Do you like horror movies? People tend to watch scary movies for the really intense emotional experiences. Do you agree? Those that make horror movies may face the biggest challenge. They know what goes into the production of a scary sequence, and they have a good idea whats coming around the corner. And because they most likely went into this line of work because of the pleasure of trembling in the dark. These scary films are unsettling movies that strive to extract emotions of fear, disgust and horror from viewers. They feature sconces that startle the viewer through the means of macabre and the supernatural. The term “horror movie” first appeared in the writings of critics and film industry reporters in response to the release of Universals Dracula (1931) and Frankenstein (1931).
The top 10 horror movies of all time include:
Horror has been defined in various and sundry ways. Psychological definitions of horror normally highlight the “fear of some uncertain threat to existential nature and . . . disgust over its potential aftermath” and regularly declare that “the source of threat is [often] supernatural in its composition” After defining horror as a fictional creation designed to induce terror through the implied presence of supernatural or grossly abnormal forces and delivering a brief description of eight major psychological theories of horror—psychodynamic, catharsis, excitation transfer, curiosity/fascination, sensation seeking, dispositional alignment, gender role socialization, and societal concern—three descriptive features of horror film appeal are identified: tension, relevance, and unrealism. While traditional psychological theories have contributed to our understanding of people’s interest in and response to horror films, none provides a full accounting of the popular appeal of the horror genre. Accordingly, an integrated-interactive theory is advanced in an effort to explain the appeal of horror movies, with control-related fears at the core and belief systems that derive from a person’s efforts to cope with the arousing and terrifying stimuli found in horror films.
Because horror movies feed on fear, the concept of existential fear would seem an fitting place to start in erecting an integrated-interactive theory of horror film appeal. The fear-producing nature of darkness, danger, and death is well documented in the history of human history and is liberally represented in horror movies. From an evolutionary standpoint, fear of death and the fear of the unknown have survival value an observation that has not been lost on the directors of horror films. The monstrous antagonist in Phantom of the Opera (1925) was specifically made up to look like the face of death and people’s fear of death and desire to overcome nonexistence are played out in films as diverse as Dracula (1931), Re-animator (1985), and Phantasm (1979). The theme of Phantasm is a young boy’s struggle with loss, brought on by the deaths of his parents and brother. Death plays a key role in many horror films and is a guiding theme for the overall genre. It is rare to find a horror movie in which someone has not just died, been killed, or is currently being vulnerable with imminent nonexistence by an evil force or presence. Research indicates that disgust in response to real-life horrors correlates significantly with fear of death. It is possible that horror films help people cope with their fear of the nonexistence, although this probably depends on the film components with which the viewer identifies.
Horror and science fiction both address control-related fears and anxieties, but horror is past-oriented and science fiction looks to the future. There is a role for horror in the maturity of a person’s future-view. Popular horror films create expectancies and it is expectancies of being terrified, startled or entertained that bring people to watch these movies. The expectancies and anticipations that direct people to view horror films are that they will be scared, shocked, or grossed out; what they often do not understand is their reason for wanting to be scared, shocked, or grossed out. People want to be scared, shocked, and grossed out because these reactions assist in the development and reinforcement of their basic beliefs about life. Horror films are popular because they speak to the basic human condition, to existential fear, and to people’s attempts to overcome their fear belief systems. For some, horror movies intensify existential horror, yet for many others, watching a horror film is a way to put existential fear into its proper perspective. That which terrify us becomes less intimidating once it is understood, the unknown is the basis of many of our deepest fears.
Horror films create tension, anxiety and nervousness through mystery (Rosemary’s Baby, 1968), suspense (The Haunting, 1963), gore (The Evil Dead, 1982), terror (The Shining, 1980), and shock (Suspira, 1977):