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Why People Like Horror Movies

What brings us back time after time to watch horror movies. Do we like being scared, or is it something else?

It’s the adrenaline rush and the wave of relief once the threat has past that makes being scared so much fun. People come away from these movies feeling really happy and relieved that the horror is over. They remember that they felt good after the movie and equate that to liking horror movies. We don’t like being scared as much as we like feeling good afterwards.

Fear is the emotion that we feel when you realize that your own well being is threatened. People, who go to horror movies, place themselves in the situation that the characters are in the film. They let their imagination run wild and think about the possibility that something like this could happen to them.

In addition to feeling good the adrenaline high often lingers long enough to leave the impression on movie goers minds that screaming and hiding behind the seats was a favorable experience.

For the male of our species, in particular, the attraction of horror movies is the ability to conquer something that seems threatening, even though it poses no real harm. They feel like the hero when they protect their girl friend or wife from the boogieman on the big screen. I think it might be an added bonus that they get to put their arm around us to help keep us feel safe.

There are some people who like horror movies simply because they like the gore and are totally fascinated by the blood and special effects. These same people could eat a sandwich during an autopsy and not think twice about it. For them the attraction is more than the adrenaline it is more of an intellectual thing. It is just something that interests them.

The producers and directors use music and sound effects to build the suspense during the scariest scenes. Can you imagine what some of your favorite horror movies would be like with out the music? Would Jaws have been as scary without the dun unt dun unt dun unt? I still have issues swimming in anything other than a swimming pool because of that noise. Or how about Psycho without the screeching sound from the shower scene?

I will never forget the shear terror I felt when I watched ‘The Hills have Eyes‘ I was 16 years old and I slept on my parents bedroom floor for two night because I was afraid to sleep in my own room. I was so scared when that movie was over I was shaking. For me the adrenaline rush isn’t worth the lingering sense of doom and fear.

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6 Comments
  1. m
    Posted May 25, 2008 at 10:40 am

    i think that horror movies are horrible. i hate the feeling of being scared and insecure. I still don’t get how people like being really scared.

  2. Jarrett
    Posted April 1, 2009 at 12:35 pm

    Biologically speaking, we have the ability to experience pleasant and fearful emotions at the same time. In other words we can enjoy being scared. I can see how your opinion would be true in different cases such as riding by a car crash and staring almost as if we want to see something. Also, the thankful feeling afterwards that it wasn’t you. However, I don’t think it fits with horror movies.

  3. Karl
    Posted October 19, 2009 at 4:25 am

    It’s kinda funny, I like thrillers, but I don’t like horror movies with gore and such. I like to think that it was the way I was raised, where people shouldn’t see other people mutilated or bloody.
    I’m fine with mystery and thrillers and comedy etc. But it’s never been appealing to me to see other people suffer or be killed.

    At least there are still people in this world who do not like mindless violence or acts of extreme cruelty.

    Just because it’s not real makes it okay? Hell no.

    Karl Werner

  4. adam
    Posted May 28, 2010 at 8:12 am

    i love horror movies but for the life of me i can’t of a logical reason why, I don’t enjoy movies like saw or hostel with excessive gore for the sake of it, but movies like the shining, poltergiest, exorcist, dawn of the dead,etc. they use amazing music scores so subtly to create the atmosphere, i enjoy the building of the excitement the anticipation of what will happen with the main heroine character and also the relief at the end of a movie, its a total emotional ride where you can imagine being in the situation, i guess the same reason why women enjoy drama and romance movies, also If you have ever been to a horror convention they are huge, no other genre of movie has such a large eccentric devoted bunch of fans. Maybe they evoke all of our prime prehistoric emotions which we dont get to use enough in this day and age, i hope they keep makling classic horror movies

  5. denise willis
    Posted February 18, 2012 at 8:58 pm

    Thank you Karl, we need more sane people like you in the world.

    Others who may enjoy gory horror torture movies are sick stupid individuals, why would anyone like the trash you people see. These films should be outlawed or put everyone who likes them in mental hospital.

  6. Mulenga
    Posted October 23, 2012 at 10:57 am

    I can’t stand gore and I don’t like seeing people suffer or be killed either. I like horror movies because in triggering a primal and instinctive desire to survive and avoid danger, they invoke feelings of passion and excitement. It’s the thrill that comes from struggling to survive and avoid some kind of danger that I’m attracted to.

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