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  #1  
Old 06-17-2007, 09:19 PM
I seriously hate the term Torture Porn.

Seriously, it's insulting to just blanketly label an entire genre due to it's gore and violent content under the label of 'porn' simply because you do not enjoy the said genre. Yes, there are plenty of torture films out there and films with torture, but it wasn't untill the release of Eli Roth's Hostel that people started to use the term "Torture Porn" to describe these films. What? Now everytime something exploits something that people enjoy we're going to call it a "porn" now? A hard-hitting, fast paced action film is now a "action porn" because you're (using these people's logic) paying to get off on the action? A slow, subtle, character driven Drama is now "Drama Porn" because you're paying to "get off" on other people's troubles put to film in well written ways? A short, quick, slapstick comedy movie is now "Comedy Porn" beceause you're getting enjoyment out of the Comedy presented in the film? No. That's not right at all. It doesn't make sense and the logic shouldn't be used to blanket an entire genre.

Hostel is not a Torture Porn movie. If it is, so is films like The Audition or Last House of the Left, both of which were made before Hostel and used lots of Torture. I suppose the torture episode of "24" must be considered Torture Porn as well because it has torture, right? Come on. Torture Porn is an illegitmate term and it's been created for the sole purpose of bringing down the modern day style of horror filmmaking and has no credibility behind it. Most of the films labeled under this genre, or atleast typically labeled under this genre, either don't have much torture in it or simply have one scene of it. Saw, the original one atleast, had no torture in it. The sequals may be another story, but the original is simply not a torture movie. The second one may have had one or two scenes with something you might consider torture in it, but even then, the second movie was more about the people themselves turning on each other rather than someone torturing the people. The third movie, I will agree, has some blatent torture scenes with it, and I can understand it being considered a "torture movie." But torture porn, it is not.

The Devil's Rejects has one scene of torture in it, and House of 1000 Corpses has more psychological torture than anything. Wolf Creek has one scene of torture, the rest of the movie is about running from a killer (like most slashers are- Although I suppose of those slashers were made today they'd be called "Slasher Porn"), The Hills Have Eyes remake is not a torture porn film, and there is nothing even remotely close to "torture" within that film. There only thing that comes close is the "Trailer attack" scene, which I would consider a rape scene and not a torture scene. A rape scene is not a torture scene, it's an entirely different horrible thing. Yet all these films are put under the "Torture Porn" genre by people who hate them, and I don't understand why.

I always get the answer "Becuase you are paying to get enjoyment out of people getting tortured," and like I said before, TEN TO ONE YOU ARE PAYING TO GET ENJOYMENT OUT OF SOMETHING IN A FILM. THAT DOES NOT FUCKING MAKE IT A PORNO FILM.

Last edited by LordSimen; 06-24-2007 at 06:04 PM..
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  #2  
Old 06-17-2007, 10:00 PM

This is the most bullfuck subgenre term I have ever heard and its recent usage has just been annoying the shit out of me. Fuck this label! I refuse to use it. Well thats all for now GOoD JOURNEY my fellow schmoes.
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  #3  
Old 06-17-2007, 11:35 PM
Lord Simen, I agree with a lot of the things you said. Mainly I agree with your idea that horror movies shouldn't be blanketed with a genre simply because they contain one element to them that seems exploitative.

Sadly, I think Hostel 1 and 2 gave people the oppurtunity to label recent horror flicks with the demeaning term, "torture porn." I haven't seen either of those flicks, but from what I hear of Hostel 1 from my friends the first half is like soft-core porn. There are also individuals out there who get off on the torture presented in these flicks, (I'm surprised no one has run into Mel Gibson during the sreenings of these films) also possibly explaining why the label has come to be used.

When I viewed Saw for the first time I didn't view it as a torture movie. Instead I saw it as a horror/suspense/mystery if you will. I do believe that horror films that came after Saw, (Wolf Creek, Hostel 1 and 2, the Saw sequels) tried to market the torture element in a exploitative way. So I guess the term "torture porn" could be a marekting ploy used to excite or shock audiences into going to see these flicks.

I personally would just like to see horror movies evolve beyond the current trend they seem to be stuck in though. Writers really need to think of something that doesn't involve a bunch of psychos terrorizing some seemingly innocent young adults. The Descent was a perfect break away from this trend....well...I guess the psychos became cave monsters, but it was still a good film...

Last edited by psycheoutsteve; 06-17-2007 at 11:39 PM..
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  #4  
Old 06-17-2007, 11:44 PM
Re: I seriously hate the term Torture Porn.

Quote:
Originally posted by LordSimen
it's been created for the sole purpose of bringing down the modern day style of horror filmmaking and has no credibility behind it.
The "modern day style of horror filmmaking" has no credibility behind it either, so, y'know...
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  #5  
Old 06-17-2007, 11:55 PM
Re: Re: I seriously hate the term Torture Porn.

Quote:
Originally posted by Squid Vicious
The "modern day style of horror filmmaking" has no credibility behind it either, so, y'know...
So Rob Zombie, Alexandre Aja, Neil Marshell, Greg McLean and Eli Roth all have no "credibility" behind their works, despite all making character driven flicks that just so happen to be violent horror movies?


Quote:
Sadly, I think Hostel 1 and 2 gave people the oppurtunity to label recent horror flicks with the demeaning term, "torture porn." I haven't seen either of those flicks, but from what I hear of Hostel 1 from my friends the first half is like soft-core porn. There are also individuals out there who get off on the torture presented in these flicks, (I'm surprised no one has run into Mel Gibson during the sreenings of these films) also possibly explaining why the label has come to be used.
I suggest you watch Hostel 1 and 2 before commenting on that torture porn aspect of the. Yes, they are the only films that come to mind who were creatly solely by the concept of torturing someone for money, it's true. And yes, the first film's first hour pretty much includes lots of nudity. But that does not make it porn. Lots of horror films exploit nudity with in them, it's become one of the staples of the genre for the most part. Hell, look at our very own Joblo horror reviewer, Arrow, he includes in his reviews a section dedicated SOLELY to T&A, just to show you how much nudity has become part of the Horror genre as a whole over the years. That doesn't make it porn.

Yes, there are people who get off on these kind of flicks, it's true, but there are people who get off on ANYTHING these days. YOu can look up Barney and I'm sure there are guys sitting there jackin' off to the guy in the purple suit somewhere out there in fucked-up land. That doesn't make that porn either.
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  #6  
Old 06-17-2007, 11:55 PM
Torture Porn

I think you're completely missing the point.

The definition of pornography in essence deals with objects of little or no artistic merit. So your idea that any film that entertains the audience is pornography is bogus; it doesn't pertain to the term pornography at all.

I am not a fan of the horror genre in general, so I have no position here, but it's to my understanding that the films are described as torture porn (lacking artistic merit) because of the gratuity of the violence and the borderline innoxious way it is presented.

Sometimes the films try to justify the gratuitous violence with thinly veiled allegories and metaphors that not only don't justify the violence, but in fact, are so obvious, they tilt on insulting to the viewer.

Because the films lack artistic merit, they can fall (if judged so by the viewer) to fall into the category of pornography.

Since the pornography in question is about torture, it becomes torture pornography.

Torture Porn
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  #7  
Old 06-18-2007, 12:02 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by Scarfather
Torture Porn

I think you're completely missing the point.

The definition of pornography in essence deals with objects of little or no artistic merit. So your idea that any film that entertains the audience is pornography is bogus; it doesn't pertain to the term pornography at all.

I am not a fan of the horror genre in general, so I have no position here, but it's to my understanding that the films are described as torture porn (lacking artistic merit) because of the gratuity of the violence and the borderline innoxious way it is presented.

Sometimes the films try to justify the gratuitous violence with thinly veiled allegories and metaphors that not only don't justify the violence, but in fact, are so obvious, they tilt on insulting to the viewer.

Because the films lack artistic merit, they can fall (if judged so by the viewer) to fall into the category of pornography.

Since the pornography in question is about torture, it becomes torture pornography.

Torture Porn

Who is to say what films under what situation do not or do have artistic merit? Who is to say what horror films have "themes" within them that justify their violent ways that allow them to get away with not being subjected to the term "pornography?" This, I would like to know. What you find artistic I might not, and visa versa. Artistic Merit, to me, seems like a very subjective thing to base a genre catagory after.

Whose to say that the films presented under this "Torture Porn" genre do not hold any artistic merit, I must ask? It's quite plainly present to anyone who watches a Rob Zombie film that, as an artist, Rob Zombie has a particular style in his writing and in many ways his visuals that the film in question MUST be a Rob Zombie film, and that to me shows that his ARTIST STYLE is very much so present to the view and thus making it ART. The same could be said for most of the films labeled under Tortue Porn. Take Eli Roth, for example. Many people who go to see an Eli Roth film can plainly tell by his stylistic and ARTISTIC choices that the film being shown to them was made by him. It's his ARTISTIC choice. He made the piece of art, whether or not you find it a good piece of art, however, is for you to decide.
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  #8  
Old 06-18-2007, 12:27 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by LordSimen
So Rob Zombie, Alexandre Aja, Neil Marshell, Greg McLean and Eli Roth all have no "credibility" behind their works, despite all making character driven flicks that just so happen to be violent horror movies?
Well...yes. Except I'd take Zombie and Marshall off the list. Though Zombie has really only made one horror movie -- House of 1000 Corpses. And it was fucking abysmal.

I'dd add James Wan to the list, though. Dead Silence makes Uwe Boll look like Martin Scorsese.
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  #9  
Old 06-18-2007, 12:33 AM
What the hell is this man? Torture porn? Who the hell says that nonsense? Up their nose with a rubber hose. This is a bunch of crap. it isn't even what you think it is, either. That's probably the worst part. Why can't comedies just be comedies? And horror movies just be horror movies. Old Man Higgin's just reminded me that back in his day you knew which theaters the laughs were coming from, which theater the tears would flow, and they didn't have all this gobbledee goop mishmash mash stuff. Just motherfucking Arnold, man.
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  #10  
Old 06-18-2007, 12:56 AM
I think artistic merit is in the eye of the beholder. Really, one mans trash is another's treasure right?

And what does it mean to "get off" on watching a torture scene. Aside from going "Ohh man that was fucking sick dude. Awsome!" Personally when something gets me off to me it means I'm sexually aroused by it. I don't know of anyone aroused by torture, though I'm sure there's a few out there. Pornography by defanition is something sexually arousing.

Yes there is torture in these films, but porn? People we've all watched some porn. People"pretending" to fuck like animals, but not showing the goods like the actual intercourse, having a money shot, then it's just not porn. It's just fake sex for a movie.

These are my humble opinions.
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  #11  
Old 06-18-2007, 12:59 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by Preston_79
I think artistic merit is in the eye of the beholder. Really, one mans trash is another's treasure right?

And what does it mean to "get off" on watching a torture scene. Aside from going "Ohh man that was fucking sick dude. Awsome!" Personally when something gets me off to me it means I'm sexually aroused by it. I don't know of anyone aroused by torture, though I'm sure there's a few out there. Pornography by defanition is something sexually arousing.

Yes there is torture in these films, but porn? People we've all watched some porn. People"pretending" to fuck like animals, but not showing the goods like the actual intercourse, having a money shot, then it's just not porn. It's just fake sex for a movie.

These are my humble opinions.
Not to mention that I'm sure there are actually "torture porn" movies out there, actuall pornography with torture aspects in them, and I gaurantee you anything you see in those will be nothing like what you saw in Hostel or the rest of the so called "Torture Porn" Horror movies.
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  #12  
Old 06-18-2007, 01:12 AM
I dig these movies, but I'd still call them torture porn.
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  #13  
Old 06-18-2007, 11:02 AM
If artistic integrity is in the eye of the beholder and the term torture porn regards artistic integrity, then it is a subjective term.

Like "good movie" and "bad movie".

It doesn't stereotype the entire horror genre. I don't consider The Hill Have Eyes to be " torture porn". Nor I do I consider most of the other films mentioned, as they do not revolve around mindless torture.

The Hostel films and Captivity however, in my opinion, undoubtedly are. I don't look down upon you for liking these films at all, God knows I like some movies that most would consider pretty terrible, but movies that view torture in a callow and lily white manner I believe fall into the term.

And even know that generally, I don't use the term "torture porn" at all, I'm just defending its validity.
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  #14  
Old 06-18-2007, 11:55 AM
I think torture porn is an accurate description of some movies, but I prefer the term gorenography.
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  #15  
Old 06-18-2007, 12:26 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by Scarfather
If artistic integrity is in the eye of the beholder and the term torture porn regards artistic integrity, then it is a subjective term.
Yet you know if it were any genre other than the underground and rebel genre of Horror and I were to use the term "pornography" to describe every movie I thought was terrible and held no "Artistic merit" there would be plenty of people who would jump on my ass for it.

Quote:
I think torture porn is an accurate description of some movies, but I prefer the term gorenography.
Atleast gorenography has a little clever wordplay attatched to it.
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  #16  
Old 06-18-2007, 01:24 PM
I think some get carried away and lazily label too many movies as torture porn. Like I said though, I think it's an accurate term for certain flicks. The ones that have no aspirations other than shoving as much gore as possible down the viewer's throat; when the only reason for its existence is to showcase as much blood and guts as it can get away with. Those movies are gorenography/torture porn.
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  #17  
Old 06-18-2007, 01:36 PM
I don't see the term torture porn as necessarily negative.

I would say The Hills Have Eyes remake is part of this subgenre yet I think it's a pretty good movie.

Same with the first two Saw flicks.
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  #18  
Old 06-18-2007, 01:41 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by ilovemovies
I don't see the term torture porn as necessarily negative.
True. It mostly depends on who's saying it.
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  #19  
Old 06-18-2007, 06:00 PM
Re: Re: Re: I seriously hate the term Torture Porn.

Quote:
Originally posted by LordSimen
So Rob Zombie, Alexandre Aja, Neil Marshell, Greg McLean and Eli Roth all have no "credibility" behind their works, despite all making character driven flicks that just so happen to be violent horror movies?




I suggest you watch Hostel 1 and 2 before commenting on that torture porn aspect of the. Yes, they are the only films that come to mind who were creatly solely by the concept of torturing someone for money, it's true. And yes, the first film's first hour pretty much includes lots of nudity. But that does not make it porn. Lots of horror films exploit nudity with in them, it's become one of the staples of the genre for the most part. Hell, look at our very own Joblo horror reviewer, Arrow, he includes in his reviews a section dedicated SOLELY to T&A, just to show you how much nudity has become part of the Horror genre as a whole over the years. That doesn't make it porn.

Yes, there are people who get off on these kind of flicks, it's true, but there are people who get off on ANYTHING these days. YOu can look up Barney and I'm sure there are guys sitting there jackin' off to the guy in the purple suit somewhere out there in fucked-up land. That doesn't make that porn either.

I would watch those films except for the fact that I have no interest in seeing them. I can't understand the appeal of many modern horror films, especially the Hostel films. At least Saw had a litttle bit of intrigue and mystery going for it. I'm beginning to think that whoever coined the term torture porn was trying to make the point that modern horror films have mostly been an embarassment to the genre and deserve to be dismissed with a judgemental phrase. It's all a matter of opinion really, but I thought the really well done horror movies relied on the power of suggestion...not buckets of gore and tiresome plots that have since been repeated in various forms.

Also, most of these recent films have been a failure critically, (just check out rottentomatoes for evidence) and have probably lost a lot of respect as a consequence. There will always be fans who support these films, but the critics are the ones with the power to create terms such as torture porn and have them stick.
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  #20  
Old 06-18-2007, 07:36 PM
Re: Re: Re: Re: I seriously hate the term Torture Porn.

Quote:
Originally posted by psycheoutsteve
Also, most of these recent films have been a failure critically, (just check out rottentomatoes for evidence) and have probably lost a lot of respect as a consequence. There will always be fans who support these films, but the critics are the ones with the power to create terms such as torture porn and have them stick.
Lots of horror movies either are a failure critically or bomb at the box office, or such the first year they are released. That happens a lot. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre, while today is hailed as a classic of the genre and quite a scary masterpiece (it was scary then, too) was bashed to holy hell critically when it first released. Now, if you look at Rotten Tomatoes, most of the reviews for it are in retrospect, people reviewing it AFTER it became a cult classic, and usually there are only 20 or 30 reviews as opposed to the 150+ we get for most modern horror movies released in cinemas.

The Thing is another example, while I have no idea if it was trashed critically, I do know that it did end up performing well below the hopeful expectations at the box office (mostly due to being run beside E.T.) but still today is considered a horror classic. To me, it really seems that there isn't much of a quality difference between the amazing films of the 70's, the break out years for horror films, and some of the films being made today- Most of which either homage or were inspired by flicks of the past.
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  #21  
Old 06-18-2007, 07:54 PM
I labeled Hostel torture porn when it first came out, because the first half was like watching a porn film and the second half was like watching a torture film.


let me find my exact quote



Quote:
Why? Who sat back and said to themselves you know what a pornographic film is missing, it’s missing some sadomasochistic torture. Because that’s what Hostel is, it’s half porn and half the sickest most depraved ideas that can be splattered on the big screen masquerading as a film. The movie is utter and complete garbage, it hasn’t a single redeeming value
this was written in my review of the movie in January 2006.

Know to just call a torture movie torture porn I wouldn't agree. I am not sure how much of a pornographic film the Hills Eyes was because I refused to see it but the term is very fitting for Hostel, they are trying to sell you sex and sadomasochistic torture in the same movie. The term wouldn't fit a movie like Saw though.
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  #22  
Old 06-18-2007, 07:55 PM
Re: I seriously hate the term Torture Porn.

Quote:
Originally posted by LordSimen
Yes, there are plenty of torture films out there and films with torture, but it wasn't untill the release of Eli Roth's Hostel 2 that people started to use the term "Torture Porn" to describe these films.
Now, refresh me, because if this is the case then it's obviously a very new term that I am not yet familiar with.
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  #23  
Old 06-18-2007, 07:59 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by sirdizzy
I labeled Hostel torture porn when it first came out, because the first half was like watching a porn film and the second half was like watching a torture film.


let me find my exact quote





this was written in my review of the movie in January 2006.

Know to just call a torture movie torture porn I wouldn't agree. I am not sure how much of a pornographic film the Hills Eyes was because I refused to see it but the term is very fitting for Hostel, they are trying to sell you sex and sadomasochistic torture in the same movie. The term wouldn't fit a movie like Saw though.
\

Yet I see people using it all the time for any film exploiting torture in even the smallest way, which is why I've grown to hate the term. I can't accept it as a genre definition purely because most of those who use it tend to use it in a negative light.

I also disagree with Hostel being called a Torture Porn film because I feel the half sex/half torture aspect of the movie was actually part of it's artistic theme. The entire first half of the movie is about american college students treating women like objects that they can "take into a room and do anything to" and are just trying their hardest to get laid... And then the second half they find themselves becoming objects people can take into a room and do whatever they want to and get off on. I thought it was clever and played very well into the theme and the social commentary presented in the film, although many people would tell me I'm grasping at straws and the theme doesn't exist- I saw that theme the very first time I saw it and the more and more I watch the movie I see more and more little things that point towards it.

With such a commentary such as this I could never, ever accept regarding the film as a form of pornography.

Quote:
Originally posted by Brando @$$ Fat
Now, refresh me, because if this is the case then it's obviously a very new term that I am not yet familiar with.
My bad, didn't realize I put a 2 there, I meant Hostel 1, the first one. This rant was just inspired because of Hostel 2's release and the debates that insued afterwards. My bad on that.

Last edited by LordSimen; 06-18-2007 at 08:01 PM..
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  #24  
Old 06-18-2007, 09:25 PM
Please tell me you didn't like Hostel, when the film came out I got into a vast arguement about the merits of the film from with my local reviewer. The movie was an utter piece of garbage to me with no redeeming values.

I actually disliked Saw because of the really really bad acting and enjoyed Saw II more. I bought Saw III and have yet to watch it.

I hated the original Hills Have Eyes and refused to see a remake of a bad film to begin with and I skipped the sequel as well. Skipped Hostel II and most of the other movies being labeled torture porn. I know what I like and I know what I dislike and I am not a fan of this sub genre in the slightest.

Stories can be told, plots can be expressed with out the excessive violence and gore. Hitchcock did it for years and years. Movies like Disturbia and Mr Brooks managed to do it with some small shots of violence but for the most part the suspense is what carried the films not the gore and sadomashistic scenes of torture. I was surprised I liked Disturbia as it was a rip off of rear Window but they did a good job of updating it and still keeping the suspense with a modern twist. I was a huge fan of Mr Brooks, both of these movies could have slipped into the torture porn sub genre but they didn't and they were better for it.
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  #25  
Old 06-18-2007, 09:59 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by sirdizzy
Please tell me you didn't like Hostel, when the film came out I got into a vast arguement about the merits of the film from with my local reviewer. The movie was an utter piece of garbage to me with no redeeming values.
Hostel is on my top 10 list of favorite horror movies
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  #26  
Old 06-19-2007, 08:47 AM
Re: Re: Re: Re: I seriously hate the term Torture Porn.

Quote:
Originally posted by psycheoutsteve
I would watch those films except for the fact that I have no interest in seeing them. I can't understand the appeal of many modern horror films, especially the Hostel films. At least Saw had a litttle bit of intrigue and mystery going for it.
the only reason Hostel didn't have "intrigue and mystery" going for it was because Eli and QT basically explained the entire plot on every talk show that they could. if they hadn't, you really would not know exactly what was going on in the movie until about an hour in.
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  #27  
Old 06-19-2007, 02:21 PM
Why the hell would someone call Hills Have Eyes 'torture porn'??? I don't remember any torture in it, though the flick was fairly bloodthirsty.
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  #28  
Old 06-19-2007, 04:02 PM
I'd get into an arguement about Hostel and if it has any quality or merits as film but I have decided arguing that point just does no good, I mean some people are going to absolutly hate and despise a film like this, I am an example of that and some people actually think these films are good and have qualities like you per say. So I will agree to disagree with you but I will have to seriously think about any movie you might suggest to me the future.
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  #29  
Old 06-19-2007, 06:22 PM
Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I seriously hate the term Torture Porn.

Quote:
Originally posted by DrJellyfingers
the only reason Hostel didn't have "intrigue and mystery" going for it was because Eli and QT basically explained the entire plot on every talk show that they could. if they hadn't, you really would not know exactly what was going on in the movie until about an hour in.
The only thing I knew about the movie was what was shown in the trailers, I didn't really read any interviews for the movie, so for me everything that happend did seem intriguing and mysterious.
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  #30  
Old 06-19-2007, 08:02 PM
I think if Hostel came out somewhere in the 80s, in between some of Friday films and mindless slashers, it would be considered a damned classic.

I've defended Hostel enough on these boards and Im not going to hate on the people how dislike it because I can easily see why people wouldnt like it..

But as for the term Torture Porn, I think its stupid and insulting. I see Hostel as a well directed, well acted, clever little horror movie. Its not genious, but it is clever imo, there are tons of other horror films out there way more mindless and pointless than Hostel. Why not attack the Friday films or other slashers of that ilk from the eighties? Because most of those films are nothing but tit shots and gore with little to no meaning othew than to give you a bloody, tit filled movie.

So imo, Hostel isnt "torture porn" because I do see messages in there other than the nudity and gore.

Last edited by poopontheshoes7; 06-19-2007 at 08:10 PM..
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  #31  
Old 06-19-2007, 08:29 PM
I think "torture porn" is a fitting term, whether used insultingly or not. I also think it is not meant to be interpreted so literally. I don't think any "torture porn" actually set out arouse the audience through torture. The term is more the reaction from many people to these films after seeing them. Films like Hostel and Saw are so lacking in pathos, actual scares, interesting characters or a great deal of suspense altogether to these people (myself included) that explicit and often gross (although the latter is in the eyes of the beholder) centralized violence is all the film has to offer. It's as if the filmmakers expect us to enjoy that, as pornographers make their movies simply so the audience can enjoy people having explicit sex (which is a lot easier).

Granted that pointless torture can be entertaining (but hopefully not truly enjoyable) if done right and if enough blood and/or other internal matters are spilt. Still, it doesn't give a film anymore actual merit, if not less. And these "torture porn" films I have seen don't even satisfy in that respect, even unrated. But everyone has certain expectations so if you were entertained by Hostel or Saw, I'm not going to chastise you for that. But if you're scared by "torture porn," you probably haven't seen enough horror films that truly are horrific.

Last edited by Le_Big_Mac; 06-19-2007 at 08:32 PM..
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  #32  
Old 06-19-2007, 08:58 PM
Quote:
Originally posted by Le_Big_Mac
I think "torture porn" is a fitting term, whether used insultingly or not. I also think it is not meant to be interpreted so literally. I don't think any "torture porn" actually set out arouse the audience through torture. The term is more the reaction from many people to these films after seeing them. Films like Hostel and Saw are so lacking in pathos, actual scares, interesting characters or a great deal of suspense altogether to these people (myself included) that explicit and often gross (although the latter is in the eyes of the beholder) centralized violence is all the film has to offer. It's as if the filmmakers expect us to enjoy that, as pornographers make their movies simply so the audience can enjoy people having explicit sex (which is a lot easier).

Granted that pointless torture can be entertaining (but hopefully not truly enjoyable) if done right and if enough blood and/or other internal matters are spilt. Still, it doesn't give a film anymore actual merit, if not less. And these "torture porn" films I have seen don't even satisfy in that respect, even unrated. But everyone has certain expectations so if you were entertained by Hostel or Saw, I'm not going to chastise you for that. But if you're scared by "torture porn," you probably haven't seen enough horror films that truly are horrific.
But my point is that these films are NOT pointless, THERE IS meaning behind it and they DO NOT DESERVED to be labeled as some sort of PORNOGRAPHY.
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  #33  
Old 06-19-2007, 09:21 PM
This isn’t the first time Porn has been used to describe the horror genre. John Carpenter was even called a “Pornographer of violence” after the release of The Thing. It just goes to show you what kind of light the mainstream critics and media hold the horror genre under. And when a horror movie that they actually like is released they call it a ‘Physiological Thriller’.
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  #34  
Old 06-19-2007, 11:56 PM
I think the reason the term torture porn was attributed to Hostel is because the film really does seem to delight in the sick and perverted graphic depiction of torture. That's the impression I got from the film. I don't think it helps either that Eli Roth seems like he's a sicko himself.

I think that's the difference. Yes, technically Last House on the Left does the same sort of thing. Actually you can argue that Final Destination (and it's sequels) are even worse than Hostel in how much physical punishment the victims are subjected to. But with Final Destination it feels fake. With Last House on the Left it's brief and in the context of revenge. Hostel is just so graphic and so pointless in it's violence that it's hard not to call it torture porn.

Eli Roth wanted to make a sick , twisted, graphic, violent, bloody movie. Ok, but if you want to shock people don't be surprised when they flip out and call you out on it.
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  #35  
Old 06-20-2007, 12:51 AM
Don't worry LordSimen, I got your back. While I wouldnt go anywhere near claiming Hostel is one of my ten favorite horror movies I enjoyed it, and I also hate the term. I disagree with everyone who says that the characters are completily pointless accessories to a torture scene. I actually thought that the two leads were pretty well developed characters(not including Oli hear as he is basically the black janitor who gets offed ten minutes into the movie of every friday the 13th) despite being total frathouse pricks. I wouldnt be friends with them, but I sadly know many people who would spend their entire vacation chasing pussy. We may not like them, but they were real people.

Also, when the violence began, I never found myself enjoying any aspect of the torture sequences. I pitied and feared for the characters. When the "finger" doctor opened the door I hoped against all odds that the guy would make it. The escape at the end was one of the most thrilling and heart pounding sequences I had seen that year. It had me by the freaking throat. The Asian girls eye was a bit much and grossed me out, but the suspence helped me ride it through.

Now that Ive defended it, I can also see why people dont like it one bit. The surviving character is an asshole. Hes the kind of guy who probably hides his genital warts so he can get laid again. This is not an easy character to relate to for nice guys like us. There is an excessive amount of torture(although not nearly as graphic as I was expecting). This is definentaly not a movie for everyone, but I dont think its any worse than any of the slasher movies of the mid 80's that we love. Were any of the Friday the 13th movies really good? Did they have characters we cared for?(with a few exceptions) Fuck no. They were a formula. After watching one you could tell exactly how long between each of the kills and when the tits would come in. The kills were just over quicker(although there were a shiltoad more of them).

Side note: I fucking hate Saw. The first one was an interesting premise that was ruined by horrible direction/editing/acting. The second and third feel like Final Destination movies to me. They throw in a clever story that works just to have an excuse to kill people in un-fucking-believably and needlesly complex ways. Not once do I ever feel any sort of suspence for the characters because I know they are going to end up royally fucked by the end of the movie. If there was any movie that I would describe as 'torture porn' that would be it.

One thing that does piss me off is the attachment of the term to "The Hills HAve Eyes" remake. That is a badass movie. It is not filled with torture. The deaths dont take forever and a day to occur. It is nothing at all like Saw or Hostel. In fact I think its a fucking great horror movie. Scared and disturbed the shit out of me, my wife, and her friend. SirDizzy I would give it a try. Rent it, or watch it on tv. Give it a try. Don't go in hating it. If you still hate the idea of it, oh well. Fuck it. No biggy, but give it a try.


Edit: And we thought only Stephen King could write long ass novels
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  #36  
Old 06-20-2007, 03:13 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by LordSimen
But my point is that these films are NOT pointless, THERE IS meaning behind it and they DO NOT DESERVED to be labeled as some sort of PORNOGRAPHY.
On your first point, I admit that some of these films might have a point of some sort. Hostel may be a metaphor for the consequences of encouraging an exploitative profession or something like that if Roth himself doesn't take great delight from having sex with whores on numerous occasions. But there are better ways to keep the audience's attention than subjecting them to long, grueling torture, which is pointless. In fact, not showing it might qualify as one of these better strategies. It lets the audience use, or fend off, their imagination, which is usually a lot scarier. It worked with Jaws, did it not?

On your second point, I don't think you understand what I was saying. It most likely doesn't mean in the sense that people get off on watching torture but that the audience is expected to enjoy the explicit torture in the same way they're expected to enjoy the explicit sex in actual pornography. I, too, believe the term can be demeaning and interpreted negatively. It's not a fair term. But it just makes sense not taken literally.
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  #37  
Old 06-20-2007, 09:18 AM
I think some of you are taking the term torture porn too literally. It is intended to describe movies that in the opinion of some have nothing on their mind other than killing people. That doesn't mean there is actual torture in it. Or, torture could apply to what the viewer goes through while watching it. There's always gorenography if you don't care for torture porn. I'm sorry, but I don't think there is any character development at all in Hostel or Saw, so I think torture porn fits them like a glove. Those who insist that there is some kind of deep meaning in them are really reaching. If someone wanted to, they could argue that there is hidden meaning in just about any movie ever made. Doesn't mean it's there. Hostel and Saw are about killing people as graphically as possible. If you like them, that's fine. You're allowed to. Different strokes for different folks. But don't tell me that there is complex subtext in them. That is a crock of shit. They are intended for teenage boys and they are all about nasty gore.
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  #38  
Old 06-20-2007, 11:19 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by MadsenOMC
...gorenography...
Just want to let you know, I fucking love that word.
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  #39  
Old 06-20-2007, 11:26 AM
I am a fan of it as well. I wish I could take credit for it, but I read it somewhere else.
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  #40  
Old 06-20-2007, 11:41 AM
Quote:
Originally posted by MadsenOMC
I am a fan of it as well. I wish I could take credit for it, but I read it somewhere else.
Damn, I was all impressed with your wordage and there it went


Slightly back to the topic, what bothers me about the term is what it is applied to. I can see how people would use it on Saw and Hostel. Those are cruel movies with actual torture. What bothers me is when it is used to describe any modern gorey horror movie. Hills Have Eyes remake is not a torture porn. The Descent, The Devil's Rejects and Haute Tension(basically the splat pack) are not at all. Ive grown from disliking the term itself and moved on to really disliking its use. Its like anytime a movie has too much blood/guts for a reviewer that term gets thrown in and smacks it with all kinds of preconcieved notions. Sometimes its applicable (Saw series) but most often it just hurts the films audiance with an unfair label.
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