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Old 12-10-2017, 01:48 PM
Jenslyl87 Jenslyl87 is offline
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Exclamation Why do we even like horror in the first place?

Hi fellow horror nerds!

I'm on a bit of a streaking reading up on the paradoxical appeal of the horror genre, a form of entertainment that paradoxically aims to make its audience feel bad. I think that, whatever explains why people such as myself would want to engage with horrific entertainment is bound to tell us a lot about human psychology. Whatever else you may think of the genre, you have to acknowledge that people's attraction to it is kind of weird.

Are you familiar with the work of horror researcher Mathias Clasen, for instance? He has a new TED video in which he addresses these questions. I find his evolutionary approach fascinating and even compelling. In a nutshell, he argues that horror represents a kind of danger simulator within which people can acquire adaptive experience with the dangerous and the unknown:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6St5R2bYMOY&t=


If you're familiar with his approach, what do you think about it? Are you persuaded? If not, what do you think accounts for the appeal of the genre?

Hoping to get a bit of a discussion going

Last edited by Jenslyl87; 12-10-2017 at 02:02 PM.
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Old 12-10-2017, 08:33 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jenslyl87 View Post
Hi fellow horror nerds!

I'm on a bit of a streaking reading up on the paradoxical appeal of the horror genre, a form of entertainment that paradoxically aims to make its audience feel bad. I think that, whatever explains why people such as myself would want to engage with horrific entertainment is bound to tell us a lot about human psychology. Whatever else you may think of the genre, you have to acknowledge that people's attraction to it is kind of weird.

Are you familiar with the work of horror researcher Mathias Clasen, for instance? He has a new TED video in which he addresses these questions. I find his evolutionary approach fascinating and even compelling. In a nutshell, he argues that horror represents a kind of danger simulator within which people can acquire adaptive experience with the dangerous and the unknown:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6St5R2bYMOY&t=


If you're familiar with his approach, what do you think about it? Are you persuaded? If not, what do you think accounts for the appeal of the genre?

Hoping to get a bit of a discussion going
Honestly -- I always thought that's what the main "attraction" to horror was (prepping for future dangerous situations), and discussed that with others long ago. I'm going to go out on a limb and say it's certainly not a new concept. In fact, at root, I'd say it predates Origin of Species, to simply saying it's prep work.

Cool stuff, Jenslyl, I look forward to checking it out. In particular, love to see what research may back up the theory.
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Old 12-11-2017, 06:56 AM
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fudgetusk fudgetusk is offline
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Horror is weird. It contains weird images and ideas. That's why I like it. That's why I like SCIFI/fantasy.

But I think there is a sicker side to it. I do think I came to like it in my teens because it simply depicted people being killed. Maybe this is a spiritual thing. Seeing the body chopped up is a kind of exorcism of some kind. We are born into a body and are trapped in it. Maybe seeing it taken apart, damaged, releases us from the burden of being human. Killers in films are often less than human. Leatherface etc. But at the same time more than human.

They offer us a kind of transformation to make us more like them by killing us.

Maybe it is also appealing to a part of us that we CAN die. We generally feel immortal. Maybe it is more truthful to realise we are not. Maybe it is nice to know this life is not for ever.

Last edited by fudgetusk; 12-11-2017 at 06:57 AM.
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Old 12-11-2017, 09:40 AM
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Crimson Jade Crimson Jade is offline
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I always thought that horror is like an escape from the real world for a short time---it is like you are in a dreamworld when I watch horror, is like a release for a spell....
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Old 12-11-2017, 03:05 PM
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Dead Bad Things Dead Bad Things is offline
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Y'all ever hear that cut Pass the peas by the JB's? ....Well I'm gonna say like Bobby Byrd....

"Because it makes me Haaappy."

The sound of women shrieking in terror is like music to my ears. Shattering my illusion of what is safe, staining my mind and corrupting my thoughts with morbid imagery and prose give me joy. Tragedy, sorrow, death and macabre fill me with and increased lust for life.

As far as preparation and adaptation...seems to me like they paintin' with a pretty broad brush. Desensitized more likely....Media is not a mirror.

Yo Ftusk that's deep.... this skeleton I'm wearin' ain't got me trapped....but yeah, out on the scene and wanna kill the conversation? Just bring up the subject of horror.

Last edited by Dead Bad Things; 12-11-2017 at 03:15 PM.
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Old 12-14-2017, 04:07 AM
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fudgetusk fudgetusk is offline
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I think horror films stir up the genetic hunting instinct. I also think the slasher films portray a ultra conservative desire to punish teenagers. Drinking, smoking dope, having sex and generally being free. Hippies.

They are also sexual. When a pretty woman gets impaled it has obvious overtones. I would say some horror films can attract twisted people.
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Old 12-15-2017, 03:28 PM
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I also think the slasher films portray a ultra conservative desire to punish teenagers. Drinking, smoking dope, having sex and generally being free. Hippies.
So you mean the slasher writers are serving the "ultra conservative desire to punish teenagers" that virtually all audience members have? Or are you saying the slasher film producers/writers specifically have this ultra conservative desire?
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Old 12-15-2017, 07:34 PM
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Simply put: Watching horror scratches an itch.
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Old 12-18-2017, 05:48 AM
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fudgetusk fudgetusk is offline
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So you mean the slasher writers are serving the "ultra conservative desire to punish teenagers" that virtually all audience members have? Or are you saying the slasher film producers/writers specifically have this ultra conservative desire?
Both. The writers just get it. We need to be shown. Interestingly it was during my teens that I liked this ethos.
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Old 12-21-2017, 06:35 PM
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Both. The writers just get it. We need to be shown. Interestingly it was during my teens that I liked this ethos.
OK, cause I was going to say there's nothing socially ultra conservative about slasher film producers,
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