Why We’re Drawn To Screen Violence

“Why are audiences simultaneously drawn to, and seriously disturbed by, gruesome portrayals of torture? There is something so compelling about the psychosis driving those scenes. They tend to take place in close-up and are often about a conversation. There’s a lot of dialogue — not the quips you would get from an Arnold Schwarzenegger or a Bruce Willis. There’s often this element of `How much can they withstand before they lose touch with who they are — their psychic identity?’ which can be a much scarier concept than the violence. In other words, depictions of torture have an uncanny way of tapping into our most suppressed fears.”