Horror Films: Unnecessary Scare or Relieving? Essay Sample

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Sewanee University of the South
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In a theater filled with an enthusiastic audience with all their eyes glued to the big screen in front of them. Suddenly there appears a group of zombies from the bushes behind a home in a deserted area. The home belongs to a family of five, a mother, father and their three daughters, who are having a good time at the dinner table. Suddenly the group of zombies breaks in the house and seizes the father, mother, and two daughters. Fortunately one of the daughters has just gone to the kitchen to get a glass of water. The zombies are starving, and with no hesitation, they break their captives and start feeding on them. The other girl sees this and frightened to her spine manages to hide into one of the cabinets. The audience is as quiet as a grave except for the noises made by the zombies in the movie. The scene is scary, but the people are still glued to the screen. This is the reality of horror films. As scary as they are, theatres will be filled with audiences growing larger each day, all eager to experience the thrill of horror. To the people who do not enjoy horror movies, this seems ridiculous. The position of this essay is that horror films are a thrilling and a mind-blowing experience that provides its lovers with multiple perspectives in real life situations.

The demand for horror films is growing with every passing moment. Horror movies which initially had only a niche audience have with time become increasingly popular with mainstream audiences flocking theatres to get the horrifying experiences (Hall and Bracken, 2011). The number of female fans has also risen, unlike the old times when this genre was associated with the male gender. Why the increase in demand? In her article Horror Movies: Why People Love Them, Leslie Fink says that one of the reasons that people enjoy horror movies is the pure suspense that they create. The different sounds employed in these movies add to the suspense making audiences come for more (Leslie, 2013). She adds that theres an excitement that comes with watching scary situations, yet at a distance, knowing that you are safe from the harm. Eduardo Andrade, in his article, Why Do People Enjoy Horror Movies? They Enjoy Being Scared, explains that lovers of horror films enjoy the excitement and the sense of relief they feel after the movie is over and there is a better outcome (Andrade and Cohen, 2007). He also claims that the audiences get to feel happy and unhappy simultaneously throughout the movie. The underlying argument is that horror movies allow people to experience the thrill of being scared without the events happening to them.

With the trend that horror genre has taken, together with the diversity that film makers in this industry have applied, the industry has the potential to secure a top rank in the film industry in future. The benefits of watching a horror movie supersede the terrors of the horror associated with it by critics and non-lovers of the genre. As indicated above, one of the benefits is the thrill that the experiences bring. The rush of adrenaline improves alertness. Second, the horrifying scenes and sounds increase the degree of repression to the viewers. This repression arouses emotions and, therefore, stirs up our capacity to feel and respond. The movies also address issues that occur in the human society and across different cultures. For instance, some films depict emotions such as vengeance, which according to Park Chan-Wook, is one of the most common of human emotions. Other films carry themes of bloody events that have happened in the past, to explain the history of a certain group of people represented in the film, for instance, the Spanish and Korean horror films. Finally, horror films assist viewers in overcoming the dark moments of their lives especially by drawing examples from the protagonists in these films. A good example is the mother in Babadook who overcame the monster and drove it behind closed doors.

Critics have criticized this genre giving different views that seem to question the benefit of watching scary and gore scenes. The aftermath of watching a horror film is associated with anxiety, fear, sleeplessness, behavioral change, and mental trauma. Critics argue that horror films provoke anxiety-related behaviors more than positive long-term effects. While this is true, the experiences encountered by these viewers develop a behavior in them that enable them to be less shaken by tough and scary situations from the movies. In other words, the films toughen them up. To avoid being overcome by fear, a person can apply an attitude that what is happening in the scenes is not real. This way, they can sit back and enjoy the thrill of the movie.

To sum up, horror films are as exciting as any other film in the industry. Their benefits supersede the negativity, and their effects can be a life changer for viewers. The genre is drastically growing, and demand is increasing, placing it at a higher notch in the film industry.



Balmain, C. (2008). Introduction to Japanese horror film. Edinburgh University Press.Eduardo B. Andrade and Joel B. Cohen (August 2007). Why do People Enjoy Horror Movies? They Enjoy Being Scared.


Fink, Leslie. Horror Movies: Why People Love Them (2013)


Hall, A. E., & Bracken, C. C. (2011). I really liked that movie. Journal of Media Psychology.Heller-Nicholas, A. (2014). Found footage horror films: fear and the appearance of reality. McFarland.Hutchings, P. (2014). The horror film. Routledge.Lazaro-Reboll, A. (2012). Spanish Horror Film. Edinburgh University Press.

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