Two movies: “Precious” and “The Texas Chain Saw Massacre”

(Note : Spoilers for both movies, but nothing that everyone probably has already been exposed to)

I saw both these movies this weekend. One I thought was very good but disturbing, the other I thought was so so, kind of sick, but I did watch it to the end. Yet thinking about it, is there a core theme in common and what does my reaction say about my biases?

Precious shows the plight of a teenage mother, pregnant with another child, in desperate straights: she lives with an abusive mother, she is kicked out of school, people have told her that she is stupid and worthless, she is desperately poor.

The Texas Chainsaw Massacre shows several middle class teenagers with time on their hands exploring a derelict old house and encountering a family of (sorry:) cannibals who proceed to dine on these teenagers.

Ok: so you can tell which one I thought was good and which one I thought was sick. But what do they maybe have in common? In each case the movie shows, closeup, events that happens, has happened, or could happen in real life which is horrible.

You can ask: what purpose can be served - what point is there - to spending your time making or watching such a film? It makes the viewer uncomfortable to see it and glorifies or at least gives a platform to the bad guys who are causing this misery.

Still my reaction to each movie was radically different , and I am thinking more about the commonalities that I think I see between the movies. What do you think?