Torture Porn:

  1. According to Carroll (????), what is the role of torture in the torture porn franchises Saw and Hostel? Using references, explain this in your own words. How do you think these purposes might relate to the socio-political environment of that time period and such events like 9/11 and the Abu Ghraib torture scandal?

The role of torture porn films according to Carroll (2003) is aimed to emphasize gore, torture, and violence in the form of mutilation. The torture porn franchise Saw and Hostel normalized torture where they attempt in describing torture porn as a sub-genre horror that contains imprisonment, mental and physical torture as well as abduction (Reyes, 2014). The main characters in the films are experiencing a great amount of suffrage and torture. The cause of torture and the effects of it is intentional in generating an impact on the audience as well as sending am the underlying message. Reyes (2014) states the role of torture in Saw and Hostel is to directly attract viewers by pain and disgust to generate empathy.

The socio-political environment of the early 2000s would have also contributed towards the torture porn genre. This was an era where historically negative socio-political issues such as 9/11 and the Abu Gharib torture scandals made headlines all over the world. One can say the 9/11 incident was an act of terror to install “fear” for whatever cause they believed America was responsible for and in return the Abu-Gharib torture scandal was the actions of “revenge” in retaliation to the fear on the Pentagon and the World trade center massacres. Either way, the actions of both incidents are observed by Hilal 2017 as a violation of a series of universal human rights. Saw and Hostel depict torture as a method of inflicting fear and exacting retribution or fear.

  1. Rose (2017) defines this modern boom of prestige horror as “Post-Horror.” What does he mean by this term? Find and read some critiques on his definition online and respond to both. Do you think Post-Horror is a valid term or not? Using examples and references explain your position.

Rose (2017) suggests post horror as a new sub-genre of horror that breaks norms of convention and clichés of horror and reveals the beliefs and feelings of the movie directors. Here the director is free to redefine the extent to horror which appears in the movie instead of following the conventional super-natural and exorcism storylines where filmmakers create their own versions of horror using themes. Rose’s interpretation of post horror films is connected to J. A. Bridges who contends that some horror films that include auteurism.

I personally, do not watch a lot of post horror films, however, Brown (2019) suggests that post horror is a largely pointless term that derives from a lack of historical perspective on the genre. Viewers fail to become socially aware of post horror films that have existed since the early days and the past films contain more experimental content that has expanded the language of cinema. On the other hand, Rose only gives a token of the transgressive nature as a genre. Brown (2019) also states that the history of horror as a peak of the cultural boundaries society has been hiding behind the scenes that society does not want to address.


Brown, M (2019) The problem with post horror. Retrieved from https://overland.org.au/2019/05/the-problem-with-post-horror/

Carrol, N. (2003). The nature of horror: In The Philosophy of Horror or Paradoxes of the Heart. Retrieved from https://blacboard.aut.ac.nz

Reyes, X. A. (2014). Body Gothic: Corporeal Transgression in Contemporary Literature and Horror Film. Wales: University of Wales Press.

Rose, G. (2017). How post-horror movies are taking over cinemas. The Guardian. Retrieved August 10, 2019, from https://www.theguardian.com/film/2017/jul/06/post-horror-films-scary-movies-ghost-story-it-comes-at-night

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