I don’t know about you, but all I ever hear about horror is the negative stuff. “It made a man pass out”, “It made a woman go crazy”, “It made a teenager massacre his family” etc.
But we thought it would be refreshing to look at the benefits of horror and specifically, we wanted to know ‘in what ways could horror be good for you?’ We did some investigating and here’s what we found.
6 Reasons Why Horror is Good for You
You can learn a lot about the world by watching a horror film. More specifically, you can learn by the mistakes that the characters make in these movies.
From the very beginnings of horror, characters became victims because of bad judgement calls, from Dr Frankenstein trying to resurrect the dead to Arthur Kipps insisting on staying in a haunted mansion in The Woman in Black.
Generally, it’s the stupid, ignorant, arrogant, careless ones that meet an untimely end, leaving the more innocent individuals with a better chance of survival. It’s a lesson in life, and horror regularly enforces morals, even though many anti-horror people believe that it is in fact immoral. Weird huh?
It probably also holds some added educational value for psychologists and surgeons – especially the Saw films…
It encourages physical contact
Whether you’re on the sofa or in the cinema, it’s widely acknowledged that horror is the best genre of film to watch if you want to snuggle up to someone.
Have you ever taken a date to watch a scary movie? And did the night end with some physical contact? I bet you’re nodding.
If the film doesn’t encourage your love interest to leap onto your lap in the theatre, they’re likely to want company back at their place for the night – just in case the ‘big, bad serial killer’ comes for them. Though they might not actually want to admit that.
And so horror people brings people together. Couples share terrifying experiences together so that they can talk through how terrified they were afterwards, whilst cuddling and (if you’re lucky) caressing.
A form of escapism
No matter how bad your life is, you’re still better off than that guy who just got eaten by zombies.
Horror is great for taking your mind off your daily troubles. Once a film emerses you in terror your mind will quickly switch to survival mode and your financial worries will fade. They’ll be replaced by ponderings such as ‘how would I kill a horde of vampires?’
In a majority of cases, as the film ends you’ll feel a sense of relief, both that the ordeal is over and that werewolves aren’t actually real. And after triple checking that your doors and windows are locked you’ll eventually realise that you haven’t thought about your financial troubles for ages. Of course, this will lead you to think about them again, which is an ideal time to put on another horror DVD.
You’ve had a bad day at work, and after a disagreement with your boss there’s nothing more that you’d like to do than to impale him on a spike. We’ve all been there, so why not relax in front of a brutal and disturbing film?
Because there are those that believe that watching a specific activity (like killing) on screen can appease your appetite to go out and do said activity in real life. So right now, horror films are preventing thousands of serial killers from going out and committing murder – in theory.
If you get urges to do horrible things, it could be that you just need to watch more horror films. There is of course another school of thought that blames horror movies for violent behaviour. Perhaps we’ll cover that in ‘x reasons why horror is bad for you’ (like we’ll ever write that – Ed)
It makes you laugh
A lot of horror is scary and may give you nightmares or even long term psychological issues.
However, there are still plenty of horror comedies, or more likely, old and/or cheap horror films that are so cheesy and bad that they’re hilarious.
We all have our favourites: The films where the monster is blatantly just a man in spandex. Or the one that blew the budget on special effects, leaving the producers with no option but to employ the most wooden actors ever known.
It’s important that horror maintains its element of fun, as ultimately, none of us wants to be left irreparably damaged by what we see – just like those people that watched A Serbian Film.
You can face your fears
If you have a phobia, it can be paralysing. And if your life is being adversely affected by a phobia that you have, it makes sense that you should tackle the problem.
There are lots of ways to do this from therapy to hypnotism, but one possible, cheaper approach is to let horror cleanse you of your fears.
Many studies have proved that extensive exposure to horror can desensitise you to it. So, someone who has seen the Saw series 100 times is likely to have a stronger stomach and be a lot harder to scare than a person who has never watched a horror movie.
It makes sense then, that if you’re afraid of clowns, there’s every chance that watching Stephen King’s It on a daily basis will eventually help you to face that fear and overcome it.
This may not work though if you have a phobia of actually watching horror films.