I fail to understand why some people have a big appetite for scary movies; they will not leave a single chance of watching something scary – a movie, a TV show, a story something or the else. They’ll watch horror films on opening day, perhaps first day – first show, they have stacks of DVD collections of horror films which they’ll watch again and again. So, why’s this obsession for horror films? All those horror films like The Exorcist, Let the right one in, Vampire, Don’t look now, Rosemary’s Baby (English) or Krishna Cottage, Phoonk, Naina, Red Rose, Hotel (Hindi) are Box Office Hits! These movies impact the viewers in different way either leave them troubled or keep them amused.
Some people like scary movies because they get pleasure from the adrenaline rush in their bodies, in fact they feel relived after seeing a horror film. Supporters of such movies feel they’re just safe entertainment. Personally I feel, some typical personality type of people love watching horror.
According to Prof. Glenn Spark, a professor and associate head at the Brian Lamb School of Communication at Purdue University, who did a research on this topic, one reason for the attraction is how you feel afterthe movie. This is called the excitation transfer process. Glenn Sparks’s research found that when people watch frightening films, their heart rate, blood pressure and respiration increases. Some people are simply energized and they enjoy high levels of physiological arousal. According to Spark’s literature, about 10 percent of the population enjoys the adrenaline rush. This is a big number.
You’ll see many young couples rushing to theaters to watch horror movies; Dr. Spark says that more men enjoy scary movies; this might be because men are portrayed braver than women. They enjoy frightening things and may derive social gratification from not letting a scary film bother them. And they can show off their courage to their girlfriends; and perhaps that’s reason for young couples thronging to watch horror films.
According to Paul J. Patterson, an assistant professor of English and co-director of Medieval, Renaissance, and Reformation Studies at Saint Joseph’s University, the horror genre of movies addresses our archetypal fears. You can see throughout history how each generation has defined ‘horror’ and it turns largely on the idea that something outside of our perceptive and something that threatens us constantly. Perhaps this is the reason that after 2001 till now bombing is theme of many horror films (9/11).
Another research has proved that people who enjoy horror films are also more responsive to dopamine hormone, which is produced in high-intensity situations, and is released as a result of rewarding, and sometimes sinful experiences, such as during sex, alcohol consumption, and use of drugs such as of heroin and cocaine.
You will see children also rushing to the movie halls like adults. Spark’s research results show that after the film is over, the physiological arousal lingers on for some time, but we are not aware of it. Many times after watching a horror flick, people experience positive emotions. In sense, while horror frightened you, some other factors like being with your best friends, or what you ate in the interval, things like this intensify after the movie and you recall having a great time. It can be the other way, if you go with somebody who’s in a grumpy mood it can be the other way round. This happens because your lingering arousal heightens any emotions you experience while watching the movie. In many instances, the negative feelings have influenced people to skip a scary flick.
As human we all love some novelty in our lives. Therefore, terrorism, horror, thriller and violence occasionally attract us. We all like some novelty in life. It makes us curious about facts. Sometimes we like to watch gory accident scenes, terror attack scenes on the news channels because we don’t get to see them often. Horror movies show us dark, twisted, and just plainly frightful storylines and some people want to go along for the psychological ride.
We have this fascination of being scared. It does bring moments of relief in us – of being spared of the worst things in our life. While some people watch horror films for technical reasons; for special effects. While for some it relieves them of looming worries such as financial crisis, a break-up somebody’s sickness in family etc. Unconsciously the minds of viewers compare their problems to the movie character’s problems and it does boost their self confidence to some extent.
In short, there is not only one single reason which can explain why people like horror movies as each person can have his own personal reason but in the end all reasons can be grouped under one main objective, and that is the desire to feel good about one’s self.
The horror genre of movies will remain as a constant cultural trend; because it has its roots from ancient times in all cultures. Haven’t we heard those horror stories from our parents, nannies, grandparents, and others which were quite gratifying at times? Since films are an integral part of our culture and have an ability of giving us instant gratification of any emotion, horror films will have their share of movie goers always. We enjoy excitement, even if it’s from a negative source.
People want to be disturbed when they go to see a horror movie. Eli Roth.
The horror genre of movies will remain as a constant cultural trend; because it has its roots from ancient times in all cultures. Haven’t we heard those horror stories from our parents, grandparents, and others which were gratifying? Since films are an important part of our culture and have an ability of giving us instant gratification of any emotion, horror films will have their share of movie goers always. We enjoy excitement, even if it’s from a negative source.