I used to hate horror films, and would refuse to watch them as I didn’t understand why anyone would want to scare themselves on purpose. But now I love them, and I will even watch them by myself. So what is it about them that makes us keep watching?
To be completely honest, I will still have a cushion nearby to cover my face for particularly bad parts, but I enjoy watching them nonetheless. My sister is exactly the same, and we always watch a scary film together whenever we stay with each other. But as a rule we have to watch something ‘happy’ afterwards to take our minds off it. The question is: do we actually enjoy watching horror films?
I think we do. It’s like going on a rollercoaster when you don’t really like them – you do it for the rush of adrenaline that comes from being scared without actually being in danger. As I truly am scared of rollercoasters, watching horror films is my way of experiencing this. And it is entertaining, especially if it is a film you haven’t seen before – you can try and guess what’s going to happen, although that isn’t always easy and more often than not something will make you jump.
I recently sat down by myself to watch a film called ‘The Strangers’ which involves a group of people with terrifying masks attacking a couple’s house. For some reason I had to keep pausing the video and doing something else, like checking emails or reading a bit of my book. I don’t know what it was that made it different to all the other horror films I have watched, but I just couldn’t bring myself to press the play button. (I did watch the second half a few days later and wondered why I hadn’t just seen it all the first night)
So perhaps as I am getting older my tolerance of horror films is getting lower and lower, or maybe I just felt more scared than usual that day. Either way, I know I will continue to scare myself (as long as I watch something cheerful afterwards!)
Do you like horror films? What is it that you like/don't like about them?