Horror movies:the science behind the scare

By Ross Tanebaum, Online New Editor

Halloween is one time of the year when people love to get scared.

Fear is an emotion that brings out a physical reaction. Sweat starts pouring, the heart beats faster, and adrenaline rushes through the body. Many people enjoy the feeling that fear creates. One way that people get this feeling is through watching horror movies.

“The scariest thing about horror movies is the night after you watch the movie and you are walking alone at night, you keep thinking something is behind you,” sophomore Mohammed Qureshi said.

Scary movies are subjective. What one person finds scary might not be scary to someone else. Some are scared by the actual killers and monsters while others are frightened by the psychological fears in a movie. Films such as A Nightmare on Elm Street frighten audiences with its creepy serial killer, Freddy Krueger. Other films such as The Silence of the Lambs get into people’s psyche and scare people from within.

The Shining is more of a psychological thriller than a horror movie, but it’s still scary,” senior Nick Hinsch said. “It takes a minute for the terror to sink in.”

The most common way that horror movies try to scare people is by using something called a “Jumpscare.” A jumpscare is when the scene in the film is very quiet and suspenseful until a loud and abrupt noise occurs, causing the audience to jump. This gives the audience a rush of adrenaline which can send a good feeling through the body.

“My favorite horror movies would be the Insidious series,” Qureshi said. “All of them have a lot of jumpscares which help get you going.”

It is not just an adrenaline rush that some people crave. Some people want to get scared in order to prove their bravery. They want to watch a scary movie or walk through a haunted house just so they can boast to their friends about how they were able to endure it. It is a way for someone to prove their strength in society by conquering their fears.

“I think becoming braver is true with certain movies,” Hinsch said. “You feel a sense of accomplishment and a feeling that you conquered your fears.”

For some people, there is no psychological reason involved for their enjoyment in getting scared. Watching horror movies or walking through creepy haunted houses can simply be a fun activity to do to bond with friends. It is fun to get a group together, get really scared and then laugh about the whole experience.

According to an Oct. 2013 theatlantic.com article, people tend to build relationships with people that they are with when in a state of excitement or in times of stress.

Fear can bring out positive and negative emotions in people. Whether getting an adrenaline rush or just wanting to build relationships, these feelings can be found by riding a rollercoaster or by watching a scary film. CHS students can find many ways to get scared this October in a fun and safe environment.