Adam Walter on violent movies, scary movies, and Flannery O’Connor

The most interesting thing I read all day was Adam Walter’s post on the difference between “disturbing” films and “scary” films.

He ends up talking about the effect of violence in art, and quoting a lot of Flannery O’Connor, which is always a good thing.

Nice work, Adam. Really interesting stuff.

And way to go, Nate Bell, for making Adam think and blog.

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  • Jeffrey Overstreet

    Anonymous, I had to delete your post because you spoiled the movie’s surprise.

    Otherwise, here’s the rest of your message:

    “I agree, the actress they got to play Lois Lane was not a good match… She had an attitude but it wasn’t the right Lois Lane clutzy sassy one… She seemed like everyone annoyed her too in the movie… Her fiance, her boss, and even Superman… And how was she the only one investigating the power outages or whatever?”

  • Anonymous

    Saw this movie tonight and it just plain sucked. I was so disappointed because Superman is my all time favorite super hero. Whoever cast Kate Bosworth as Lois Lane should be fired…and fired GOOD! Natalie Portman should have played Lois Lane hands down. Superman’s costume…Awful! Metropolis….looked like Cleveland, or St. Louis. Lex Luthor…Kevin Spacey looked bored, and that he was just there to collect a check. This movie had no soul whatsoever. It is the worst super hero movie ever made in my opinion. Didn’t even bother seeing The Hulk. Which I heard blew. Well, I guess now there’s only looking forward to Wonder Woman. If they cast Lindsay Lohan as Wonder Woman…I will boycott so bad!

  • Stuart B

    At least X3 got to show us something that was lacking in the previous two X-Men movies…namely, SUPERPOWERS!!

    Why is everyone hating on this film? It isn’t like it’s an Elektra or something…

    Jeffrey- Is it better watching movies in a regular theatre, a HD theatre, or in an IMAX?

  • CTDelude

    Kate Bosworth as Lois is one of the biggest sticking points for me in this film. She just doesn’t appear to come across with the sass that I’ve come to know the character to have. That and she just doesn’t come across as charismatic enough…

  • -B

    Seven and eight are a hoot. On nine, I’m wondering if we should look for some subliminal phallic symbolism as well?

  • Levi

    Bah! You Marvel snobs.

  • RC

    i like forward to revisiting this list once the film comes out…

    it’s pretty funny.

    –RC of

  • jasdye

    or repeat the name Peter Parker Posey low in your mouth several times.

    it just sounds good.

  • Wasp Jerky

    Or think about how Peter Parker is a much more compelling character than Clark Kent.

  • Adam Walter

    Glad you enjoyed it, Jeff.


    So many films have been lumped into the “horror” genre that the word has practically been robbed of its potency.

    I tend to think this is because the genre is so impoverished that the truly scary films are those that transcend the genre. BTW, there’s a book called Horror: The 100 Best Books, and in it many successful horror writers name non-genre stuff as their favorite “horror book” (eg, Clive Barker nominates Marlowe’s Doctor Faustus and Dan Simmons nominates John Gardner Grendel). So…

  • Nate

    So many films have been lumped into the “horror” genre that the word has practically been robbed of its potency. Taken literally, horror is meant to invoke a very strong and painful feeling of fear, shock, or disgust, which is something a lot of modern filmmakers seem to understand very well. (I haven’t seen either Hostel or Wolf Creek, although some of my more adventurous friends have assured me that these two films fall under this category.)

    This new approach horror is such a departure from the kinds of things I’ve long enjoyed that I’m reluctant to accept it right away, although I cannot deny its usefulness in some cases (which is why I may reject the idea of horror as a form of entertainment while embracing it as a serious intellectual and spiritual act).

    Secondly, may I say that the idea Scott directing a Flannery O’Connor adaptation is incredibly exciting to me? I almost wet myself when I read that. (Whoops—there I go with the bathroom humor again.)

  • Ellen Collison

    “King Lear” is, to me, a very frightening play – so are “Macbeth” and “Hamlet.” Why? Because the horrors inside us are exposed.

    O’Connor was a great writer, but I have to admit that I prefer her letters and essays to her fiction.

  • Scott Derrickson

    Great link. I remember how disturbed, and ultimately afraid, I felt when I first read Flannery O’Conner as a Freshman in college. I had come from a strict fundamentist background, and there was something in her writing that was forcing my fears to the surface. That’s how I think about horror now — as the genre of non-denial. To be scared, truly scared, is to come to terms with what you really believe, and with who you really want to become in this world.

    I’d love to make a short horror film out “A Good Man is Hard to Find”. That statement by the misfit at the end is legendary.