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).

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MORE IDEAS FROM THE ARTICLE

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 fear of death, etc. 
  • Unrealism -The fictional nature of horror films affords viewers a sense of control by placing psychological distance between them and the violent acts they have witnessed.
  • 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.

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RELATED IDEAS

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. 

2

IDEAS

  • 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 they battle the monster.
  • We might not endorse the monster’s actions, but we may find it captivating. 
  • Findind the nature of the monster - its powers, its weaknesses, where it came from  - is a process of discovery that we enjoy.
  • The thrill that fear offers, particularly for “sensation seekers" - especially in a context where there’s no real threat to us.
  • It contains symbolic representations of real fears. 
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 physiological arousal lingers. If you had fun with friends, these positive emotions are intensified. If you did not enjoy the company, negative feelings are intensified.
  • People are wired differently. About 10 percent of the population enjoys the adrenaline rush.
  • Novelty. Everyone pays attention to anomalies in our environment.
  • Gender Socialization. Men often like [scary films] as date movies because women are more likely to seek physical closeness when they’re scared, and men can show off their strength and bravery.
  • Some people enjoy the adrenaline rush of being scared while being safe.

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