Around this time of year, people are craving to be scared out of their minds. It’s a fact that horror is one of the most popular movie genres for film renting in October.
Although present-day horror films are pretty different from those of the early 1900s (think ‘Frankenstein’), the idea of horror stories dates back to early creation myths. Much of what people long ago could not understand was explained using myths of demons and darkness.
Ashley Handler, a junior majoring in psychology, feels that scaring people is the main point of horror films.
‘A good horror movie has a lot of gore and blood and preferably has body parts removed,’ Handler said. ‘It has to shock you in such a way that it makes your heart skip a beat.’
According to the article ‘Why People Love Horror Movies,’ in a study done by Eduardo Andrade of University of California, Berkley and Joel B. Cohen of University of Florida, they disagree with research about why people like horror movies. Typically, researchers believe that either viewers aren’t really scared by the movie, but excited, or that viewers sit through the terror so they can experience a sense of relief by the end of the film. Instead, Andrade and Cohen feel that horror movie viewers are just happy to be unhappy and ‘experience both positive and negative emotions simultaneously.’
Although each horror movie is different, whether in plot or bloodiness level, an essential way to achieve a certain level of horror from the audience is the music.
Dave Walters, a sophomore majoring in philosophy, politics and law, agrees that music is crucial.
‘It sets the tone and makes you know something’s coming, but if the movie’s good you won’t know exactly what,’ Walters said. ‘Good music keeps you on edge.’
But some students, like Samantha Masone, an undeclared freshman, see no point in wasting time on horror movies.
‘I hate the dark and all those things that pop out at me,’ Masone said. ‘It’s all the music and element of surprise, I’m not for that. I’d rather know what is going to happen before I start watching a movie than be surprised.’
Oleg Brodskiy, also an undeclared freshman, agrees and personally hates horror movies.
‘I enjoy being entertained and horror movies don’t entertain me,’ Brodskiy said. ‘They freak me out. I don’t like the blatant gore and eye ripping. I don’t want an anatomy lesson as I’m watching a movie.’
While horror movies are the norm for Halloween season, there are still plenty of other things to watch if the genre isn’t for you. Besides, do you really want to worry about what’s lurking in your closet? Probably not.