Wednesday, March 1, 2017

What does my craving for horror films say?

My weekends are never too thrilling, except for the fact that I find myself watching something in the horror genre almost every Sunday. 

**  (Side Note) This weekend, I plan to watch Peele's Get Out, which actually got a 100% on Rotten Tomatoes. ** 

I absolutely adore horror movies, and even when I'm sure I can predict the ending, I find myself jumping at every corner. 

As I read our section on Stephen King's Why We Crave Horror, I began to look more into his original article. I found that he first talked about our love for horror as a rollercoaster ride. But within further reading he starts talk about how horror films appeals to our insanity or mental illnesses. 

The reading discusses that horror deliberately appeals to the worst in us. For myself, I tend to walk away from the gore-side of horror, but I do find myself getting attached to a person feeling trapped in a situation (I'm not quite sure what that says about me)

Looking at other reason's of why we love horror, I found that Dr. Glenn Walter’s Journal of Media Psychology talks about how the tension, relevance and unrealism are what attracts us to horror.

Now I thought back to a movie series like The Purge. A silly film series that is based on a future dystopia America where every year there is a 12-hour period during which all crime, including murder, is legal.

I think the third movie of the film series did well because of the connection it had to the most recent election. The two main characters seemed inspired by our two presidential candidates: the male candidate with his lunatic ideas and the blonde with a target on her back. I felt in this a real reflection to Walter's thought of relevance. 
Personally, though some of it might reflect back to our psychological desires or pressures, I believe it’s a distraction from our everyday lives. It’s also a way to get our adrenaline pumping without putting ourselves in danger or exercising, like a roller coaster or bungee-jumping might.

What horror film have you connected back to your life? 

Do you think we have a psychological connection to horror films?

1 comment:

  1. I had never considered having a psychological connection to a horror film until you asked. The first movie that comes to mind is "The Shining." I was young when I saw this film for the first time - probably age 12. Starring in the film is Jack Nicholson. Interestingly, we watched the film as a family on a VHS machine my father was able to borrow from work on some weekends. Even more interesting, he worked at the Utah State Hospital in Provo, formerly the Utah Territorial Insane Asylum.

    I believe I felt a connection to the film because it is about a writer who has a mental break and turns on his family. As one who frequented the grounds of the state mental hospital, I was raised to be understanding, tolerant and kind to the mentally ill. The parts of the film that scared me were the sighting of ghosts and the unpredictables designed to make the viewer jump.

    The film I felt most afraid watching was "The Sixth Sense." Again, the appearance of ghosts or dead people and unanticipated moments scared me. And though I hated the film for scaring me the way it did - I was afraid to be alone for days - the experience of watching it was thrilling.

    The ability to evoke such a spectrum of emotion, I believe - and I think Stephen King would back me up - is part of the art of horror filmmaking.

    To answer your question about psychological connection, I would suggest it is the same for the masses: we enjoy the thrill. And just as unpredictable as the scares in a horror film, it is predictable that there will be scenes that make us jump, gasp, hold our breath, and occasionally even scream.

    Horror films allow us an opportunity to react out loud, in public, and for good reason. They provide a contagious thrill that you refer to as a "rollercoaster ride." They also allow us to face the ugly parts of humanity and neutralize our fears by experiencing them in an entertainment setting.