I've often wondered how descript or graphic to get when describing a scene of horror, war, or suffering. And each time I come back to the same conclusion: it is what it is. Now I'm no fan of the slasher gore-fests that so many have become accustomed to in today's media, but I am one for making it as real as possible.
A believable story is one that immerses you in what you're reading. I hate stories that you really have to try and think about what the author is trying to say. But the ones that tell you what is going on to whom that you can just feel it, those are the stories that make for excellent entertainment.
That is what sorts the exceptional writers from the mediocre.