You have to stop telling yourself that you don’t like horror.
As someone who has a deep love for horror films, I find it hard to believe that some people don’t enjoy them.
Understandably, no one likes to be chased down the street by some nightmare demon, or scared by their sibling that was hiding in the closet. That type of fear is an unpleasant emotion, but fear in a controlled environment can be fun.
Center Row breaks down why people enjoy being scared by horror movies in his video. Check it out!
Audiences enjoy the rush of adrenaline that comes from fear, dread, and disgust that horror films deliver better than any other genre.
Everyone is afraid of something, and facing that fear in a controlled environment feels good. The real danger is removed. When you really think about it, there isn’t much difference between action films and horror films. Both give the audience anxiety as the hero runs away and tries to figure out a way to take out the villain.
The only difference is horror films use a strong dose of terror. Terror is the worst level of fear, and horror preys on the fact that the audience craves it (whether you’re aware of it or not).
Horror films can be fun...I mean, some of the best horror movies are also comedies. Slasher films are filled with killers that are gory and almost cartoony. For example, in Evil Dead (2013), the possessed Mia slices her tongue down the middle before saying, "Kiss me, you dirty c***!" You can’t help but squirm in your seat and laugh at how absurd the whole scene is.
It’s like the scene from Monty Python and the Holy Grail where the rabbit is supposed to be the threat, and it looks so innocent until it lunges and starts ripping out everyone’s throats. Although that scene traumatized me and gave me a reason to hate rabbits, it is very funny.
This is the reason that some comedians like Jordan Peele and John Krasinski can flourish in both genres. As the video points out, In both horror and comedy, there is the set-up and a punch line. But in horror, the punchline is an element of terror.
All cinema simulates a certain type of emotion from the audience, and horror films do not shy away from this. Horror explores and processes the horrifying real-life issues and struggles of the everyday person. Films like Get Out display how terrifying casual racism from white people is, while Dawn of the Dead comments on how American society is obsessed with consumerism.
There are taboos that horror films tend to stay clear of (scenes of rape, large-scale disasters, and genocide), but they indirectly talk about these issues through imagery. The baby xenomorph that bursts out of Kane’s (John Hurt) chest in Alien represents rape and forced impregnation, while the film Society deals with issues of classism.
Horror is so adept at tackling the difficult issues surrounding race, gender, sex, family, children, faith, and politics because its purpose is to stare directly into the uncomfortable darkness rather than look away.
Horror films show the good, bad, and the ugly about life. Personally, I don’t watch horror for a feel-good story; horror should be watched for its commentary on social and personal fears. Life is dark and frightening, but horror can either reflect this or make fun of it. Horror films keep us a safe distance from the reality of its world while creating a conversation around its story. This is what makes horror films so enjoyable.
What’s your favorite horror film? Let us know why below!