I love a good action movie. Guns, explosions, special effects, dramatic dialogue, the works.

Of course, my mother was always against action/violent films. I wasn’t allowed to watch TV after 8 until I was 12, and violent films were out of the question. To this day she hates ‘bang-bang-bang’ films and reluctantly sits through them if we kids insist on watching. I always felt a little resentful when my friends discussed the latest action movie they had seen and I couldn’t contribute, but after all these years I’m starting to see where she was coming from.

I love the Terminator movies, have a blast at disaster film screenings and am pretty up to date on thriller and action films (except horror – that’s a whole different blogpost for another day) so hence, recently, I watched what looked like it was going to be a good film.

Terminator 2 was hella violent in its time

Terminator 2 was hella violent in its time

‘Law Abiding Citizen’ has all the makings of a good 2-hour break from reality. Jamie Foxx, Gerard Butler, heck, even Viola Davis. Throw this melee of actors into a non-stop suspense drama about a smart lawyer vying for assistant district attorney and an even smarter criminal/witness of brutal murder of his wife and daughter and you’d expect an awesome film.

Don’t get me wrong, this film had all that but I found myself annoyed and disgusted by the very first scene in the film, where two guys break into Gerard’s house and rape and murder his wife , and kill his daughter. I just couldn’t watch . Why this sick fascination with creating such horrible movie scenes? Is this really the only way to make us feel for Gerard Butler’s character? Wouldn’t it have been enough to just get him to cry a lot and scream to the heavens? Did the filmmakers really have to burn the image of his crying/bloodied wife into my mind forever?

Then there’s another scene, where a bitter and enraged Butlers saws off the limbs of his wife’s killer, slowly and painfully while the killer screams and screams while blood splatters all over the place.

Oh no that’s not it. Some equally horrible crimes follow. Are we really that desensitized to blood? Am I really that unevolved a human being to be so disturbed ?

Call me faint-hearted, but I really don’t need this. Isn’t violence, blood and gore so 80s? Aren’t we over the need to shock and horrify audiences? We know full well studios have the capability to make anything look real but is it really necessary?

For the first time in years, I was disturbed and couldn’t watch the next 30 mins of the film. In the end it turned out to be an OK movie.

But really , do we need this? Which is why I don’t watch horror movies. Isn’t life stressful enough as it is? Why, when all I want to do is relax and forget I exist for a little while, would I freak myself out for two hours and then spend the next few days jumping every time my upstairs neighbour plays golf in the house (I suspect that is what the knocking in the middle of the night is all about).

And yeah, horror movies tend to be violent. I don’t think pain is fun, which makes me wonder why people watch the SAW series. I have not seen a single movie, and I don’t plan to.

Yes, call me chicken but I think I am completely done with violence and horror. 24 Season 8 may air soon and much as I love Jack Bauer, I don’t think I’m ready for another scene where he tortures terrorists for information.

24 is one of my favourite shows, but the violence may be getting a bit much for me

24 is one of my favourite shows, but the violence may be getting a bit much for me

This is an age old argument, but what are we teaching our kids with shows like this? What are we teaching adults? Remember those two English teens who murdered that five-year-old after allegedly getting ideas from Child’s Play?

Whether there is a correlation or not, there can’t be much good that comes out of violence, expect for the filmmakers.

Looks like my mother was right all along.

What do YOU think? Are you a fan of horror films or violence? Is this a form of escape that appeals to you? Let me know!

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