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Wicked Nerdery

Where psychology, pop culture, and true crime collide

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films

Sinister is Sexy

Onscreen sinister is sexy, whether we care to admit it or not.  Villains in TV and movies are fascinating to watch; you can’t take your eyes off them.  (Casting may help, true, but Hannibal Lector is entrancing played by Mads Mikkelsen, Anthony Hopkins, Brian Cox, or Gaspard Ulliel.)  But why?  Why do so many of us fall for the villain even when he or she is so…well…villainous?

Please note: I’m not talking about the villains in slasher films like Jason Voorhees or Freddie Kruger, but the ones that lean towards sane, sober, and sociopathic; the ones that could actually exist, in one form or another, in the real world.

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Ode to Sociopathic Love: Hannibal Lecter

One of the most common arguments I hear against someone – real or fictional – being a sociopath is that the person loves someone else.  While I understand the presumption that a psychopath/sociopath cannot love, it simply is not true.  They love, just not in the same manner or presentation as the average/neurotypical person.  Theirs is a selfish, incredibly intense, love that can come and go seemingly at random…but it is love.  A love that a fair number of fictional “psychos” feel, including Hannibal “The Cannibal” Lecter.

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