Last November, I saw the movie Twilight in theaters, and I expected to endure countless previews before the film started. What I didn’t expect was to see an extremely disturbing trailer for the horror film, The Unborn. Though the film was rated PG-13, the trailer played graphic, horrific images of devil children, a disfigured, possessed man with a distorted back crawling up the stairs, and a demonic Jack Russell Terrier. This content was inappropriate for the Twilight audience, which reaches out to pre-teens and teenage girls. There were people simultaneously shading their eyes and plugging their ears, waiting for the exorcism clip to pass.
While I was reading an online movie review of the new comedy I Love You, Man, I was forced to see a moving photo and trailer for The Haunting in Connecticut, also about demonic possession, seances, and vengeful spirits.
Why does the internet make me view these terrifying images against my will? I know the advertisements pay for the websites, but there’s no reason why these scary movies have to dominate the advertisements. I do not need these video clips in my brain. As someone who lived in a haunted house, I am sensitive and especially troubled by these types of movies, and the genre creates a lot of unnecessary anxiety in my life, so I avoid scary movies. How possible is that while they abruptly pop up on my television screen, internet, and in a movie theater? It wasn’t as if I was waiting to watch a rated R film, so I felt violated and imposed upon when I saw these trailers.
What these film producers don’t realize is that they are fueling anxiety and unnecessary fear among the public. It’s irrational to fear ghosts and the paranormal, but many people cannot handle thinking of these things. These same individuals do not, in fact, enjoy having such horrifying pictures surprise them. Some people, such as myself, cannot see these images without having them re-play in our minds during vulnerable moments. It’s one thing to choose to expose oneself to scary movies, but another to be forced to see a man completely scarred from demonic scratches and choking on an indistinguishable object.
Thanks, Hollywood, for making us watch your terrifying images.