Why We Love The Taste Of Fear in Horror Movies
Horror Movies – So Why on Earth do we go to watch horror films? Would any of us describe it as a truly pleasurable experience? When they don’t work, we laugh at the poor plots, the unconvincing special effects and the equally unconvincing acting, and we walk out shaking our heads. When they do work, they send us into a cold sweat. We can’t sit comfortably or relax for the entire movie. We don’t even look at the screen, but we don’t look away either. They give us nightmares that stay with us for weeks. So what is it about going to the cinema and sharing a few hours of terror with other people that actually appeals to us?
Horror Movies & Romance?
There’s a long standing belief that horror movies are a great choice for a date night. We think it was mostly men who were asked for their opinion on that matter! And yet there must be something to it. You can tell which films couples are going to see together, because they make a lot of money. Two tickets cost more than one, after all! One needs only look at the recent success of the film “IT” for an example of why the genre is so popular with film studios.
But why would a young couple, at the start of their relationship, choose to spend their spare time and their hard earned cash being terrorized by a tale of a supernatural clown? Clowns are terrifying enough without having them hiding in storm drains, and biting people’s arms off, but it’s precisely that terror that seems to work in the favour of a blossoming romance. People who are afraid cling to each other. People who cling to each other become more comfortable having close physical contact. Once you’ve established close physical contact, you’re a little closer to that first kiss. Is that manipulative? Possibly, but it’s been going on since the 1950s and we doubt it’s going to stop any time soon.
Horror Movies & Adrenaline Rush?
There’s a school of thought which says watching horror movies may actually be good for you. In fact, there’s more than a school of thought, people have actually gone and asked scientists about it. A little adrenaline is good for the heart. It gets the pulse racing, sharpens your mind, and kicks you into ‘fight or flight’ mode. Everybody needs a little thrill in life occasionally. For some people, that comes in the form of skydiving or white water rafting. For others, it can be something as simple as visiting online casinos to play slot games like Vegas-Slots. And then there are those who rely on a Horror Movies to give them a sense of thrill and danger.
There really is nothing like a suspense scene in Horror Movies. The reason that the music from “Psycho” is so iconic all these years later is because it put us all on the edge of our seats. Research done by the University of Westminster in the UK has actually proven that horror movies actually help us to burn calories. One person in testing jumped so hard whilst watching “The Shining” that they burned as many calories as they’d have managed if they’d spent forty minutes walking. We’re not sure that we’d recommend horror films as a replacement for your exercise routine, and we definitely haven’t seen them suggested as part of a healthy diet, but maybe there is something to be said for the value of a thrill. Maybe, subconsciously, we’ve always known that we’re giving our bodies a little workout when we watch “The Conjuring”. Maybe that’s why we keep coming back for more Horror Movies?
Horror Movies – Do We See Something Of Ourselves In Them?
This one’s a little less pleasant to think about, but it may be true nonetheless. Part of the appeal of Horror Movies may plug in to the same part of the human psyche that’s fascinated by serial killers. We’re all interested in what makes another human tick; especially what motivates and drives someone completely evil. We even find them charming, in a dark way. We all wanted Hannibal Lecter to escape at the end of “Silence of the Lambs”. We don’t go to watch the latest installment of “Friday the 13th” because we’re fascinated by the supporting cast. We want to see Jason. Specifically, we want to see Jason murder people. So what does that say about us?
Horror movies – much like many genres of film when they’re done well – tell us something about the human condition. They take our fears, magnify them, and let them play out in a safe environment. Try watching “Arachnophobia” with someone who’s terrified of spiders. They won’t enjoy it, but they’ll still be happier than they would be if they were sat in front of a nest of real spiders.
Horror movies let us explore the worst facets of ourselves without pushing ourselves over the edge. We all know movies aren’t real. And because of that, we can indulge them. We can go looking for the monster under the bed. We can probe into the darkness of the shadows. We can present ourselves with killer clowns, and killer robots, and a thousand things inbetween. In the same way that an inoculation prevents a disease by giving us a tiny dose of it, horror movies do the same with our fears. They give us a little, so we can cope with more.
Ultimately, though, perhaps we’re all just suckers for punishment. We can’t help ourselves. We know we’re probably not going to enjoy the ride. We know we’re going to scream and cry. But we strap ourselves in and go along with it anyway. It’s a fun way to pass a few hours, scare ourselves witless, and then breathe a sigh of relief when we leave the cinema. Because once we get outside we’re safe. Vampires, ghosts, ghouls and monster’s don’t exist in the real world, and they’re not out there to get us… Or are they …?
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