Neuroticism, a personality trait that includes high-anxiety, makes a person move towards psychological themes that are associated with it.
The anxiousness inside the person attracts them to anxiety-inducing movies full of insanity, death, mental illnesses, or supernatural elements.
The horror movie experience gives us a chance to control our anxiety, as we can always cover our eyes, mute the audio, or turn the lights on. If we want more anxiety, we can do the opposite.
Feeling scary for a fictional story can be less consequential and even therapeutic.
Once the movie plot has hooked the audience, the roller-coaster ride can feel good, and one can ‘get in the groove’. Screaming or gasping in horror, imagining the terror of the story that one is indulged in, is the reason why many people find reprieve in horror movies.
Horror movies also act as a training simulation for real-world scenarios, making us better prepared for an apocalyptic situation, for instance.
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