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New Slasher Movie, SCREAM, Inspires Teenager’s Attempt At Murder

Photo from IMDb

New Slasher Movie, SCREAM, Inspires Teenager’s Attempt At Murder

By Movieguide® Staff

According to a recent police report, a Florida teenager attempted to murder a jogger in his neighborhood after watching the horror movie SCREAM. 

Law enforcement officials said that the victim overpowered the 18-year-old Logan Smith, who attempted to strangle the jogger to death and keep him in his closet. 

According to law enforcement, Smith devised the plan after learning the jogger’s exercise routine and route, taking the victim directly in front of Smith’s house. 

“He further planned to place the victim’s body into his closet where the defendant stated no one would know, and the defendant could have the victim’s body all to himself,” the arrest report noted, adding that the attempted murder connected to Smith’s “sexual fantasies.”

The victim used former martial arts training to hold the attacker until police arrived and arrested the assailant. 

SCREAM, which came out on Jan 14, 2022, is a slasher movie that highlights the brutal killings of a serial killer. 

A portion of the Movieguide® review reads

In SCREAM (2022), 25 years after a first killing spree and 11 years after the last spree, a new Ghostface killer targets a group of teenagers in a small town. Tara and her estranged sister, Sam, get the help of a former sheriff’s deputy, Dewey Riley, a survivor of three previous Ghostface killing sprees. As the new attacks continue and the bodies start to pile up, Dewey’s ex-wife, Gale, and their friend, Sidney, two other survivors, come to help. However, the killer and the killer’s accomplice turn out to be more cunning than even the veterans expected.

SCREAM (2022), the fifth SCREAM movie, follows the pattern set by the previous movies. It mixes the bloody violence of the slasher genre with satire, comedy and mystery. It continues to provide sarcastic, self-reflexive commentary on horror film cliches, especially mad killers and their victims. However, SCREAM (2022) is bloodier and more obscenity laced than the previous four movies. This makes the movie an even bigger threat to traumatize young viewers, dehumanize them, desensitize them, or entice a few to act out their own killing spree.

As Movieguide® has previously reported, on-screen violence and pornography subjugate viewers to the “modeling effect” or “imitative learning.” Teenagers and young adults become targets of mainstream media that push the boundaries in both violence and pornography—often resulting in a combination or connection of the two.

Movieguide®’s Dr. Ted Baehr notes in his book, “The Media-Wise Family”: 

In 1987, the Attorney General’s Commission on Pornography found that adolescents reported the most frequent exposure to pornography, not mature adults![i] Researchers at the University of California projected that “depictions of pornography and violence. . . have the greatest impact on persons already predisposed to favorable attitudes about sexual violence, or who have very poorly formed attitudes, such as adolescents or school-age children.” [ii]

A 1988 report revealed that:

91% of male and 82% of female teenagers under 18 years old have seen extreme, X-rated, hard-core, pornographic sex-and-violence.

66% of the males and 40% of the females want to copy what they see.

More than 25% of the males and 15% of the females admitted to actually copying some of the things sexually they had seen in the pornography within a few days after the exposure.[iv]

This data strongly suggests the “modeling effect” or “imitative learning” effect that even non-violent pornography has on human behavior.

Another portion of the book states

As presented in detail earlier, media violence is a critical problem because of its influence on children and susceptible individuals…

There is a huge audience for big action movies which are now streaming and available on every screen with violence presented as sanitized, choreographed spectacle. There is a smaller, but still considerable, audience for gruesome bloodletting. With this popularity comes the danger of peer pressure to see them. While parents may have no interest in them, they need to be aware of what their children may be encouraged to see. 

The emotive heart of drama is conflict and the ultimate conflict ends in violence. The Bible is full of violence and the Gospel story has one of the most violent scenes imaginable, the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. The presentation of violence in the entertainment media is not always bad and is sometimes necessary. It is, however, critical to protect young children from such violence and to identify how the violence is presented in the entertainment product so you can discern whether it’s necessary and furthers the Good and the True.

Violence can have a demonic, pornographic appeal. The Roman Empire featured spectacles of live violence. Gladiators fought to the death, Christians were fed to lions and all manner horrible killing was offered as entertainment to a stadium full of spectators. This same demonic taste can be fed with movies, videos, games, and online content. It is, in fact, a stage into which many people addicted to pornography sink. What may start out as simple sexual attraction devolves into darker and darker pits of hell. As discussed earlier, horror movies and violent video games obviously stimulate the brain.