Bad Movies, Are They Bad for the Soul?

Movies are an escape from reality or sometimes an unfriendly (but sometimes friendly) reminder of it. They are so good at this because unlike books, unlike songs, unlike paintings, they are about as close as we can get (ignore virtual reality for now) to recreating the experience of life as we know it. There is movement, depth, sound, setting; to be frank, movies just look a lot like life. But with the freedom that comes with the film form to create anything you can imagine, comes the freedom to make films that are horrendous, poorly constructed, overly acted, inauthentic, terrifying, incoherent, you name it. Now, we all know that movies can be good to some and bad to others. Some people like horrors, some people can’t stand them. Some people love sci-fi, some people find them intolerable. But some movies are just bad! When we watch them we want to, or even have to vomit. We have to leave the theater. We have to rave about in on social media. Some films we have to hate until the day we die because they leave such a bad taste in your mouth you can simply never forget it. Some films promote hatred, propaganda, or worst of all a sappy love story that will never happen. But I wonder, is there actually something that should be deemed as unacceptable, or are we, as Sartre puts it regarding life, condemned to be free… to experience any film that gets recorded, distributed, and passed through our corneas?

  • Should also take into consideration video games, which are actually interactive and are probably even closer to the experience of real life than films if you played it just once through. Otherwise, a great article as long as you use plenty of evidence to back up what happens when people watch a movie they think is bad (not just what you think is bad, of course, because otherwise, it would just be an article completely overlooking the subjectivity of good and bad movies). – stephkang 8 years ago
  • Watching an Ed Wood movie might be good for self-esteem: "I could do better than that." – Tigey 8 years ago
  • Wow, you really hit on numerous, applicable subjects with this suggested topic. I especially love your last line..that implicitly--well, at least in my eyes (sorry, pun intended)--echoes the idea of the visual images captured and then sent to the brain's occipital lobe for dissemination and understanding. I do love a "feel good" movie, even if some may thing in borders on cheesy. For example, I recently watched the movie "Brooklyn," (2015), and I adored it. I haven't watched a movie in ages that left me feeling light hearted and optimistic. But, to each, his own. Nice topic; I'm interested to see the direction one would go in writing this. – danielle577 8 years ago

Want to write about Film or other art forms?

Create writer account