The Inmates and the Asylum: How Hollywood Depicts Mental Hospitals

| September 7, 2000

The Inmates and the Asylum: How Hollywood Depicts Mental Hospitals, Sarah Koenig,
What do the movies The House on Haunted Hill,Amadeus, and Silence of the Lambs all have in common? According to Sarah Koenig in, horror directors love to utilize unrealistic and frightening images of mental institutes or asylums, such as the institutions depicted in those films, to heighten the viewer's pleasure. (Who can forget the terrifying leer of Hannibal Lechter from behind the window of his dank, dimly lit cell?) By doing so, though, such films perpetuate inaccurate and ridiculous stereotypes, only to boost box office sales. 'The popular conceptions of institutions for the insane have been primarily created by Hollywood in order to suit its own purposes,' Koenig argues. 'The mad doctor, the brutal treatment of the mentally ill, and the bizarre methods and machinery used to implement these 'cures,' perfectly suit the needs of Hollywood directors looking to scare us into ticket sales.' -- Amanda Luker
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Bob Bennett
3/28/2011 8:27:51 AM

Unfortunetly mad doctors and abusive treatments are still all too common. Every year people are fored to undergo electroshock against their will. Profit hungry - or just arrogant closed minded doctors prey on the ignorance of judges saying drugs and shocks are all that is available. This is quite false of course, but the major players in the drugging of America would rather keep people and the judges ignorant. As for the lawyers - well perhaps 5% of them are interested in fairness - the rest perhaps could be packed into the nuclear reactor in Japan to absorb the radiation - that way perhaps they would serve some honorable purpose.