16 April 2012 6:05 AM, PDT | The Guardian - Film News | See recent The Guardian - Film News news »

Although this fantasy thriller depicts a world of human cruelty, it also offers a few uplifting clues about where power lies

Reviewing the newly released "meta-horror" film The Cabin in the Woods at the end of last week, Guardian critic Peter Bradshaw asked what seems to me a question that could be applied to The Hunger Games, the fantasy thriller set to gross half a billion Us dollars at the box office this week:

"What awful human need is being fed by seeing attractive young people in states of semi-undress who are suddenly, brutally slaughtered, almost as if they are being punished for being young and sexy?"

Perhaps an answer lies in widening the question to all literature: what role does slaughter play across classical tragedy, renaissance tragedy and in modern memoirs and biographies? The trick is to create a learning device while kidding audiences it is no such thing. »

- Michael Rosen

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