02.12.2018
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Terribly interesting

Why we love horrors

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Psychologists, sociologists and film critics were studying this paradox from various perspectives. However, they couldn’t definitely answer the question why it happened like that. Nevertheless, they elaborated several theories explaining this phenomenon.

Theory 1. Fire with fire

A scene from the "Anabelle" (2014)
A scene from the «Anabelle», 2014

Fear is a protective reaction of any living being, which aids him to survive. However, if fear is not controlled or suppressed, it turns into the phobia. As a rule, phobia is connected to something unknown and unexplainable. Here one can remember plots of traditional horror movies. Ghosts, devils, damnations or maniacs, insane and cannibals – all of them are included into any horror and serve a particular function of phobia trigger. In other words, focal elements of a scary movie are external impeti which bring on fear. As the psychiatrist Roman Suleymanov said, the best way to overcome fear is to experience it. Therefore, horror movies give people an opportunity to tackle with their anxiety, even unconscious.

Theory 2. The cat’s out of the bag

A scene from the «Friday the 13th», 2009

A human is not only a social being but also biological one. It’s typical for him a tendency to violence which is explained by natural necessity to defend from enemies. Aggressive behaviour, as filosofer O.Spengler and zoophychologist K. Lorenc guess, helped a person to survive in the evolution process. However, nowadays people have no necessity to kill. Besides, harsh social boundaries restrict and suppress aggressive actions. Yet human nature works like that: it is complicated to suppress aggression, it is much easier to take it out. Subconsciously a spectator can associate himself to a killer. In that case scary movies become a «vaccine» against violence. They simulate situations which will hardly appear in reality, and, besides, they enable a person to «try on» a maniac role.

Theory 3. Just for fun

A scene from the "Saw 7" (2010)
A scene from the «Saw 7», 2010

From science perspective, during the strong emotional troubles human brain oozes powerful neuromediators: oxytocin and dopamine – hormones requesting for the happiness and pleasure feelings. Horror movies is a peculiar emotional shock for the brain. That’s why a person might feel satisfaction after watching a scary film. Despite it sounds paradoxically, in that case horror movies is a kind of ride which is more likely to cheer you up then to scary.

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