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15 Movies Blamed For Mass Shootings, Killing Sprees, And Copycat Crimes

 

The tenuous divide between art and reality is never more apparent than when someone believes they’re living in a film, or uses a film as inspiration to carry out a crime. When someone commits murder after watching a movie, it’s normal to wonder if you missed a secret code laced into the film only meant for a specific person, or if films really do incite violence. Movies blamed for killing sprees tend to fall into the horror genre, but there are exceptions to the rule, and everything from Leonardo DiCaprio films about young poets to teen sex romps have been blamed for being the catalysts of movie copycat crimes. There’s no concrete evidence cinema and crime are related, but these stories certainly make a strong case for the possibility.

It’s a terrible fact of life that, every few years, the trend of mass shootings connected to movies makes a strong come back. In the ’90s, there was a rash of school shootings connected to everything from gonzo revenge films like Natural Born Killers to Hong Kong-inspired action films like The Matrix. Some killers have explicitly stated they were driven to kill by a piece of art, but does that make the filmmakers complicit? Obviously not, but it hopefully gives pause to artists putting out something brutal and grotesque out into the world.

 

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