The "R" Word and Trivialising "Last House"
Recently, Patrick Goldstein of the LA Times wrote an editorial titled "RapeLay: Sleazier than any Hollywood horror film?" which compared the interactive hentai rape simulator that was recently removed from Amazon's site to films like "Hostel." As the title suggests, his general conclusion was that even though you can trace the horrible premise of "RapeLay" to the sexual repression of Japanese culture, it still far surpasses America's most disturbing films and games. Just days later, Goldstein reiterated his comparison after he was 'made aware' of the recent "Last House on the Left" remake:
He goes on to cite more specific examples of more contextually bankrupt quotes from various critics who share his shallow understanding of film and inability to focus on anything about the film other than the rape scene. Understand, I am not the biggest fan of either "Last House...", neither am I an apologist for films that prominently feature rape. However, unlike Mr. Goldstein, I actually watched the remake before drawing my conclusions, and ultimately sharing them. I also have a very hard time buying that he truly believes that a revenge film with at least a vague semblance of a moral backbone is in fact comparable to a game that allows (and encourages) you to stalk and rape three different girls in various public places.
Coming full circle from ill-informed to totally asinine, Goldstein closes with a completely puzzling question:
I'm not totally sure I should even be paying attention to this guy let alone allowing him to rile me up to this degree, but really? Yes, both "Last House on the Left" and "RapeLay" feature disturbing instances of rape, and that should not be ignored or taken lightly. However, I would argue that Goldstein comes very close to doing just that by implying that a film that tries to treat rape in a very grave manner is no different from a video game that glorifies it and assigns point values to its disgusting particulars. Perhaps his moral outrage would be better aimed into a mirror, because I wouldn't be comfortable with myself if I was so incapable of drawing that line.