Cieply suggests (in an admirably neutral way) that the events at VT may cause emotionally battered audiences to avoid gore/torture fests like the upcoming 'Hostel II'. I don't think any such thing will happen -- I think the box office for 'Hostel II' will be very good, and (if it is) I fully expect an onslaught of blog editorials questioning the sensitivity of a society which would flock, nay, stampede to the nearest theater to see people being tortured so soon after a national tragedy involving the shooting of innocent people. (However, one wonders when is a good time to see a movie featuring innocent people being tortured. If not a few weeks after a shooting...when? Eight weeks, three months)?
Cieply cites Dr. Kaplan, a former film exec and thinker on movies, as saying "Famously, 9/11 was supposed to be the end of irony," he said. "If anything, irony has blossomed."
The above still is from director Uwe Boll's upcoming 'Postal' (clip via Bollbashers.com). In the sequence a commercial jet crashes into a skyscraper. This, coming less than six years after 9/11, is perhaps more than ironic, and whatever it is, it's in full blossom.
People have short memories. Our minds and spirits have become dulled by the violence of war, the almost daily deaths caused by suicide bombers, and yes, the random school shootings. People want to be entertained, to get away from the news of the day and see a movie. If that movie contains acts of violence of the same type found in the headlines we're trying to escape, I guess you can chalk yet another one up for irony.
If 'Hostel II' is a hit, who will be more insensitive -- the producers for making such a movie or the audience for seeing it? Art cannot help but imitate, while being a diversion from, life. I think this is the nature of things. People want to get away, and who could blame them.