Monday, January 25, 2016

Opinion: Why do People Like Horror Movies?

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By: Emma B.

Disclaimer: This article is my personal opinion, I’m just going to suggest some of the possible reasons you can like horror-movies.

With the winter storms moving in and people being frustrated about missing school, we all begin to scream at the mere notion of someone making a Freddy Kroger joke. Or how about gamers, we're not out of the woods, many of us are ducking under the covers when Five Nights at Freddy's lore is mentioned. So with that fact, why do we like horror, especially horror movies and games? It seems like we'd hate them, especially the overly gory ones, and yet they seem to be making all the money in the box-offices, but the question is why?

Why do People like being scared?

Well, I suppose to answer the question of why people like horror-movies, we have to figure out why people like being scared. One reason is that people like the thrill of things, especially younger people. Though horror-movies are loved and seen by all ages (same with books) younger people are more able to see them because well, they're younger. They have more time to spare and sometimes more money than adults meaning they are more likely to see certain horror-films. This is important since younger people like thrills more than adults. This is because young people like adventure, they like fun things. That's why you see kids making up games to play, because they want a thrill rush and can't just escape reality (if only we could though).

There is also the concept of scaring someone into leaning a lesson. This is more apparent in traditional Zombie and Vampire films but the notion still exists today. As for where this honestly sick practice came from, just look to the original Brothers Grimm fairytales. Knowing this, that horror movies are most likely popular for this reason, and that kids love adventure and have more time to see them, now we know why scary stuff in general is popular and the general horror audience, we can tackle the real question, why do people love horror films? To do this without overwhelming myself, we'll divide this genre into 3 main categories, Vampires, Zombies, and other monsters. so without further ado, let's get on with it shall we?

Vampires:
Okay, now these are the classics, Vampires (at least in the last two centuries) were really the first modern monsters to get really popular. Now for the sake of my sanity I'm not going to mention stories like (groan) Twilight since:

A. It's not horror,
and
B. It's rather disgusting and not very well written for what it is, but that's for another day.

Anyway, I suppose the best place is Bram Stoker's Dracula, the go to book when discussing Vampires. Now, in the novel as you'd expect it's fair and gritty but there is also something a bit more subtle. The novel has a lot of commentary on Victorian society, and because the monster is very human-like, it makes people feel like they can become that monster who does horrible things. This is (what I dub) a grim fairytale scare. It's violent, scary, and eerie and yet it scares us into a learning a lesson (which is another reason Twilight sucks; it ruins classic Vampires. Now let's hope Mrs. Meyer doesn't watch the Walking Dead.)

Zombies:
Zombies are very interesting to talk about and my personal favorite of all realms of horror. Apparently I'm not alone though, right now Zombies are the thing, and besides anime everyone seems to like them. One reason for this is that they are so gory. Zombies are gory, dark, and you can't have a Zombie without the gore. This can lead to creativity (hear me out here): how much gore do you want, do you want organs flying out, or do you want to look human still. Truly Zombies are like Burger Kings of horror, letting you have it your way.

Terrible jokes aside, Zombies even without story-telling are amazingly fun to discuss and draw in this regard, it also explains an eighth of fan-art on the Internet. Another reason is that the true monsters in Zombie films aren't really the Zombies, but rather the people running from them. In Zombie horror, oftentimes characters are stripped of all basic technology and left with two things, instinct and the few weapons they know how to use. People in these stories are pushed to the brink and often times their true selves are revealed, and as sad as it is, many of these true selves are complete monsters, sometimes even more than the Zombies. Yet when society is non-existent, does it really matter? I feel questions like these are what makes Zombie movies appeal to so many different people. These psychological questions make us think about our society now, and how really in some respects it isn't much better than the world with Zombies, and that is scarier to think about than some beast/shell of a human trying to chase us.

Other Monsters/ Serial Killers:

Okay since these kind of fit into the same category and yet they are slightly different. I'm going to tackle them in two sub groups.

Serial Killers/Psychopaths:

You know Five Nights at Freddy's. Pretty fun game, but the back-story about a crazed child murderer that still drives theorists into Toon-town is really what appeals to everyone. On that note, let's talk about this sub-genre. Now, serial killers are scary for a lot of people for one reason: they most of the time have no heart and even sometimes no soul. Now granted, some serial killers (even in real life) have many reasons for doing what they do, but the strong lot of them do it because it simply because to them it's fun, and the fact that's it not some mutated creature killing people makes it feel more real than ever, speaking of which:

Other Monsters:

Now, this kind of horror is kind of a hybrid of Zombie and Vampire themes. These tales (think Frankenstein) often have dark and mature moments to scare the audience into learning a lesson. However, the hybrid factor comes in with the humans (what would cinema be without ‘em?) In many of these stories, the humans reacting to the monsters can often times turn into the bigger monsters, trying to understand everything.

Conclusion:
In the end, why people like horror-films is truly up to opinion. I have just suggested some of the possible reasons you can like horror-movies. But in the end it's important to remember that horror movies (as with any genre) are mostly there for fun. In the end, if you like the genre, enjoy it and for everyone else, nighty nighty.


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