Rape Culture is Ruining the Horror Genre

Sensitive material will be discussed in this blog post.


What is rape culture?

Rape culture is a culture that makes sexual violence both invisible and inevitable. I like this definition because it does not make the issue about a singular gender or group of people. Sexual violence happens to many people, and the number continues to grow at an alarming pace. It has become a problem. We are a part of a rape culture, and recent horror films and TV shows have proven it.

During the past couple of months, I have been attempting to find a new horror film or TV show. I really enjoy being scared, but more than that, I enjoy the way the horror genre can make me think about the human race. Unfortunately, my thought patterns about these recent horror productions have been bleak indeed. My endeavors have included: American Horror StoryHemlock Grove, and Splice.

Every single one of these shows has a scene that involves rape. And all of them are completely unnecessary. These scenes add close to nothing vital to the plot or the developing characters. They are simply thrown into these shows in order to add shock and disgust.

Roman would have remained an asshole had he not raped his asian classmate.

Tate would have remained insanely creepy had he not taken advantage of Vivian.

The creature in Splice was already unnerving, there was no need to have the creature rape her nurturer.

What is worse, these rape scenes add no element of horror. Rape is not scary. It is appalling. It is painful. A rape scene makes me turn off the show or movie and walk away. It makes me never recommend that show or movie to anyone ever. It makes me want to scream and weep and wonder if this is the only way the world will be shocked anymore. Is rape the only thing that catches our attention? Are we so captivated that it must invade every area of our lives, from jokes to movies?

What happened to pure horror? I’m talking about Pet Sematary. I’m talking about Rear Window and No Country for Old Men. What happened to characters that make you shake using only a coin? Where are the creatures that made you curl into a ball in the middle of your bed, never letting a limb dangle off the side, thinking, “Oh god, what if that thing is in here?”

What happened to horror?