Trailers often exaggerate the extent of violence in a movie because the more it contains, the more likely it is viewed. At the same time viewers find brutal scenes in the film uncomfortable. A paradox?
If he is zapped on the Easter holidays through the TV program, it knows: murder and manslaughter rarely led a way past. In “Pirates of the Caribbean” Johnny Depp sawed through the wild pirate life, the “crime scene” was followed by the murder in the First Bundesliga, a dead vocational student. In addition, there were different world ruins, chases or murder hungry giant plants to see.
For a long time, media scientists have grappled with the question of what impact it has on children and adults when too much blood is spouting on the TV. For some time, however, they have been asking the other way around. With the free movies online you can discover yourself.
What fascinates people about media violence?
For the success of violent films contradicts the findings of the scientists, according to which representations of violence above all cause discomfort in the audience. The paradox is that while violent portrayals diminish movie enjoyment, they still have an attractive impact on audiences, as many studies show.
More violence in the film leads to more attention
In movie trailers, for example, the extent of violence in a film is usually overstated – and a large meta-analysis in 2011 showed that eight studies found that this is a perfectly plausible business model – because the more violence a film contains, the more likely it will be viewed. On the other hand, a further analysis of 18 studies and more than 2000 subjects showed that violence in film is experienced as unpleasant.
- This does not just apply to physical violence: Even insults and threats in the film reduce the satisfaction with the film.
- There are already studies showing that people watching movies are not just about hedonistic motives like fun and thrills. The motive of searching for meaning and truth is also an important reason why films are consumed. This has led us to suspect that this motive of seeking meaning and truth might also play a role in certain forms of violence.
- If viewers feel that the portrayal of violence in film gives them important insights into reality, it may be one reason why they are prepared to endure unpleasant and disturbing images.
- In the experiment, subjects aged 18 to 82 years saw different movie trailers, each containing high and low levels of violence, once considered significant or negligible in a pilot study. Subjects should state for each of the films, how powerful and meaningful they were, and how much they liked the movie trailer.
Violence can amplify the meaning of the film
The result: If the violence was perceived as a meaningful and valuable reflection of life, thus enhancing the meaning of the film, the viewer’s rather accepted the presented aggression. This tendency was found in all trial participants, regardless of educational background.
The study thus supports previous findings that per se violence is not appealing to most viewers, but it can be tolerated whenever it emotionally reinforces – or even evokes – other important aspects of the film.