Why Do We Watch Scary Movies?
When reading To Kill A Mockingbird by Harper Lee, one aspect of the early story really bothered me. Why do Jem and Scout, even though they are deathly scared of the Radley house dare each other to mess with the house? Evidently, the two children are fascinated by the fear, but what really causes us to bring ourselves to fear? While pondering this question, something else that I simply can’t wrap my head around popped up in my mind. What is with scary movies? Horror, theoretically, shouldn’t be successful. By their very gory, visceral nature, horror movies alienate a great number of the movie-going population. 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 things, 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 “I go for the thrill and the fun.”(Joon 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 watch 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...
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