“Fanaticism, in any form, terrifies me. Fanatical devotion to a cause — religious, political, social, even sports teams, often becomes an excuse to let our most violent sides out. When people see others around them that feel the same, they believe in their cause so strongly that suddenly the regular rules of society and behavior stop applying to them, and their actions feel justified because everyone around them feels the same way.
“Violence against others now becomes acceptable, and the darkest, most primal side of our human nature comes out. I remember as a kid going to Yankee Stadium absolutely terrified to wear a Red Sox uniform, yet when I went to Red Sox games we taunted anyone in a Yankees jersey to teach them a lesson not to wear a Yankees jersey on our home turf. Had I met these same people in an office building, I would have been extremely polite, even offended, if they thought of me as a violent person, which by all means I am not. But with the right article of clothing on both of us in the right location we revert to some animal state and justify lashing out at others.
“I see it happening now in America with religion and political parties more than anything. If you’re not with us, you’re against us, and if you’re against us then you’re against all that’s good and decent and must be destroyed. Everyone’s yelling and yelling until the other loses their voice, and it feels like there’s no end in sight. This terrifies me. That and giant frogs.”
— Known for his signature low-budget thrillers, filmmaker Eli Roth has made movie audiences shriek with films like Cabin Fever and the Hostel franchise — hair-raising odes to the blood-by-the-bucket ’70s and ’80s slasher flicks. Lately, the “splat pack” member can be seen on Discovery’s How Evil Are You?, a psychological examination of the capacity for humans to perform “evil” when under instruction to act.
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