Do Cruel Movies Poison Our Brains?

I keep having those cruel nightmares lately. Last night, my brother was shot while standing next to me. In his head, twice. Another night, I was about to get tortured by savages. No more details.

Why do I have those nightmares and fear of violence?

I don’t know the exact reason, but what I do know is that those images arise from watching brutal series. I just finished Godless and Narcos. Because they are kinda addictive, I sort of enjoyed watching them until the end.

But the fear that I feel while watching those series is processed during my sleep. A process that’s called consolidation, something that I learned during my biology bachelor. I might have been naive thinking those movies wouldn’t affect me. But if my sleep pushes me to process everything that I saw that day, it definitely does affect me. And my nightmares confirm this theory.

It makes me wonder how such cruel movies affect our society. Do cruel movies poison our brains? Could it be that we live in more fear because of them? And how does this fear influence the way we interact with each other? Do they bring more violent, psychotic people in our society?

Same for not cruel but just dramatic movies. Do they trigger us to think more complicated and dramatic? Could it be they support a world with frustration?

Another read if you want to know more about the psychological effects of cruel movies.