Trick or treat: The psychology of Halloween and horror movies
A love of horror movies is associated with an underlying dimension of entertainment preferences, dubbed "the dark factor".
Those with dark tastes value intensity, edginess and rebellion. Their personalities lean towards risk-taking, antagonism, imagination, and tough-mindedness.
SIMILAR ARTICLES & IDEAS:
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 very complex ideas and creative techniques can manifest themselves—and if you can get past that very cliched view, you realize there’s an embarrassment of riches in the genre.” Malcolm Turney
... 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.
Halloween’s origins date back to the ancient Celtic festival of Samhain, in the area that is now Ireland. On the night of October 31 they celebrated Samhain, when it was believed that the ghosts of the dead returned to earth.
During the celebration, the Celts wore costumes, typically consisting of animal heads and skins, and attempted to tell each other’s fortunes.
The celebration of Halloween was limited in colonial New England, but as the beliefs and customs of different European ethnic groups and the American Indians meshed, a distinctly American version of Halloween began to emerge.
In the second half of the nineteenth century, America was flooded with Irish immigrants, fleeing the Irish Potato Famine. This helped to popularize the celebration of Halloween nationally.