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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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.
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.