I am NOT a fan of horror, thriller or supernatural films. Anything that TOUCHES those topics will be avoided from my sight. But if I do happen to see a trailer of the movie (which I often don’t unless it’s in the beginning of the actual film I’m watching), I’d be intrigued to see the gruesome, disgusting, horrifying, bloody parts of the film with my informative friend, Google.
How ironic, you ask. I know, it even puzzles me why I would pursue to see the bloody part of the film instead of ignoring it all together. However, I’ve came to the conclusion why I, and perhaps other people as well, would be intrigued to see horror movies and enjoy it. A little science and psychology will be incorporated throughout this post.
If you haven’t noticed, we’ve been evolving. Evolving with the ancient idea: learn from your mistakes and other people’s mistakes!
Let’s take another relatable example before I go back to horror movies. Whenever you see a train wreck, a car crash or see a book about action and murder, you would most likely take a look at it. This world isn’t all mediocre, you know!
If we are not intrigued by this horrific event, what is the need for bright orange cones, yellow tape and breaking news? Psychologically, we view events and somewhere inside our brains, we take note of these events.
We also mock and enjoy the scene of it, thinking, ‘WOW! How lucky I was to avoid this situation. Good thing I wasn’t this person who got himself into this mess! So in other words, we’re just reminding ourselves to not let ourselves become part of this situation. We’re experiencing these events through our eyes and our reactions to these “lessons”, are either horrified or amused.
Back to the horror movies.
When settling down in the creaking movie theater seats and the lights are dark with the movie playing as your only source of light, it has already set the mood for the movie as if you were in it. Of course, this applies to all movies but with horror movies, the surreal atmosphere is amplified (shudders).
But are you part of the movie? Are you being challenged by a doll in a tricycle to fight for your life even though it means you have to endure that challenge, making you want to kill yourself?
Are you someone who is asked to summon a demon from a girl? Known as an exorcism?
Obviously not but these movies are supposed to make you feel as if you were them. The number of gallons of blood does not equal the rate of success that horror movie will have. A successful horror film means the entire theater will be gone with the addition of sleepless and scarred horror movie-lovers.
But people who enjoy horror movies means the chill and exhilaration that film gives off makes them feel ‘alive’! Our brain through centuries of evolution continues to feel threatened with our most used senses (seeing the film, hearing the screams from that film) being manipulated around. But that exciting feeling of adrenaline and shock isn’t always scary but sometimes enjoyable.
So whether or not you like horror movies, just remember we’re still not a part of the actual film. Our old brain makes us feel as though we are.