For years, horror movies have been the target of criticism and stigmatization by mainstream society. Despite their popularity and enduring appeal, horror movies are often viewed as being violent, disturbing, and lacking in artistic merit. However, what many people fail to realize is that horror movies can have a profound and positive impact on our mental health and wellbeing.
One of the key benefits of horror movies is that they trigger the release of adrenaline and other “fight or flight” hormones in our bodies, creating a sense of excitement and arousal. This physical response to fear and danger can be incredibly therapeutic, helping us to release pent-up emotions and relieve stress. As renowned psychologist Dr. Glenn Sparks explains, “Watching a horror movie can help you release pent-up emotions and relieve stress in a way that is cathartic and safe.” By confronting our fears and anxieties in a safe and controlled environment, we can gain a sense of empowerment and feel better both physically and mentally.
In addition to their physical benefits, horror movies also offer a unique form of psychological engagement. Our brains are wired to look for patterns and make sense of the world around us, and when we watch a horror movie, we’re constantly trying to predict what will happen next. This engagement with the movie keeps us on the edge of our seats and heightens our sense of anticipation, creating a sense of excitement and adrenaline rush that can be incredibly addictive. As popular writer Stephen King notes, “The appeal of horror fiction is that it allows us to confront our deepest fears in a way that is both safe and exciting.”
Furthermore, horror movies offer us the opportunity to safely experience fear and danger in a controlled environment. In real life, we do our best to avoid dangerous situations and feelings of vulnerability. However, when we watch a horror movie, we can confront our fears and anxieties in a safe and controlled way, helping us to overcome them and gain a sense of empowerment. As noted by Dr. Margee Kerr, sociologist and author of “Scream: Chilling Adventures in the Science of Fear,” “Horror movies offer a unique opportunity to experience fear in a safe and controlled environment, which can help us overcome our anxieties and phobias.”
Despite these psychological benefits, horror movies are often maligned by mainstream society and viewed as being violent, disturbing, and lacking in artistic merit. However, this stigma is not only unfair but also ignores the many positive effects that horror movies can have on our mental health and wellbeing. Whether we’re drawn to the adrenaline rush, the sense of engagement, or the opportunity to safely confront our fears, there are many compelling reasons why we can’t look away from horror movies.
In conclusion, the next time you find yourself being unfairly critical of horror movies, remember the positive impact that they can have on our mental health and wellbeing. Rather than dismiss horror movies as being violent and disturbing, it’s important to acknowledge their psychological benefits and recognize the art and storytelling that goes into creating them. As Dr. Sparks reminds us, “Horror movies can offer us a chance to confront our fears in a safe and exciting way, while also providing us with a sense of catharsis and release.”
This article was guest written by ChatGPT.