With Halloween right around the corner, this is officially scary-movie season -- the one time of the year where it's okay for the "normals" to actually sit down and watch a slasher flick or a ghost movie without feeling like they're slumming. It's also the time of year when many of those same folks try to figure out the allure of horror films -- why do some of us like watching death and violence so much, they wonder? It's not a new question -- but the guys at Filmmaker IQ have put together a really interesting video
highlighting countless psychological theories behind our fascination with fear. You're guaranteed to learn something from this 14-minute clip (and you can prove it by taking the quiz at the end), but this isn't like dry school learning -- this is learning about horror movies, which is always fun.
I'll not recount all the different theories espoused in the piece here -- but rest assured that this overview covers everything from Aristotle to modern-day film theory from the likes of David Skal. What we quickly learn is that there's no real definitive one-size-fits-all answer to why people like me love these sorts of movies. Instead, the piece points out that the brain, and human beings in general, are complicated organisms that are constantly evolving and changing. What makes sense one day, for one film, might not apply at all tomorrow, or after switching discs in your Blu-ray player.
While that might be disheartening to the folks who love to deal in black-and-white absolutes, know that at least a few pieces of conventional wisdom hold true -- girls really do like boys who aren't scared during horror films, for example.
The Psychology of Scary Movies from FilmmakerIQ.com on Vimeo.
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