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Old 01-28-2019, 10:51 PM #1
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Angry How 'bout that horror portrayal

I've been holding in a huge rant for.......OK I haven't been holding it in that much, I've ranted about before, just not recently, and no ones really listened much, I mean no guarantee anyone will listen now but it's hard to hold in for extended periods of time.
I love horror. I love it to bits, what kind of horror kind of just depends on my mood, so sometimes it's zombies, or ghosts, and sometimes just senseless excessive gore. Although I'm much more particular when it comes to mental illness in horror (movies, games stories all of the above). Although unfortunately many times the viewer isn't meant to be aware that's what's going on until the grand plot twist. Which frankly has become neither grand nor surprising because the whole oh guess what! The main character was the killer all along they just didn't know it because they're crazy! And they are often treated as simply crazy rather than having an illness. I mean they do frequently end up in mental institutions, but not because anyone's attempting to handle the situation with sensitivity, but because they can't allow their crazy to mingle with normal people.
I mean this doesn't apply to all horror movies, and not even all horror that attempts to tackle MI, there have been some I loved and some who did do it properly, but I've found those are few and far between.
About some odd...months or so back I was playing a quick little game with a plot leading up to what I assume was intended to be a great reveal, and although the entire time I tried to keep positive and wait for a fun plot twist, all the while in the back of my mind I was going he killed her didn't he? And yup, it played out exactly as I expected it to. Which was pretty disappointing altogether because up til then it was an amazing game. If I had to name it I would say the events suggested the character had DID, but it's never fully addressed so nowhere in the game did anyone state the character had any MI let alone a specific one.
Sadly I see this a lot. And it's not always that I think a villain can't or shouldn't have a mental illness, because in all honesty MI can make a great plot element if done properly. And I in all my writing have never shied away from it if I feel it adds something.
As crazy as it is some people actually do get their knowledge of MI from these works, which is where I suppose the greatest problem lies. That some people genuinely believe people with MI are inherently dangerous, despite the opposite being true (not saying people with MI can't be dangerous but hey got look at some crime statistics).
I think for the most part the ones I've been talking about have been the ones portraying the MI person as villainous or dangerous, but hey I can't forget the ones where other characters are quick to write off another as crazy to explain why they're seeing ghosts, while in reality they actually are seeing ghosts. The accusation of MI (which is often misunderstood as the character in question rarely exhibits any other symptom that would otherwise make them genuinely look mentally ill) is quickly slapped on early in the story so that the other characters don't have to deal with the fact that creepy stuff is happening. These kinds of stories are just annoying as well because the supposed MI still isn't handled properly, and it isn't even actually there!
I'm not done yet, there's still a third. Yes I am making my own categorization for MI as plot elements. The third is I feel the least worrisome although still obnoxious, and those are the ones where MI present and while the character is genuinely ill and not dangerous the symptoms and treatment methods exhibited aren't accurate. The inaccuracies are usually small, but I still find myself yelling at the screen THAT'S NOT HOW IT WORKS AT ALL. Either the creators didn't bother to do any research or they just said screw it, no one's going to care that we remove accurate information and replace it with cheap plot devices, right? I do have a particular movie in mind right now but if I start talking about it then I'm going to go off on a tangent with movie review about why is was an overall sub par movie and then I'll go on to review move movies and I've already gotten off topic.
It isn't so much the fact that mental illness is being used as a plot element, its just that's its often times a cheap plot device used to shock and handled without any measure of genuine sensitivity. I mean that and the fact that I've seen it SO MANY times that it's become one of the most uncreative or unoriginal ideas that have graced horror as a genre.
As not only a lover of horror but someone that actually has the MI being used I can't help but to feel insulted on so many levels. I mean usually the MI is DID or some form of schizophrenia (because hey I have both yay!), or some watered down version of one of those because no one could be bothered to do any research. Because there isn't plenty of stigma to begin with.
I'm a ranter, it's what I do, because here I am ranting about something I like.
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Old 01-29-2019, 04:23 AM #2
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Default Re: How 'bout that horror portrayal

I understand how you feel, rise13eyond. Unfortunately these movies do contribute to the MI stigma. I don't think there's any malicious intent behind it, it's probably just lazy writing for the most part. Still, I understand how it could be annoying or dangerous. I think the situation is improving a bit, but some MI, like DID, are still pretty bad for how they're represented on the screen. You're not alone in this. Feel free to PM me anytime. Sending many hugs to you
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Old 01-29-2019, 10:31 AM #3
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Default Re: How 'bout that horror portrayal

they play to what works...it's an exaggeration and it sells . gotta go to what will put butts in theaters, people buying games, buying books etc.. mental illness is a wild card...and it works...since conditions vary for each person and such. media tends to use the lack of real knowledge and then exaggerate it as a way to make their product sell..don't forget it's not a research item but for entertainment. kind of like looking at snoopy and saying beagles don't really fly dog houses in real life, but in the cartoon they do..you buy into that in the strip but no one expects a dog to fly buy on a house in reality.
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Old 01-29-2019, 06:12 PM #4
rise13eyond rise13eyond is offline
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Default Re: How 'bout that horror portrayal

Quote:
Originally Posted by MickeyCheeky View Post
I understand how you feel, rise13eyond. Unfortunately these movies do contribute to the MI stigma. I don't think there's any malicious intent behind it, it's probably just lazy writing for the most part. Still, I understand how it could be annoying or dangerous. I think the situation is improving a bit, but some MI, like DID, are still pretty bad for how they're represented on the screen. You're not alone in this. Feel free to PM me anytime. Sending many hugs to you
Lazy or something, I dunno. Not gonna lie though, I've faced quite a bit of judgement over my MIs, even from friends. Forget trying to fit in with other people. I once had someone flat out tell me to never contact them in any way again. Luckily that was pretty easy to do. I'd hate to think what would happen if I had to see these people at the grocery store every week.

Quote:
Originally Posted by resurgam View Post
they play to what works...it's an exaggeration and it sells . gotta go to what will put butts in theaters, people buying games, buying books etc.. mental illness is a wild card...and it works...since conditions vary for each person and such. media tends to use the lack of real knowledge and then exaggerate it as a way to make their product sell..don't forget it's not a research item but for entertainment. kind of like looking at snoopy and saying beagles don't really fly dog houses in real life, but in the cartoon they do..you buy into that in the strip but no one expects a dog to fly buy on a house in reality.
That is a pretty good way of saying it, after all they're looking to entertain not inform. Horror as a genre was never meant to be really realistic. I mean you don't watch horror if you want information if you want that then go watch a documentary. Unfortunately cartoons don't lead people to believe dogs can fly, and if they did it would be fairly harmless. The misinformation people get from media portrayals of MI actually does harm, because these things are presented in way that's meant to be realistic enough to get you to believe such a thing could happen. I mean I know I said horror movies aren't meant to be realistic but the big selling point these days is the whole Oh hey this is scary because it could happen to you! People can be pretty gullible, I mean multiple found footage directors faced actual murder charges because people genuinely believed these films were actual snuff films. Humans for all they've accomplished, aren't always very bright, I guess therein lies part of the problem. The movies where people with MI end up being killers don't always take supernatural angles and instead attempt at a realistic scenario.
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