we recently watched halloween II, written and directed by rob zombie.  it was vividly graphic, disturbing and filled with violent death scenes.  rob zombie has a way of creating movies that make you feel like you may have accidentally picked up a snuff film.  halloween II was also haunting, in an artful sense with beautiful scene compositions and soundtrack selections.  while the critics lambasted the movie, i liked it.
i am a really big horror movie fan.  i prefer terror and gore, with a strong preference for zombies and slashers.  i always find it paradoxical that i enjoy these movies; especially as i empathize with and work to avoid the suffering of others.  it seems like going out of my way to watch fictional people get killed in terrible and traumatic ways is somehow...wrong. 
i do not feel that watching and enjoying horror movies makes me depraved.  but after watching something as unsettling as a rob zombie film, i can't help but wonder if something is seriously off in my head.  lots of research has gone into the reasons why we enjoy experiencing uncomfortable emotions triggered by movies and literature, those same emotions we avoid in "real life".  the general consensus is that we get to feel the "rush" without any true danger, leading to an emotional catharsis.
ultimately it's just entertainment, right?  enjoying horror movies isn't any different than someone choosing a drama that leaves you crying and heartbroken.
personally, i'd rather be scared than sad.  which is why i refuse to watch certain movies (marley and me), and can't wait to see others (the crazies).
anybody else like me, or do you avoid horror movies?


  1. I'm prone to anxiety so neither Halloween II nor Marley & Me are on my must-see list.

  2. There's a reason such films are so popular! I adore a good scare, although tend to lean away from gore and more toward suspense and psychological thrillers. I then have deliciously creepy nightmares. My husband thinks I'm nuts, both for enjoying the scare and for enjoying the vivid nightmares, but I think it's all about adrenaline and endorphins. Nothing like a good creepy high, with no harm done to anybody!

  3. I was interested in the research links you posted as I have recently become more apt to step out of the comfort zone of feel good comedy/romance and enjoy a good thriller and "soft core" horror. Perhaps it's due to having a 14 year old boy who is interested in those movies on pay per view and the bonding that goes with being scared out of your mind together for a bit??

  4. I've always been curious to know why people enjoy horror movies! I avoid them like the plague, yet I love a good drama that will make me sad. I've often wondered about why this is... The palpable fear I feel when even contemplating such movies (I still shudder when I thinkg about seeing 'Silence of the Lambs' decades ago) hooks into some of my very real childhood fears, I think, and so makes it unbearable. Yet I'm comfortable feeling sad. I think we must each develop a certain range of emotions we're familiar with, and continue to seek them out as we grow older. Because we know how to deal with them. Hmmmm... food for thought! Thanks for this post! :)

  5. (thanks for stopping by pepper!)
    i also "enjoy" sad movies; more specifically non-fiction.
    enjoying the faux fear is less perplexing to me than the fact that it's entertainment via violence. obviously it's fake violence, but torture and murder none the less.


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