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Don’t Be Scared… Be Terrified! Why We Crave the Chills of Horror Movies

Image by Sammy-Sander from Pixabay

We shut the doors, tremblingly peer between the cushions of the couch, and cry out into the darkness (or maybe that’s just me). However, a peculiar attraction draws us back: the mouthwatering terror of horror films. You might wonder why we put up with spine-tingling screams and jump scares on purpose.

Well, my fellow fright fiends, prepare to delve into the crypt of our fascination with fear.

Image by Sammy-Sander from Pixabay

Scary films appeal to our innate survival instincts, the fight-or-flight response that enabled our cave-dwelling ancestors to survive. We get a primordial pleasure as our hearts race, our adrenaline shoots through us, and the monster chases the unfortunate protagonist (or is it the protagonist chasing the monster? That’s the beauty of suspense!). It is a secure place where we can face our worries and come out of the experience with the personification of our worst fears (relatively undamaged).

This YouTube video explores the reasons behind people’s fascination with horror films.

Life can be stressful, let’s face it. Horror films provide us with a safe and controlled outlet for our concerns, making them cathartic. Perhaps by witnessing the poor characters battle their actual and figurative demons, we are able to face our own in a way that seems… manageable. Who doesn’t enjoy seeing a well-deserved villain get their comeuppance, even if it’s a little messy?

The aforementioned video parodies how scary films anticipate our responses.

Unless you’re into that sort of thing, horror films are designed to be seen with others. The shared experience of terror fosters a certain kind of solidarity. After a particularly gory moment, we gather together, peering through our fingers, and burst into frightened laughing. It’s an odd kind of kinship, a tie created in the furnace of fear.

To be honest, there are those among us who like the riddle-like elements of horror films. We attempt to guess when the next jump fright will occur, interpret the cryptic clues, and solve the monster’s secret. We compete with the characters (and occasionally the director) in our mental game of cat and mouse to figure out what will happen next. There are several ways to learn about horror films; one such way is to listen to this podcast on Spotify.

Therefore, don’t be scared to enjoy the delicious chills the next time you find yourself pulled to the darker side of films. A distinct combination of tension, excitement, and even a hint of dark humour may be found in horror films. You never know; you might even discover a few things about yourself (like the extent you’ll go to avoid a scary basement). I have a date with a good scream (and maybe a bucket of popcorn) if you’ll pardon me now.

So gather some friends, get some popcorn and snacks, and enjoy my podcast, “Horror movies Greeks,” which is obviously about horror movies.

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