In many films we find violence used as a staple of primitive entertainment. A way to fulfill our blood thirsty barbaric urges. Film in many has taken the place of the Gladiators and our want to experience the dismemberment of others. Many filmmakers today use violence at its most shallow value. Torture Porn films such as Saw or Hostel exploit violence for its shock factor to entice audiences. Other directors and often times independent directors try to use violence as a way to convey some type of deeper meaning. Many times this falls short because it still only scratches the surface of the reality of violence. In many cases violence is shallowly used to explore revenge, the expression of some kind of emotional stress or just, “you didn’t pay me.”
In the case of Nicolas Winding Refn he uses violence to explore what violence mean and its consequences. if you notice in all of his film those that engage on violent acts or are almost never left unscathed by the end of the film. This is often used to make a point about violence while exposing you to the grittiness of the moment. In the incense where a character is left unscathed, such as Chang from Only God Forgives, Refn is expressing a metaphor of humanity with the absence of violence.
So as an aspiring filmmaker take a second and think about what you want to say with the violence you use and I promise you will have a more complete film. Unless of course your looking to make G rated kids movies, in which case ignore all this. All in all some of this shit can be pretty cool so lets see how hardcore he can get.