I am acrophobic in a moderate way (can climb an 8 m long ladder but endure mortal terror up there, walk over a footbridge with hip-heigth guardrails every day but am relieved when I’m on the other side, etc.)
What goes with that, at least in my case, is that when I see pictures or movies of people in situations that I’d dread I feel almost the same distress as if I were in their place. I cannot endure e.g. seeing a scene where people stand a few meters from a cliff edge and distract themselves with a heated conversation instead of lying down and holding on to the ground with hands and feet
No prizes for guessing that I eschew movies that center on climbing or mountaineering. For LotR:FotR and LotR:TTT I knew from the books about the few relevant scenes and shut my eyes beforehand.
I haven’t found data on the prevalence of acrophobia but I guess some percent at least some percent of a population is in the same case.
Yesterday I saw I, Robot,
which was on the whole better than I expected but leads me to believe that the director has an ex-wife who is acrophobic, from the way he enjoys gratuitously using the motive of height.
- looking down from the broken lab window into the USR building’s central atrium
- walking on pedestrian ledges in that building with ridiculously low handrails
- the USR’s chief executive’s office at the top with ceiling-to-floor windows - urk
- the whole part of killing the Evil Central Brain - if I were an E.C.B. I’d insist on being housed in a nice solid bunker, not hanging exposed.
Now there are descriptions, age warnings, etc. in movie reviews, promotional material etc., tailored to the respective culture (e.g. in American reviews I often see a reference to ‘language’ - apparently it’s not a silent movie then).
The easily offended are certainly catered well for by these warnings. Would it be too much to ask to mention ‘heights’? After all I guess the proportion of acrophobics in the cinemagoing public might be larger than the proportion that does not want to view nudity