Now, as a disclaimer I’m going to tell you, I’m not really a fan of reading or watching horror. I’ve read Stephen King, but only those that were more psychological rather than outright horror. I’m just not into all that blood and gore. However, I can watch classic Hitchcock, television and movies. I think it has to do with the fact that his horror happens off screen. No severed heads rolling across the screen or bloody limbs hanging in the trees.*shiver* Seriously, I can’t stand that stuff.
Of course I had to look at the science behind actually choosing to expose ourselves to something that frightens us. It turns out research has shown we’re hardwired to enjoy the hunt, the thrill of the unknown. There’s a rush of endorphines, the body’s natural pain killer, flooding our brain when we become frightened. The fight or flight response is triggered, increasing our heartrate, dilating our eyes and tensing our muscles.
When we realize there truly is no threat, the life-saving reactions of our bodies become a pleasurable adrenaline rush. Hence the thrill of the fear.
This also translates over to high-risk activities like skydiving, white-water rafting and bungee jumping. See, these things I enjoy. When I participate in these activities I’m left with memories that don’t haunt my dreams or wake me in the night.
Horror movies on the other hand … yeeeeah, those visuals live with me long after the movie is over. I watched a B-rated horror movie when I was a teen that I knew would scare the bejeebers out of me. (cheap tickets, dark theater, new boyfriend … you get the picture) Anyway, I’ve forgotten very little of that movie. I remember how each and every person died when the door to hell was opened at a vacation home of some college kids. Of course the hero and heroine managed to fall into the depths of hell, stab the devil with a very large cross which he threw out of the gates of hell which they in turn used to seal the door shut again saving the world from the clutches of satan. I saw this movie over 30 years ago and remember huge chunks of the gore. If I want horror (which I wouldn’t), I’d just replay a few those scenes (which I don’t).
The only horror type movie that I watched every year even though I knew it would scare me for weeks was an odd version of Frankenstein. Definitely a more romantic version of the original. It was a mini-series and included a wife and everything. It ran for three or four years and it must have been shown around Halloween. I wish I knew the name of it because I just loved that movie and I wonder if I would enjoy it as much as an adult.
Okay, so I’ve rambled enough. What about you? Do you enjoy horror movies and/or books? Any favorites you can recommend for my other visitors … because you know I’m not watching them. LOL!