The Immorality of Horror Films

Abstract
With the exception of pornography, the morality of popular forms of entertainment has not been studied extensively by philosophers. The present paper aims to start discussion on the moral status of horror films, whose popularity and success has grown steadily since the 1970s. In particular, the author focuses on so-called “slasher” or “gorefest” films, where the narration revolves around the graphic and realistic depiction of a series of murders. The paper’s main thesis is that it is immoral to produce, distribute, and view films of this kind. The reasons are traced back to two facts: 1) living the moral life requires being disposed to react compassionately to the sight of human victimization, and 2) the most violent horror films either overwhelm the spectator or promote a detachment from violence that may interfere with the development and maintenance of the correct reactive attitudes to human victimization
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DOI 10.5840/ijap200620222
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Citations of this work BETA
Horror Films and the Argument From Reactive Attitudes.Scott Woodcock - 2013 - Ethical Theory and Moral Practice 16 (2):309-324.
Violent Video Games and Morality: A Meta-Ethical Approach.Garry Young - 2015 - Ethics and Information Technology 17 (4):311-321.

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