Dredd was an interesting concept, but I was wondering how real time correlates to the slo-mo experience.

If we take the final falling death of Ma-Ma for example. It is mentioned that it must have been a long way down after taking the drug. My take on it is that in reality she would have hit the ground before being aware it was even close.

My question is that, how does real time vs slo-mo perception work? Does the brain have some sort of back-log to deal with and is playing catch-up to real time? Or is it something else where slo-mo time matches reality somehow? Maybe they drift in and out where it's slow for a moment then the mind catches up?

I was wondering if anyone had an interpretation of how this works from what the film told us and if the filmmakers have given any information.

The reason for the question is, I was curious if Ma-Ma was aware of being close to the ground before hitting it or if her mind perceived it as still being very high up when she actually hit the floor. Puts the use of the slo-mo drug on her into question. The slo-mo is used to worsen her death but did it?

  • Agree completely, I would have thought that she would perish much before being aware of hitting bottom. I don't think the brain or eyes could process information faster or slower
    – m1gp0z
    Dec 13, 2018 at 20:03

2 Answers 2


The first question is what constitutes time. The way we measure time is using an arbitrary system designed primarily to benefit humans. A second is (at the moment IIRC) defined by the number of times an isotope of a certain element vibrates (eusing made up numbers, when it has vibrated 200 times that is '1 second').

The reason things like seconds are useful is because the brain can only process information so fast. If you took a fictional drug that allowed your brain to process information much faster, as well as allowing your eyes to take in an image, send it to the brain, then take in another much faster, then you would perceive time as going 'slower'. In reality, time is happening at the same rate, your brain just allows you to see more events in the same time period, hence you would perceive time as 'slower' than normal.

Case in point, studies have shown that some breads of dogs see a television set as a series of still images with black screens in between. This is because the dog's brain and eyes are processing visual information at a rate much faster than humans, so for a human the images look like they are moving but for a dog they look like a slideshow, even though time is occurring at exactly the same rate for both viewers.

  • 1
    I really like this answer and you have just reminded me of a article I read called why you can't take a Pigeon to the movies. Seeing a higher frame rate would be a sufficient answer. Many thanks!
    – tohood87
    Aug 17, 2016 at 13:46

I want to pose a different but also similar answer. Mine just contains more of an element of, I think she was SCARED A LOT more than the other answer.

Think about it this way, Based on the fact that slo-mo slows down everything to 1% speed from a person's perspective, says the movie... And she fell 1km from the 200th floor and it took her 18.5 seconds to fall (based on terminal velocity of 54 m/s), I say it took her just under 31 minutes to go splat. From her perspective.

Now when she first started falling she was facing upward looking at Dredd, then almost immediately she's facing downward in the next shot... That leads me to believe at some point she realized she was going to hit the ground. And knowing there was nothing she could do to stop that ground from just crushing her, and she only had a matter of seconds even though she was high, she was a dealer and a user and she knew how it worked...

Therefore if you watch the scene closely I think you can see the moment she kinda realizes, "Oh shit, I can't stop! But I'm high, so fuck it, I'm dead." There's definitely some panic in her face. So I think it did extend her death in a way because, for the majority of it, I think that she was stuck in the feeling of impending doom. Knowing that the ground was going to kill her.

I think it certainly at the least, prolonged the feeling of knowing 100% she was going to die horribly and painfully... So that's just a different side of what I was thinking. But I do agree with the other answer too!

  • This is a great answer, and combined with the "frame rate" explanation from the other one, completely explains why making someone take slo-mo before defenestrating them is a cruel punishment: imagine knowing full well for half-an hour, non-stop, that you're going to be crushed to death, and there's nothing you can do to stop it. Jul 6, 2020 at 0:33

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