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#1 Posted by Mattson (11 posts) -

Firstly I just want to say I am not knocking horror films but I do have a genuine curiosity. I used to watch them religiously as a kid but when I stopped watching TV and made the jump to the internet I never had an interest in watching them. I would only watch them because they were what was on on Friday nights and my interest in horror movies in general waned on the internet.

I also can't watch horror movies in cinemas because I have this really weird condition where I respond to fear with laughter. I got asked to leave a horror film back in 2004 because I kept laughing hysterically and people complained. The film was called the Exorcist the Beginning and I was 17 at the time. I didn't get my ticket refunded because I never paid for a ticket since I worked there... I just dragged my garbage bag of popcorn into harold and kumar and watched that for the millionth time.

This issue I have happens in 'serious' moments of non horror films. I remember once some girl talked me into going to Harry Potter Deathly Hollows on a first date. I never seen a Harry Potter film and hadn't read one since the fifth grade. There was this big dramatic scene where they revealed the main villain called Voldermort and the moment he showed up on screen I just let out the biggest belly laugh ever. The entire theater looked at me and the girl punched me on the arm telling me to cut it out which just made me laugh even harder. I remember gasping out "I can't help it" as I laughed my way out of the theater.

I personally have a very real reason to not watch horror films but then again I have absolutely no desire to watch them. Normally when I'm not laughing I am just completely indifferent. I can understand their appeal from the business perspective... they're cheap to make and have high returns... but I just can't believe that people actually like this shit. How much of the appeal of Horror movies is genuine and how much is just hype built up by movie producers hoping to make a quick buck?

Do you like horror movies? Why?

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#2 Posted by csl316 (14698 posts) -

I don't, because when I try going to sleep I fucking can't afterwards.

My understanding is that people like the rush that comes with being scared. I kind of get it with rollercoasters and that sort of thing, but horror movies and games are things I actively avoid. I don't like being scared.

The Resident Evil 2 remake looks awesome, but I'm not even sure if I can handle what they did to it.

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#3 Edited by liquiddragon (2856 posts) -

I like it cause it's psychological fears in visual form and like sci-fi, it can be entertainting and be socially concious at the same time. Also, I like the emotions a well done horror movie can elicit, it's a fun experience that's good as any in cinema.

Like w. any genre, there are a lot of crap but i wouldn't write off a whole genre.

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#4 Edited by SirPsychoSexy (1553 posts) -

We live in a world where I pretty much never feel a true sense of physical dread. Sure I get nervous and that sort of thing, but I never actually feel like I am in real danger. It can be invigorating when you allow yourself to get sucked in and awake those emotions and feelings you never get to see otherwise. The better the horror film, the more it will facilitate this.

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#5 Posted by Charongreed (80 posts) -

First, I'll say I have no education in psychology or sociology, but I am a theatre/film professional and spooky shit is my wheelhouse.

The thing that draws most of the crowd is the adrenaline of the sympathetic audience watching the hero go through whatever the movie deals with. On a physiological level, its like an action movie, but slower and teases the flight response instead of fight. That's the big ticket, slasher movie crowd, a la Saw. (The original Saw had a really fascinating message and delivered really well on it, but everything after it was all a cash grab.)

People that tend to think of themselves as fans dig more into the ideas and themes, man is the greatest monster, that kind of stuff. Horror movies tend to play their message much more openly, because they're usually violently punishing someone or pointing directly to a cause of why the thing is happening (Woman in Black is the family stealing the lady's child, keeping him from her and then letting him die). They also tend to be spectacularly well designed set and lighting wise, to help make the movie scarier. (the Hannibal TV series with Mikkselson looks INCREDIBLE, the Descent is such an incredible mix of set and lighting design, 30 Days of Night is an awesome example of set design.)

On a personal level, I suffer from a lot of anxiety and depression, so horror movies (and games like Dark Souls) feel a lot like the world I already live in, and gives me a space to walk someone through my shoes. I experience a lot of fear, so fear is a thing I understand intimately, and so can create things that can cause it in others. Leading someone by the hand into the dark of my imagination is an experience that I've never really been able to put into words, like feeling powerful and protective at the same time. Guillermo del Toro has described his relationship with horror as almost fetishistic, he's almost erotically drawn to monsters.

If you want to give a couple really good horror movie/games a try, Amnesia: A Machine for Pigs is my favorite distillation of how well a game can capture horror. For movies, A Haunting on Dice Road: Hell House and A Haunting on Potter Street are both fun spooky ghost hunters like things that I find very entertaining that also tickle the fear sense slightly, Jaws and Alien are great examples of monster horror done right, Woman in Black drips with atmosphere (but drops the ball at the ending). If you really want to see something in the Gore genre, The Void goes places with it and isn't torture-ey while still maintaining a good story.

But I've also met a lot of people who respond to fear or tension with laughter, its absolutely a thing. I wouldn't go to movies with it because if you can't control it, its as disruptive as people yelling at the screen, which sucks way more but I guess is more accepted. If you aren't willing to get sucked into the moment-to-moment story of it, horror isn't going to do much for you, it's very focus intensive as a genre. People like different things, it's ok if you found a genre that doesn't hold much for you. I do take some offense at the idea that they only exist as a way to make a quick buck, but I don't think you really meant that as a sweeping assessment of the entire genre. There are a lot that do that, but that's true of every genre.

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#6 Posted by The_Greg (344 posts) -

Horror movies generally don't do it for me. They try to manipulate fear too heavily and seem to sacrifice investment in any other aspects of the film. Movies have never scared me, so they're just crap films full of crap characters.

There are the odd ones that stand out because they're original or have aspects outside of the horror stuff that interest me. I like Alien because it's a great sci-fi film, I like The Thing because of the interesting ways they play with trust between the characters. More recently, I like A Quiet Place.

My girlfriend loves horror films and we have a pay monthly cinema ticket, so I have to sit through about 6 or 7 s**t films a year.

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#7 Edited by LordDalbino (11 posts) -

The best horror films, for me, are the ones that are genuinely existential and make you think about them for days after. Annihilation did this most recently for me. The horror in that film doesn't necessarily come from actual scares (of which it has plenty) but from the truly unknowable, alien nature of its threat. The Thing also does this brilliantly.

This feeling is the thing that draws me to horror, but unfortunately, very few films actually offer it.

Also, I think it's a very common reaction to laugh when scared, I do the same thing.

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#8 Posted by Brendan (9166 posts) -

I absolutely do not like horror movies and will avoid them whenever possible for the rest of my life. Horror movies make me stressed to the point of getting pounding headaches. Nooo thanks.

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#9 Posted by ShaggE (9014 posts) -

Horror is my bread and butter, but oddly, "being scared" is way low on the list of reasons I like them, and "comedy" is very high. Now, of course, I adore the Exorcists and Halloweens of the world, but my absolute favorites are the cornball and unintentionally (or intentionally) silly horror films, especially of the 80s.

You say they make you laugh, well, throw on an 80s slasher or a Troma flick and have at it. A surprising percentage of the horror genre is comedy in disguise anyway, even if it was never intended to be. I mean, one of the most beloved horror franchises is Evil Dead, and outside of the first movie and the remake, that series is a straight up 3 Stooges routine with blood.

Now, as for "serious" horror, it's basically the thrillseeking mentality at play. Simulated fear in a safe environment is extremely fun for those of us who like the adrenaline rush but maybe don't plan to skydive or bungee any time soon. And since I've always generally liked macabre stories and settings, all the better.

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#10 Posted by Milkman (19154 posts) -

This thread seems less about horror movies and more about your weird laughing thing. I’m sorry if you really can’t help it but your “condition” seems incredibly annoying to everyone around you.

Anyway, being scared is fun. It’s an adrenaline thing. That’s the appeal.

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#11 Posted by fatalbanana (1002 posts) -

To be sort of heady about it the appeal for me is when a piece of art you know is made up, with every part of it manufactured is still able to make you feel genuine feelings that's the most validating part of movies and art in general. For horror movies specificly it can be a hard thing to actually have the audience feel scared and very few are actually able to do it effectivley. There are also movies in the genre that don't even try but still want to work within the tension and anxiety or cerebral framework that all horror films trade in one way or another. Other than the comedy or action focused ones that use tropes of horror as a delivery mechanism for there hijinks.

There's no wrong way to consume anything in my opinion as long as your enjoying yourself. If horror makes you laugh that's just as valid as any feelings it stirs up for other people. Or if they aren't for you then they aren't for you and that's cool too. If I were to be presumptuous I would say maybe you just haven't seen the "right" horror movies that would work for you. There is a ton of variety in the genre and not everything is lame jumpscares or goofy looking monsters.

I don't watch a ton of horror these days I have a specific taste when it comes to the genre. I either want something that's going to truly affect me in some way or something that's going to leave me thinking about it long after I see it. I don't much care for the comedy or hoaky types of movies and slashers usually don't do it for me either.

Don't know if you are looking for recomendations but if you are I have a few I would give a chance if your interested.

The Witch

The Babadook

Alien

Silence of The Lambs

Let The Right One In

Annihilation

Paranormal Activity

Blair Witch

The Sixth Sense

The Thing

If you like them a bit more goofy watch

Nightmare On Elmstreet and Cabin In The Woods.

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#12 Edited by TobbRobb (6476 posts) -

Horror has never really made made much sense to me either. It's the thing where if horror is effective, then I'm scared which is NOT a feeling I enjoy. And if the horror isn't effective then the movie needs to play hard into some other angle for me to even care about it.

I'm starting to wonder if it's literally just the sensation of fear being pleasurable to some and not to others. Something else that comes to mind is the tingle you get from ASMR which I super hate and want to avoid as much as possible. But other people seem to like it?

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#13 Posted by FlashFlood_29 (4163 posts) -

@milkman said:

This thread seems less about horror movies and more about your weird laughing thing. I’m sorry if you really can’t help it but your “condition” seems incredibly annoying to everyone around you.

Anyway, being scared is fun. It’s an adrenaline thing. That’s the appeal.

I'd take it one step further and say it's less about the laughing and more about being a nuisance. If you're being asked to leave a theater, there's some extremely inconsiderate behavior going on. It doesn't take much effort to not ruin other people's experience while still enjoying yourself.

Also:

@mattson said:

Firstly I just want to say I am not knocking horror films...

... but I just can't believe that people actually like this shit.

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#14 Posted by Pezen (2302 posts) -

I find them appealing in an almost childish academic way. What I mean is, I never get affected by horror films but I enjoy watching other people be. How and why they react and how they handle it. But beyond that I just find horror films entertaining, visually and story wise there can be good films in there. I don’t laugh out loud to every comedy film I watch, so I also don’t need to be scared of a horror film to appreciate it. That being said, I can sometimes feel like I am missing out to some degree.

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#15 Posted by someoneproud (256 posts) -

Nah, serious horror films do nothing for me, tension building falls flat every time and I just get bored. Seeing something scary on film or happening to someone on film just doesn't translate to personal fear for me . If there's another hook like dark comedy or gore/excessive violence I can enjoy them but there are other films I can get that from so I rarely seek out horror.

I think generally speaking it's a way for people to feel fear within a safe setting, getting that adrenaline rush without really being in any danger. It does work better for me with video games, figure it's because I have some agency in that and it's on me to deal with the shit going on.

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#16 Edited by Rich666 (410 posts) -

Seems this thread was just written as a joke, or just to troll people. It's not really about your dislike of horror, but more so your obnoxious behavior in public, and wanting to bash those who do like horror. Personally I think this is a fake account.

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#17 Posted by Mattson (11 posts) -

Nah, serious horror films do nothing for me, tension building falls flat every time and I just get bored. Seeing something scary on film or happening to someone on film just doesn't translate to personal fear for me . If there's another hook like dark comedy or gore/excessive violence I can enjoy them but there are other films I can get that from so I rarely seek out horror.

I think generally speaking it's a way for people to feel fear within a safe setting, getting that adrenaline rush without really being in any danger. It does work better for me with video games, figure it's because I have some agency in that and it's on me to deal with the shit going on.

Horror video games do absolutely nothing for me... I don't think I played one since Resident Evil 2. All my friends have recommended I try the Dead Space series and I have an Origin Access account so I could... but I've no desire to even allocate the disk space for it.

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#18 Posted by thegame983 (53 posts) -

I like good movies regardless of the genre. Honestly so should everyone.

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#19 Edited by cikame (2378 posts) -

I find horror funny but i usually laugh out of pity than due to actual humour, everything in horror films is so see through, so predictable, "i wonder if something bad is about to happen to this person" loud orchestral spike, something bad happens "yep... ahaaa", it just bounces off me.
The slow build ups are... slow, uneventful, characters are often stereotypical and constantly fall into "horror movie traps", deaths are gruesome but i've seen everything before, i'm 29, there can't really be a satisfying conclusion to a horror film because the meat of the film is about surviving, then either the bad guy or monster is stopped, or some sacred ritual is performed, or a device is turned off and life goes back to normal, or the good guys fail and nothing is achieved.
I like all 3 Cube movies, but it's more the setting than the "horror" that appeals to me in those movies.
As far as games go i like horror games with great action, RE4, The Suffering, The Evil Within, Condemned 2, Cry of Fear, F.E.A.R 3. I don't get scared watching films but i do quite easily when playing games, i don't enjoy the feeling and feel manipulated if the games only purpose is to try and scare me, so i usually end up watching other people play games like Amnesia, Outlast and Alien Isolation.
I hate Final Destination, but i love this gif.

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#20 Posted by indure (99 posts) -

I enjoy the simplicity of horror films. No greater/hidden meaning, no everything is metaphor, no lofty ideals crammed in ... just the introduction of a scary what if scenario that's followed to its end.

I think my only knock on the horror industry is its reliance on tropes, can there be a movie without a sole women survivor or no survivors?

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#21 Posted by FacelessVixen (2326 posts) -

Horror in general doesn't really work on me because I'm completely unable to set aside my suspension of disbelief because I know enough about the troupes though osmosis at this point. But I do see the appeal in the mare particular slasher style of horror films for that brand of entertainment, especially for B-movies where the gore is too cartoon-ish to take seriously, and also the first three Scary Movie films, but mainly the second one.

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#22 Edited by NTM (11252 posts) -

It depends on the horror. I am not that into super violent horror films (Final Destination, Hostel [the first Hostel was okay], Saw), but psychological ones can be fine. I still really want to see IT. I have never really been into horror movies myself, but I'll watch them if they're considered good just to check them out. More often than not, more recent ones aren't that great, and not that effective. Now, when it comes to video games, I absolutely love them. Horror games are also great games that I can have someone that doesn't usually play games, or play those kinds of games play because they can be really good at doing what they do. I used to be scared of horror films when I was little, where after the movie was over, I didn't want to walk to my room down a dark hallway or even try to reach the light; now that's not the case and I don't really find horror movies to be that scary. It really comes down to my imagination of things that can scare me to a degree.

Getting kind of off topic here, but I work at a clubhouse in the middle of the night on the weekends and I'm the only one there. It's the building that makes noises, but when I'm cleaning the bathrooms specifically, I sometimes have to pop my head up to see if anyone was there because I thought I heard something or my mind would play tricks on me where I thought I saw someone but it was just a shadow or an object lining up perfectly to make me think I saw something. We have druggies around where I live and they roam around the neighborhood at all sorts of hours (hopefully they'll be gone soon since we're cracking down on it), so that puts a little worry in my mind. The one and perhaps only fictional 'bad guy' that really scares me, is Michael Myers. I mean, just imagining it realistically that is. If I was working with all doors locked, I would not want someone to break in and come behind me with a Michael Myers costume on, ha ha.

The thing I don't like about horror, however, is that they're more often than not too predictable, and just kind of depressing one way or another. One of my favorite horror movies isn't scary at all to me, but because it does something different I much appreciate it, which is the first Scream movie. It calls out the tropes, and the masked baddie is fallible as they trip over things.

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#23 Posted by TheHT (15596 posts) -

Is it like a nervous response? Or do you feel like what you're seeing is actually amusing?

I've grown to like horror (and subsequently be disappointed with a lot of horror movies) because of my interest in the unusual/supernatural. So on the surface level I enjoy the lore stuff, and just merely seeing things like a coven of witches deep inside a ballerina school is fun. But I also really enjoy it when the horror elements are used as thematic devices to tell a story that's beyond just "yo there be monsters here." It absolutely doesn't have to be like that to be good or interesting though.

Cosmic horror is pretty much the gold-standard for me, whether it's a shallow portrayal of a transdimensional alien-God or a deep dive into madness-inducing insights. After that I like folklore/religious stuff.

Slasher stuff and home invasion stuff are less intriguing, but good for other reasons. Like that movie with the deaf girl; that was great because it's the whole "you're in this situation, whaddaya do?" kind of thing. But any which way you spin in, I don't really watch horror movies to be scared or jumped. It'll happen, but that's not the draw.