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Purposes of Horror Entertainment and Its Effects on Human Beings

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Purposes of Horror Entertainment and

Its Effects on Human beings


This paper explores four published articles that focus on horror films to figure out the purpose of horror movies, why it is so popular and the influence of horror entrainment. This paper analyses the popularity of horror movies from the perspectives of audiences; their needs, what they want to get from horror films. In addition, it searches the effects of horror movies from the angle of misunderstanding from the society.

Purposes of Horror Entertainment and

Its Effects on Human beings

Horror has been a long time one of the most popular categories of films in the movies industry.  You may not be a fan of horror movies, but you definitely know about their motives, features and characters.  You know that curious feeling when you sit on the sofa watching a horror film and waiting for a sudden murder or splash of fear. People liked to watch horror films to be afraid and to outdo their fears. But why?  What makes horror films so popular?  How does horror films influence people’s life?  And Is them harmful to human beings?

The Purpose of Horror Entertainment

Primarily, People watch movies to feel something and experience some emotions. In case of horror, people want to experience fear and tension. Like what Hendershot (2007) said “Our life is so dynamic and uninteresting that we do not have time for something challenging and uncommon. Thus, one can say that people watch horror to escape from their sad and monotonous reality. They run from their daily routine” (p72). Horror movies offer an escape different than few other forms of recreation. They allow the viewer a thrilling experience without placing them in danger. In addition, terrific and fearful events described in horror films makes people think their life is not so bad. Worland (1997) also stated,” We do not have to struggle against monsters, zombies, vampires and other creatures. We do not need to fight to stay alive. In this case, horror is the best remedy for pessimism”.

Another reason why people like horror movies is that horror movies are ridiculous. Although there are always some evil murders and monsters in horror films, a lot of factors make the movies unrealistic and even funny. Most of the time, the characters have stupid reactions when dealing with the murderer. For example, in a scene of Freddy VS Jason, a girl teen escapes from Freddy in her dreams, she enters in a big room and hides herself in a locker thinking that Freddy will not find her. She is so noisy that Freddy easily finds her and kills her. Sometimes, some “coincidence” makes the films unrealistic. In Friday the 13th, a young woman escapes from Jason in the woods, and she “happens to” find a knife on the ground and picks up it.  “Essay on an Analysis of Horror Movies” (2016) also said , ”in a few words, the characters are often unrealistic by the way they act, and the setting is too calculated. These things make horror films out of reach and very witty.”

                                                                Negative Effects

There are potentially negative effects, as well. First of all, horror films usually exaggerate the behaviors of the patients who have psychosis or are experiencing mental ill health. As a result, people may misunderstand those patients and metal health care environments. According to Goodwin (2014), “Horror films will often include stigmatizing representations of psychosis and mental health care environments(p2). Cinematic techniques can create stigmatizing depictions of psychosis and mental health care environments. Misinformation is often communicated.” Due to these stigmatizing representations, people experiencing mental ill health may be rejected by the public. More than that, people may have a wrong attitude to the killings and victims in horror movies since movie is an entertainment and not real, they may take those killings for granted and dismiss the feeling of the victims.  According to Scott Woodcock (2013),“Horror films are kind of immoral because they undermine the reactive attitudes that are responsible for human agents being disposed to respond compassionately to instances of victimization” (p16).



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