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Movie Violence is any form of violent acts present in films. The reasons why violence is present can be as simple as the theme or to add some suspense or action to an otherwise uneventful picture. Film makers use different types of violence to follow the movie’s plot and tone.

Genres and Violence

Within each genre, the violence takes on a particular personality. Genres that use this type of violence are action, war, crime, comedy, and drama.[1]. For example, in comedies, the violence is often portrayed in a way that was led up to with a comical sequence of events or immediately following the violent act. In the movie 10 Things I Hate About You younger sister Bianca punches a fellow student in the nose for hurting some people close to her. They keep the comical air by having the student, who is an aspiring model, exclaiming he had a nose spray ad to shoot the next day [2]. The genres most commonly associated with violence include action and horror. In action films, such as “300”, the violence from the main characters is done in defense and survival [3]. Horror films portray violence for the sake of violence as in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre [4]. This form of violence could be partially responsible for the desensitization of the population. When people became less shocked by the violence in horror films, the directors had to add to the amount of violence shown in order to continue appalling the audience.

Progression of Violence

Due to the progression of violence in the movies people have become less sensitive and therefore led to a “harder” type of violence throughout the years. This harder violence includes more death and scenes featuring scenes that were more gruesome than those scenes in movies from earlier times. Scenes could include watching a murderer burn a person alive or a criminal shoot a hostage.

Viewers and critics often mark the amount of violence in a movie by how much death occurs and how much blood is seen. In the 1903 film, The Great Train Robbery, movie goers got up and left the theater in fear “when the villain pointed his phony prop gun directly into the camera” [5]. The story involved eight deaths all occurring off screen causing a critic to say the movie ended in slaughter [6]. Compared to movies today, that kind of violence seems like nothing. Our exposure to movies with more death and suffering has desensitized the population. Popular movies such as Texas Chainsaw Massacre and even the Twilight saga feature scenes with death and suffering far more intense than those films in the early twentieth century.


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