The Immorality of Horror Films

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
Keywords No keywords specified (fix it)
Categories (categorize this paper)
DOI 10.5840/ijap200620222
 Save to my reading list
Follow the author(s)
My bibliography
Export citation
Find it on Scholar
Edit this record
Mark as duplicate
Revision history Request removal from index
Download options
PhilPapers Archive

Upload a copy of this paper     Check publisher's policy on self-archival     Papers currently archived: 24,453
External links
Setup an account with your affiliations in order to access resources via your University's proxy server
Configure custom proxy (use this if your affiliation does not provide a proxy)
Through your library
References found in this work BETA

No references found.

Add more references

Citations of this work BETA

Add more citations

Similar books and articles
Gianluca Di Muzio (2006). The Immorality of Horror Films. International Journal of Applied Philosophy 20 (2):277-294.
Aaron Smuts (2008). Horror. In Paisley Livingston & Carl Plantinga (eds.), Routledge Companion to Philosophy and Film.
Aaron Smuts (2003). Haunting the House From Within: Disbelief, Mitigation, and Spatial Experience. In Steven Jay Schneider & Daniel Shaw (eds.), Film-Philosophy. Scarecrow Press. pp. 158--173.
Stuart Hanscomb (2010). Existentialism and Art-Horror. Sartre Studies International 16 (1):1-23.
Jesse Prinz (2011). When is Film Art? Revue Internationale de Philosophie 4:473-485.

Monthly downloads

Added to index


Total downloads

32 ( #150,221 of 1,925,265 )

Recent downloads (6 months)

16 ( #40,038 of 1,925,265 )

How can I increase my downloads?

My notes
Sign in to use this feature

Start a new thread
There  are no threads in this forum
Nothing in this forum yet.