denno if it really counts though, because whatever I feel at a certain moment under some amplified emotion, or just when I feel normal, it all relates back to some horror oriented thing, anyway. or Vikings

As a horror fan, I’ve never really been able to clearly say why I love them as a whole, so never mind one aspect of them, but there you have it.

’‘saws someone in half’’

augustlan's avatar

I’m like @Symbeline in that I freaking love horror movies (and books), and I get a kick out of good action flicks, too, but I can’t stomach real violence. It’s a way of vicariously experiencing something that I absolutely DO NOT WANT to experience in real life.

It’s similar to riding a roller coaster, I think. Getting scared in a ‘safe’ way is kind of thrilling!

SABOTEUR's avatar

* Violent movies make splendid entertainment.

* I’m allowed to enjoy vicariously what would be unconscionable or unacceptable in reality.

* Violent movies are often skillfully made.

* The level of conflict often makes an interesting movie.

* I like seeing the good guys or underdog win for a change.

* Watching violent films satisfies my primal urge to get up and knock the ever lovin’ shlitz outta somebody.

* It’s fun.

ucme's avatar

Because it’s intrinsically enthralling, which is why even those who say they abhor viewing violence slow down to take a peek at road accidents.

flutherother's avatar

I don’t like watching violence. I am not a vegetarian and if animals must be slaughtered I prefer it is done by someone else and out of my sight. If we must drop bombs on people I would rather others press the buttons and I don’t have to see the results. I only enjoy watching violence if I know it isn’t real. I am not proud of this. If there is anything worse than a violent person it is a hypocrite.

tom_g's avatar

A friend of mine confronted me many years ago with this confusion about me and violent movies. “You’re the most left-wing pacifist peacenik I know, yet you love Goodfellas, mob movies in general, David Lynch, and all of this disgusting shit. What gives?”

My answer is the same today: I have no idea. I like what I like.

WillWorkForChocolate's avatar

I don’t care much for violence in real life, unless it appears to be well deserved revenge. I do like many violent movies, mainly for the story line. If its just needless violence with no interesting story line, it loses its appeal. For instance, I like movies like the Hunger Games, The Patriot, and all sorts of pirate movies, but I do not like movies like Fight Club.

wundayatta's avatar

I don’t go for horror movies. I’m not big on most violent movies, but I do like action/adventure movies, which come with their fair share of violence. But that is “movie” violence. You know it isn’t real. People can take 20 bullets and keep on moving. Or the good guys dodge all the bullets while the bad guys seem to be bullet attractors. They always go down on the first shot.

I would be just as happy if no one got killed, and if the violence was minimized or not even there. It would make it easier to see movies with my wife. Interestingly, my daughter doesn’t seem to mind movie violence, and is willing to go see a lot of these movies that her brother likes.

I think we gawk at fights and train wrecks because they are amazing. I don’t think we like to see people die, but once something has happened, we like to see it because it is interesting and also we want to learn how to keep it from happening to us.

Shippy's avatar

I hate violence even in movies. I can’t even say I enjoy the bad guy getting hurt.I’ve seen too much to even say it is chilling, adrenaline pushing or even interesting.

Pachy's avatar

I have come to dislike violence in movies and even more so on TV, which is so accessible to impressionable young kids (don’t even try to dissuade me from my belief that continuously watching violence doesn’t breed more violence.). Years ago my mother confessed she had stopped going to movies (which she loved having done since she was a little girl) because she was so repelled by the violence. I laughed at her, but now I understand that as we grow older, we increasingly realize how tenuous is our hold on life. Sting sang about this so movingly in FRAGILE.

Blondesjon's avatar

Uh, I’m American . . .

wundayatta's avatar

My condolences, @Blondesjon! I have a pill that will cure you.

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