Now that it is approaching Halloween, many people are going to soon partake in the tradition of scaring themselves silly with horror films. This is not something that I have ever understood. Life is scary enough for me. I don’t need anyone to show me that it is even worse than I imagined. I already engage in enough horror by reading the daily news. Whenever I am feeling too happy, I make sure to read about recent murders, hidden recalls in food, corrupt politicians, irresponsible parents, violent riots, and recent celebrity arrests before I feel close to appropriately horrified again. I understand that the news likes to focus on the negative, but it can sometimes become hard to take. So my idea of having fun is not to expose myself further to the mess of the world.
Perhaps it is something in the fall season that inspires such creepy adventures. Maybe it takes some people back to their childhood. Maybe these film adventurers were chased by demons and monsters when they were five and these films help them to remember those times. I must imagine that it would be somewhat like why so-called adrenaline junkies put themselves in dangerous situations. There is the thrill of what they should not be doing. The risk taking is part of the fun.
Something I have yet to understand is if adrenaline junkies like to get close to death so that they can say they conquered death or if they like the possibility of risking their life. It could be both. That moment when the heart begins to pump so hard that it threatens to burst out of the chest is the rush that they are looking for. This same rush can be found in the horror films, which threaten the safety of those watching it. While the people watching the movies know that they are not going to be killed (or so they assume), they can place themselves in the roles of the characters and take the ride with them. The biggest rush of all may be the unknown factor. Even though most modern-day horror films have far too many clichés in the characters, the pacing, and the jump scenes, some like to pretend that they don’t know what is going to happen next. (Though, really, what are you going to expect when a character goes into a dark room and asks, “Hello? Is anyone there?”)
I know some people who find horror films therapeutic. The way they see it, watching horror films is a way of encountering evil in a safe environment (assuming that you are watching the movie at home or a secure movie theater, that is). You get to become the main character fighting without having to lift a leg. As the hero, you end up ultimately conquering that which holds you in fear. If you can, you take this experience and use it to propel you forward in your real life.
However, I question how this method is done. Too many times, there are no real heroes in a horror story. The evil that comes into the story at the start is the same evil that destroys everything in its path. So, unless you are hanging on a death wish, I fail to see anything therapeutic about this. So then it must be said that some just like to be scared. Of this, I may never understand.
For me, I find the best major plot twists come from life. So, for this Halloween, I’m staying in and tuning out from the madness.
Reader, are you a fan of Halloween and/or scary movies? Leave your comments down below.