There had been a lot of fuss over movies like Hosteland Wolf Creek , whose plots sparked controversy over this new trend of 'snuff' horror. What did their popularity really say about the morbid curiosity of the moviegoing public? And how far should a film go before it's deemed absurd and unwatchable? Well, what about a flick that had real footage of a person ending their life?

The idea of the 'snuff film' came to prominence mainly as an urban legend in the 70's, but an article in The New York Times thinks that two new documentaries that are about to premier at New York's IFC Center may 'legitimize" the idea of an honest-to-goodness snuff film. The Bridge was directed by Eric Steel and has a deceptively simple premise: Steel placed cameras with telephoto lenses across from the Golden Gate Bridge, which was a common spot for jumpers. The film shows footage from several suicides, and Steel used the film to successfully argue for a suicide barrier on the bridge. The film Exit (directed by Fernand Melger), chose not to film the final moments of people who are members of Exit Society; a Swiss organization which helps facilitate suicides for the terminally ill.

As disturbing as the thought of watching these films might be, at least there is hope for a thoughtful approach to the subject as opposed to, say, Faces of Death. No subject should ever be considered off-limits and maybe 'snuff' is a harsh term for what these movies really are. Either way I'm just not sure I have the stomach for it. Do you think that these films have gone too far?