Artifact 6: Why Do We Enjoy Horror?

Goal: Explore the psychological and emotional curiosity for and impact of horror art on individuals and society

I found an article that try’s to answer this question about why we find horror so appealing and why we as a society choose to watch it. The link to the article.

This article also explore why we actually go to see horror movies. We find the repulsive we find the frightening and yet we go and watch them. This article seems to think that the main motivation to go though is for the entrainment value rather than the actual horror part. This article points to why people would go to a horror movie more than once, if you go back again you have to be going for the entertainment part of it rather than the horror part. Also the article talks about  how you can choose how much effect the movie can have on you because you choose to pay attention to as much or as little of the movie as you want.

I feel like Carroll makes an interesting point when she says, “it’s not the tragic event in itself that imparts pleasure, but rather the way that it is worked into the plot.” I find this interesting because it gives more backing to the ideas that were put forth in the article. The idea that we like horror movies as a from of entertainment but not as a way of getting scared. That yes we know that being scared is a part of the movie but we want to go in order to be entertained but the way this horror fits into the movie. Now this is a morbid view of why we watch horror movies but at the same time it has some valid parts to it. Horror movies are a genre that is hard to figure out what the draw is for us, but one thing is certain that we like these movies and we will continue to watch them.


Horror seems to be one of those genres that just draws people into even though it does things that should drive people  away. What I learned from this unit is that horror movies appeal is a lot more complex then what i first though it was. I originally though the appeal was to get scared but now I realize there is a much deeper physiological reason behind it. It’s a way that we can expose ourselves to something that we wouldn’t normally experience and see how we react to it. For young males people have even gone as far as saying that it is a sort of right of passage. There was a study that found young males liked the movies that scared them the most because they though it made them look manlier. What this unit has taught me is that we as people like to experience the unknown, even if it is only for 2 hours.



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