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Why Do We Like Horror Movies?

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https://now.tufts.edu/articles/why-do-we-horror-movies

now.tufts.edu

Why Do We Like Horror Movies?
As countless people head to theaters to see Michael Myers terrorize Laurie Strode in the eleventh installment of the Halloween series-or load up the DVD player with classics like A Nightmare on Elm Street, Psycho, and Silence of the Lambs, it's worth considering that horror movies aren't just a highlight of the month of October.

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The Horror Movie

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...

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For a work to be classified as horror...

... 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 huma...

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"The beast within"

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 thi...

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Why People Enjoy Horror

  • We consciously disapprove of what the monster is doing, but deep down part of us enjoys seeing the mayhem the monster unleashes.
  • We enjoy rooting for the protagonists as ...

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

Primary factors that make horror films alluring

  • Tension - Generated by suspense, mystery, terror, shock and gore.
  • Relevance - The horror film may relate to personal relevance, cultural meaningfulness, the fea...

Viewing motivators for horror movies

  • Gore watchers typically have low empathy, high sensation seeking, and a strong identification with the killer.
  • Thrill watchers typically have both high empathy and sensation seeking;they identify themselves more with the victims and like the suspense of the film.
  • Independent watchers typically have a high empathy for the victim along with a high positive effect for overcoming fear.
  • Problem watchers typically have high empathy for the victim but are characterized by negative effect (particularly a sense of helplessness).

Theories on why we love to watch horror films

  • Dr. Carl Jung believed horror films “tapped into primordial archetypes buried deep in our collective subconscious – images like shadow and mother play important role in the horror genre”.
  • Horror films are watched as a way of purging negative emotions and/or as a way to relieve pent-up aggression.
  • Horror movies are enjoyed because the people on screen getting killed deserve it.
  • Cultural historian David Skal has argued that horror films simply reflect our societal fears.

Reasons for enjoying or hating scary movies

  • Sensation seeking individuals may enjoy scary movies because it will elevate the heart rate and make the body feel as though it needs to expend energy.
  • Highly sensitive peopl...

Reasons we like watching horror films

  • Horror films entertain us. They act as a means to fend off boredom.
  • The horror film is a way of unravelling evil. Ideas and myths like Frankenstein provide us w...

Why we feel intimidated with abnormal things

1. Thoughts like "what if there actually are ghosts" create excitement.  Seeking this kind of experiences may be a kind of logical reality-check.

2. Such experiences may evoke different types of repressed complexes or ideas that we may wish to process.

3. Freud claims that most people are never completely freed from the fear of darkness, loneliness and silence.