Hello, fellow horror-movie buffs. If you’re reading this, you’ve probably stumbled upon the same predicament I have: where does my obsession with horror stem from? Am I weird for wanting to watch these movies for the sake of "entertainment"?
Friends who don't share the same affection I do for the genre have nervously remarked that I may subconsciously be waching these movies as way of collecting knowledge for a future kill. Surely that's not the case... right?
Maybe it's the adrenaline rush we get from being scared senseless that makes us go horror-crazy or, the suspense-clad build up that gets our blood rushing. Or, are we all actually destined to become serial killers in the future? Ok, that last one was just an exaggeration. I think.
No but for real though, all jokes aside. Why are we obsessed with watching grotesque depictions of violent acts or chillingly supernatural occurrences, on the silver screen without even batting an eyelash? Okay, maybe some of us bat the occasional eyelash and hide behind the occasional pillow but, my point is: if it scares us, why do we keep going back for more?
Well, there are many theories and ideas circulating on why we horror freaks are the way we are. Here are some theories we found particularly interesting:
This theory describes watching horror as a sort of extreme sport. How? Well, the same amount of adrenaline is involved in both the activities, and they both evoke the same emotion: fear. Personally, I like this explanation. It makes me seem more edgy, rather than creepy.
Your body gets pumped with high levels of dopamine and adrenaline and, this may be the cause for that borderline euphoric feeling during horror movies. That explains the fear part. Now for the “controlled” bit. When we watch horror movies, we’re aware that we’re in no immediate danger and, that we’re safe. Hence, controlled fear.
According to the famous Greek philosopher, Aristotle, the fascination with getting scared, may in some way act as a sort of release to some people. That is, they watch horror movies to purge their negative emotions. This is what he called 'Catharsis'.
There could be some truth to this, as we know that some people take up boxing to get rid of pent up anger and frustration. There is still not enough conclusive evidence to back this train of thought but, we do believe there could in fact be a correlation between watching horror movies and reduction of fear.From my experience of spending countless hours being glued to the television watching way too many horror films, I can tell you that after a while, they just stop being scary.
Just me? Oh well...
The "Good" Stress Theory
Now, everyone knows that there's a significant amount of stress involved in watching horror movies. Research indicates that manageable amounts of stress could actually prove to be beneficial for your immune system, through generating a more effective immune response against bigger threats. In short, every time we subject ourselves to a horror flick, it's like we're giving ourselves small stress injections that improve our resilience.
According to this theory, horror movies make you healthier. If that's not reason enough to start binging all the horror movies on Netflix, Idk what is.
I hope that helped you understand why you like horror. I know it helped me. And, now I'm off to go watch the next creepy, eerie, horror flick that's bound to freak all my friends out.
Catch you on the flip side!