Why I Love Horror Movies Essay

In the video “The Horror, The Horror,” Jason Zinoman says that people watch scary movies for the “really intense emotional experiences” and that “you never feel more ‘in the moment’ than when terrified at a horror movie.” Do you agree? Do you watch horror movies? Which are your favorites?

In “What Spooks the Masters of Horror?” the article that the video accompanies, Jason Zinoman precedes his list of horror filmmakers’ favorite movies by describing the difficulty of scaring viewers who have “already seen it all”:

One of the great things about childhood is how easy it is to access the distinct delight of being scared out of your mind. Adults just have more trouble getting goosebumps. That’s because experience is the enemy of true terror. You may shriek the first time you see “A Nightmare on Elm Street,” but the second or third time you might only shudder. That’s why dedicated horror fans sometimes have a hard time finding a really nerve-rattling movie. They’ve already seen it all.

Those who make horror movies may face the greatest challenge. They know what goes into the engineering of a scary sequence, and they have a good idea what’s coming around that corner. And since they presumably went into this line of work in part because of the pleasures of trembling in the dark, they have seen more than their share of horror movies.

The end of summer has lately been a bonanza for chillers: this month has already seen “Fright Night” and “Final Destination 5.” Still to come are “Shark Night 3D” (Sept. 2) and “Don’t Be Afraid of the Dark” (Friday), a remake of a 1973 haunted-house tale that Guillermo del Toro, a writer and producer of the new film, has called the scariest television movie he ever saw.

Students: Tell us what movies you think are the scariest ever made. Does your list include any of the movies mentioned by the filmmakers? What makes your picks for scariest movie so frightening? Do you think the best horror movies are necessarily the most frightening? Why or why not?


Students 13 and older are invited to comment below. Please use only your first name. For privacy policy reasons, we will not publish student comments that include a last name.

Questions about issues in the news for students 13 and older.

I cannot stand horror, at all. And I do not understand why others do, despite reading articles like this to find out their reasoning. I see the reasons given, but cannot seem to accept them as such. These reasons do not make sense to me, at all. I understand what is talked about but I just can't see those things as a reason to like horror. I want to understand but I just can't do it, and I'm wondering if anyone could help with that?

Below I will attempt to explain what goes on in my head, and what I struggle with. I really hope someone here kinda understands.

I guess I'll clear up some stuff about myself so hopefully, if anyone replies, they understand what they're dealing with.

I'll just warn you here, this will be long. because I want to try explaining how my views work. I apologize in advance for it likely being a bit repetitive.

I'm 19 years old, and have a form of autism. This causes my reasoning to be pretty black and white in quite some scenarios. Good or bad, wrong or right, this or that, etc.

I see things in a different way than most people I know, which is why I struggle to see the reasons given here as reasons. Most people base their views (Opinion) of things on their emotions, their feelings about said subject and what said subject makes them feel, They go from there, meaning they can see horror, which is not at all about positive or good things, as positive, I think.

I'm the other way around. I base my feelings on what I see. Horror, when seen quite literally, and without applying any personal feelings it may or may not give, is "bad". It involves scary, negative and horrible things.

Now, to attempt making you, reader, understand what I experience, try seeing horror as just that. The negative, the bad. The simple overanalytic view without applying any experiences or feelings whatsoever. Then doesn't that sound bad? If you can understand what I mean, you'll agree, it does seem undeniably bad if seen in the way I see things.

So, I see it as bad. It's about bad things, makes people go through negative emotions, etc. It does not make sense to me why one would want that. It's bad.

Now, "bad" to me is a single thing. just bad. black and white views. good is good, bad is bad. You should do good, you shouldn't do bad. To give an example of what I mean: I see both rape (Sexual assault, abusement, against one's will, etc) and pranks (Making someone go through negative emotions for amusement) as bad. And do not see one as more acceptable than the other, both are bad.
Now before I get comments defending pranks, I say again: black and white views. The amount of "bad" means nothing to me, it was there and bad is bad. The fact that they feel fine or even good afterwards also means nothing to me, because in my eyes going through bad to get good is stupid, one should do something to instantly get good. I fail to see the point of going through the bad first. plus, if it involves doing something "bad", it is bad to me. The result does not matter, bad is bad.

Then adding the fact that experiencing positive emotions afterwards makes no sense whatsoever to me, you did bad, so you feel bad, that makes sense to me. Here again I have the problem that everyone else seems to act out of emotion, their feelings. Doing what makes them feel good, because, well, it makes them feel good, no matter what it is. I in this case do not understand that, if something is (if seen in the way of thinking mentioned earlier) bad, you feel bad about it. that's it. I will simply not allow myself to experience any form of positivity if it involves something I deem bad. I try feeling the correct emotions, want everything to make sense.

So, when someone likes horror, I see it as them experiencing positive emotions towards something bad, which does not make sense. I then feel like the person should change, make sense.

To add, the concept "not for me" is also a difficult thing to me. I can pretty much only apply it to things I do not deem bad, like the Digimon series not being for me because I'm more of a Pokémon fan. In this case the black and white views apply, bad is bad. that's it. Bad is unacceptable. I can't see it as "not for me". I see the thing itself as bad, thus anyone liking it is a bad thing to me. I can't seem to handle different views, or anything for that matter, when it does not fit in the very specific boxes I see as logical.

Again, when I see something as bad, I see it as something that should not be tolerated. To me liking horror is just as bad as raping someone. both are bad. So I have rather extreme feelings/views towards it.

The reasons people give here are things that make no sense to me, as they are based on feelings rather than analyzing, I for example cannot laugh at fail compilations, something bad happens, you do not laugh at that,. if you do,you see fun in other's suffering, which seems bad to me.
I have a desire to be a good person, and want everything else to be good as well. It absolutely sickens me when people do something bad, as I just do not get why they would do it, or accept it being done to them.

Watching horror, to me, is purposely and unnecessarily putting yourself through negative emotions. And if you don't experience bad emotions, then that's wrong, because not feeling them makes no sense.

I have been trying my very best to understand why people like horror, and I just can't seem to do it. To me a reason to see horror as an acceptable thing must take away the Issues I have with it, which is pretty much impossible considering the issue is the very thing itself. I pretty much can't get myself to accept anything that is bad in my eyes, and remember I see things themselves as bad. Rape again for example, no one should do that. That's how I see everything I deem bad, no one should do it. Including liking horror.

So, I really don't know what to do here. I'm really confused and uncertain on what to do, because on one side I feel like a jerk for not accepting people how they are, but on the other I feel like showing any tolerance of allowing it to merely exist is bad, because I see bad as bad and bad as unacceptable.
So I really do not know what to do about this, because pretty much no one sees my views as good, correct or logical, and I feel kinda alone.

Does anyone perhaps know of something that could make me understand why people like horror, to convince me it is not a bad thing to be even remotely tollerant to horror's mere existence? Does anyone understand my views to begin with?

As an extra I'd like to add that I'm actually a very emotional person, despite the typing above making me seem like the opposite. I care a lot about others, a real lot, which only makes it more difficult. When a close friend of mine, someone that matters the world to me, does something I see as bad, I get panicked, stressed, etc. Because my attempts at creating sense don't work. My heart tries to love them as the friends they are, while my mind insists i should be against them for what they did.

I really hope I didn't bother anyone... I'm just, looking for understanding I guess. Is it bad? How I see horror? Am I bad? For thinking like that?

apologies if this bothered anyone,

Dennis.

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