5 The gross-out: what’s the worst pos­si­ble out­come?

ImagineFX - - Workshops -

Here’s the touch­i­est (pun in­tended) sub­ject mat­ter of the hor­rific. I say touch­i­est not for the gut-churn­ing qual­i­ties of the gross-out, but for the dan­gers of us­ing the gross-out in the first place. Gross-outs take us straight to the bot­tom level of shock­ing. Our fears of blood, of pain, dis­fig­ure­ment and de­hu­man­i­sa­tion are brought right into our face when you roll out the en­trails. The more we get to see, the faster the shock wears off. With­out a good, solid con­text for the view­ers to care about it, the gross-out be­comes bowel theatre. Cabin Fever’s a good ex­am­ple, or the re­boot of the Evil Dead. (That does sug­gest a whole sub­cat­e­gory of hor­ror – the hor­ror of be­ing jaded to suf­fer­ing – but there’s only so much we can dis­cuss here.)

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