Why do we like scary movies?

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Parents can’t take kids to see them. The elderly usually dislike them. Most folks can’t even stomach the contents. Based on an article titled “Effects of Watching Horror Movies,” the side effects of scary movies Include anxiety, sleeplessness, fear, phobia and even mental trauma. Yet, we still flock to movie theaters to catch the latest scary movie. Why do we pay to scare ourselves sick? “No doubt, there’s something really powerful that brings people to watch these wings, because it’s not logical,” says Joanne Cantor, PhD, director of the Center for Communication Research at university of Wisconsin, Madison.

Cantor suggests that there isn’t a very clear-cut answer, so I asked this question to my classmates, and most of the answers were along the line of “l go for the thrill and the fun. “Noon Park). In fact, studies have shown that adrenaline Junkies get real pleasure out of being scared by horror movies, but in a variety of ways they may be risking their physical and mental health without even knowing it. Kathy Benjamin states that “When we attach an intense scene in a film our heart rate and blood pressure increase. This can and does lead to heart attacks, in people who have cardiovascular weaknesses. Thus, watching scary movies increases our adrenaline, but not necessarily in a good way. It does provide the thrill ride, but studies have even proven that horror movies are a “contributing factor [towards a] depressive state. “(BenJamin). Cantor found that nearly 60% reported that something they had watched before age 14 had caused disturbances in their sleep or waking life. Simply put, in a short essay “Why We Crave Horror Movies” written by Stephen King, “When we pay our money and seat ourselves at tenth-row center in a theater showing a horror movie, we are daring the nightmare. (King) All right, so movies are not exactly an innocent thrill ride, but exactly why do we even choose to watch them In the first place? It turns out, that some reasons are obvious and clear. Alan Heeler, a psychologist at Moodiness Medical Center in New York, argues that It could be as simple as the fact that we really Like strong emotions, and fear Is one of them. Horror movies are Like roller coasters. A horror movie causes us to scream Like the way we may scream when the roller coaster twists through a complete 360 or plows through a lake at the bottom of the drop (King).

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Horror movies provide thrill and a place to let go of emotions, Just Like how many scream their heart out on roller coasters. In fact, Ryan Riviera states that the “roller-coaster ride of emotions that happen when fleeing scary movies can lead to the secretion of certain feel-good chemicals In the brain such as dopamine. Serotonin and glutamate. ” These chemicals may lead to the creation of adrenaline, loud actually bring stress and anxiety down. So thus, we watch horror movies for the same reasons that we ride roller coasters, “to show that we can, that we are not afraid. (King) We watch horror to prove that we can simply “ride this roller coaster. ” (King). The roller coaster of emotions from movies actually causes us to feel happy, Just like the thrill of a roller coaster ride makes us happy. Nathan Carlson states that “Scary movies make us happy, make us laugh, make us cry, or, in this case, scare us to death. Of course, there are bad effects to horror movies Just as there are ad side effects to riding roller coasters. But because we live in a more civilized world, we rarely get the opportunity to put away our “penchant [for being] adults” (King).

We don’t go to watch scary movies every week, like we don’t visit six flags every week. But when we do go, scary movies provide us with opportunities to “allow our emotions a free rein… Or no rein at all” (King). Whitney Evans states “horror movies offer an escape [that] allows the viewer a thrilling experience without placing them in danger” which is also exactly what a roller coaster does. Horror movies can revive an emotional release for the “not-so-socially-acceptable emotions we all feel on occasion” (Evans).

Horror movies not only provide the thrill but also make us happy. Horror movies are “[An] invitation to lapse into simplicity, irrationality, and even outright madness. ” (King) Horror movies provide the perfect opportunities to “become children again, seeing things in black and white” (King). The roller coaster theory also applies to any situation dealing with fear, including Gem and Scout. Even though they feared the Raddled house, they often go near and play games about it, imply to show that they can.

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Why do we like scary movies?. (2017, Oct 07). Retrieved from


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