The Inmates and the Asylum: How Hollywood Depicts Mental Hospitals

The Inmates and the Asylum: How Hollywood
Depicts Mental Hospitals,
Sarah Koenig,
Brain.com
What do the movies The House on Haunted Hill,Amadeus, and Silence of the Lambs all have in common?
According to Sarah Koenig in Brain.com, 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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