Are horror movies just mainstream pornography?Naked women, explicit imagery and the suspense for the money shot--no, I'm not talking about porn.
But the sexually suggestive visuals of recent horror flicks like the Saw series and Vacancy have led to coinage of the term gorno, an amalgam of 'gore' and 'porn.'
Those who protested against the advertising campaign for the 2007 film Captivity most likely agree with that description. Posters depicting provocative images of Elisha Cuthbert gagged and left to die were pulled after a week.
Hostel director Eli Roth admits, "The film is about control in sexual power," but believes the films are feminist and empowering to women. Lindsey Horvath, president of the National Organization for Women's Hollywood chapter agrees with the critics. "It's like as long as the woman kills the guy at the end, then of course it's a female empowerment movie."
Also known as 'torture porn,' these movies have been likened to snuff and rape films which depict real crimes. But directors claim that the suffering their characters go through are meant to be scary, not titillating, and that such a categorization is unfair and unwarranted as actors all walk away unharmed.
In a genre where the ejaculation of blood is a climactic moment, how true is that really? The actor playing the most sadistic character in Rob Zombie's The Devil's Reject became traumatized with the things he had to do. "Art is not safe," Zombie told him.
With all the hype over box office horror films, Brittany Snow is quick to point out that "There's no blood, guts or gore," in Prom Night, of which she is the star. The 21st century update of the 1980's slasher movie of the same name hits theaters today and received a PG-13 rating. But the slasher callback to beautiful busty blondes is pretty obvious. Call it girls gorno wild.