''Now Sid, don't you blame the movies.'' - Billy Loomis
For most people, horror movies are a harmless form of entertainment. Unfortunately, a tiny minority of people with pre-existent issues with mental health and environment can latch onto films – or comic books, or song lyrics, or any other form of cultural artifact – and do something terrible.
This was the case for two young teenagers in 1998, who murdered an innocent woman. CBS reported during the trial:
Two teen-age cousins who told police they were inspired to kill one of their mothers by the horror movie Scream have been convicted of murder and conspiracy.
CBS News Correspondent Jerry Bowen reports that there was never any question that, with the help of a younger cousin, 17-year-old Mario Padilla used four knives and a screwdriver to stab his mother Gina Castillo to death.
According to investigators, the boys said they needed money to fund a planned murder spree - a spree that would closely follow the story line of the two Hollywood Scream movies.
Investigators say the boys confessed to planning to buy costumes like those in the movie. And electronic voice boxes to conceal their identity.
Drew Barrymore starred in Scream. Transcripts from the preliminary hearing show that Padilla picked out a classmate he didn't know, but who closely resembled Barrymore, as one of his intended victims.
Psychologist Madeline Levine says, "You need a cat to copy. In this case, Scream is that cat."
Levine studies the effect of violence on children. She says the influence of movies like Scream makes children angrier and desensitized... and more likely to act out a violent impulse.
It must be said that the Judge did not consider Scream's involvement in the case during the trial. What do you think about real life cases that are supposedly inspired by movies? Check out some interesting (and less grim) facts about Scream here.
Source: CBS News