Part of the theatrical experience is what you bring to it. We’re not encouraged to bring anything to an experience anymore. If you’re watching a scene where somebody’s getting beat up behind a couch and you can’t see it very well, then your mind goes to all your own personal nightmares, what could be going on there that you can’t stand to see, and that feeds your own emotional life. But if you’re seeing every graphic moment of it, then it lets the audience off the hook, so they’re not sharing in the experience of what’s going on; they’re not contributing anything to it.
Alan Arkin on the thriller genre, Wait Until Dark special feature