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Why Do We Like Watching Scary Films?

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https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/in-excess/201510/why-do-we-watching-scary-films

psychologytoday.com

Why Do We Like Watching Scary Films?
Why do we love to watch scary horror films? Some psychologists claim people go to horror films because they want to be frightened or they wouldn't do it twice. You choose your entertainment because you want it to affect you. But what else does the literature tell us about the psychology of horror movies?

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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...

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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 sensat...

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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...

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SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:

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. 

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...

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 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.

"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 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.

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Why some people savor scary movies, and others hate them

Why some people savor scary movies, and others hate them
  • The Excitation Transfer Process. How you feel AFTER the movie.  When watching frightening films, the heart rate, blood pressure and respiration increases. After the film, the ...