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According to a 2008 study, dopamine is responsible for feelings of accomplishment and rewards, but it's also been linked to averse emotions like fear and dread.
People who enjoy fearful or risky situations tend to get more out of being scared out of their wits because they end up with higher levels of dopamine. Adrenaline, which is also released during dangerous moments, is also perceived as enjoyable by some.
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Horror is a genre that has a reputation of being a low, somewhat trashy, titillating genre that appeals to our basest instincts.
"Its also a wonderful, popular art form through which...
... it has to have a monster, which has to be threatening in some way. The monster is often otherworldly or violates the laws of nature, as in Alien or Jaws—but some argue that a human character can be a monster, as in Psycho, Silence of the Lambs, and Halloween.
The monster generally is otherworldly or violates the laws of nature and is designed to elicit disgust as an emotion.
This is the most popular theory explaining the genre’s popularity and it argues that an unconscious, repressed part of every human is actually savage; that the veneer of civility is very thin, and beneath that is essentially a monster.
Although we consciously disapprove of what the monster is doing, deep down part of us enjoys seeing the murder and mayhem the monster unleashes—because if we could, we would do that.