The Craze for the Horror Film Genre

What’s all the craze with horror films? Why would someone take the time out of their precious day to sit down on their La-z-Boy to watch gory and psychedelic visuals of monsters creeping in the dark and innocent individuals dying in unsavoury ways? Most people ridge on one side of the spectrum, and pretty stubbornly. Either these films cause them grave anxiety when they’re away from the theatre, fearful that some boogey man is going to come charging at them when they arrive home past dusk, or that some out-of-this-world supernatural force is going to suddenly make a ruckus all through the night. Others crave for the next best horror film, waiting attentively for those trailers to pop up on their television screen. Halloween is the best invented holiday for these avid viewers, as they get to live out all aspects of a haunted life. We’ll be honest, if you’re a criminal defence lawyer, especially a New York-based Handy Lawyer attorney, then these films do not phase you one bit. It turns out, some of these films are not all that scary. Why so? Because most are not based on reality. What is even scarier are the stories and tribulations that actual, real-life humans have enacted upon. Those are the stories that should scare the living daylight out of you.

Why the Love for Horror?

To run in the same vein of last week’s post about psychoanalysis, let’s discuss the psychology of why those who live on the far right side of the spectrum–meaning they crave for anything horrific during their spare Netflix-watching time–love to watch what they watch. A researcher by the name of Dr. Glenn Walters discusses this matter in detail, stating that the main three reasons people go to the cinema to watch horror films are because of their relevance (either culturally, or deep-seeded in a fear such as the fear of death which is ever prominent in this film genre), tension (every step of the plot line ebbs on excitement, shock or fear factors) and the downright unrealism of the whole theatrics. This same researcher did a study where he showcased live footage of real-life tragedies, such as cows or monkeys being killed. The grand majority of viewers were disgusted by the horrific visuals, however these are the same individuals who also wouldn’t mind splurging on an extra-large popcorn and soda on date night while watching the newest horror film in theatres. It’s that sense of control over an unrealistic situation that makes fans crave for more gore and fear. The ability to scream at the screen to a character, stating “Don’t go in that room, dammit! The monster will get you!”, since the viewer is normally aware of the circumstances either by having a God-like objective view of the situation or by the tone of the music.

Endless Research on the Topic! 

Research surrounding the topic of horror films is always ticking and evolving. This is because the topic has to do with human psychographics, a research subject that is on the difficult side of observation. A Handy Lawyer advocate for the genre asked Dr. Deidre Johnston about the  exact psychographics involved in an interview a while back, where he found that the cognitive response that individuals’ have towards these films is in direct relation to their ability to relate with either the perpetrator or the victims. The doctor discerned that you can either be a gore watcher, a thrill viewer, an independent watcher or a problem viewer–each with different characteristic of either being empathetic or not, or being either positively or negatively affected by the victim. Shockingly, male gore watchers identified strongly with the villain of these films.

Please feel free to share with we Handy lawyers why you love horror films. If this isn’t your favorite genre, explain why in the comments below. We’d love to add information to the endless research on this infatuating topic!


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