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Study Concludes That Watching ‘Trash’ Movies On Purpose Says Something Surprising About Your Intelligence Level

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Do you love watching really bad movies? I’m not talking about big budget films that went bust, or suicide, I’m talking those poorly made, poorly shot, horribly edited films that somehow got bankrolled. The films that are a step below film school and are only slightly better than a company-mandated instructional video?

If you love those movies, congrats, you’re probably also pretty damn smart.

For the first time, academics have delved into the phenomena of “trash viewing” and published a study entitled: “Enjoying trash films: Underlying features, viewing stances, and experiential response dimensions” in the journal Poetics. 

But before they could examine the audience they needed guidelines as to what exactly makes a film “trash”. Here are the qualifications..

The team started by trying to ascertain exactly what makes a film ‘trash’, with the most common characteristic respondents cited being their “cheapness”. Low budget horror films were the most common example, probably because they’re so plentiful and so easily churned out.

So basically these are films that are “so bad they’re good”, as the Independent put it.

Here’s what they’ve found about people who intentionally watch horrible films.

Ironic viewing is obviously what is at play here, and the researchers found it is mostly film buffs who watch trash films, which would make sense, as very often their enjoyment comes down to analyses of production values, dialogue and plot structure.

“To such viewers, trash films appear as an interesting and welcome deviation from the mainstream fare”, says Keyvan Sarkhosh, postdoctoral fellow at the Max Planck Institute for Empirical Aesthetics. “We are dealing here with an audience with above-average education, which one could describe as ‘cultural omnivores’. Such viewers are interested in a broad spectrum of art and media across the traditional boundaries of high and popular culture.” He went on to explain that their engagement in film culture is demonstrated by their discussion of these films in blogs and forums.

Alright brilliant people, let’s hear your list of the movies so awful you can’t help but watch them over and over.

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