Why Do We Love Horror?

Horror movies first thrilled and scared audiences back in the silent era. What is it about “fright flicks” that draw so many millions of fans to horror films? People love a good scare and a good horror movie.

Horror Provides Chills and Thrills

A frightening experience could bring about an adrenaline rush and a host of emotional feelings. Horror films may feel somewhat like an emotional thrill ride. As long as the film doesn’t wallow too much in violence, viewers may enjoy the experience. Dramas and other films may be enjoyable, but a horror film delivers that desirable thrill ride other features lack. Sometimes, a thrilling, even scary experience offers a powerful emotional impact.

Horror Could Have a Calming Effect

A scary horror film scene might make someone jump. Afterward, the mind, and maybe the body, have to come down. Horror movies have peaks and valleys when it comes to suspense, tension, and shocks. The “come down” after a scare may have a calming effect. Someone feeling anxious may appreciate that effect, even if he/she may not be aware that it occurred.

Horror Offers Escapism

Although horror movies may have realism elements and some features might even be realistic, horror is a fantasy-based genre. So, horror films deliver 90-minutes of escapism, allowing people to drift away from real life for a while.

Vampires and werewolves may provide a serious “scare factor” to audiences, but these fantasy creatures take people out of the real world. For a brief while, horror movie escapism may lead people to put worries behind.

Horror Can Be a Shared Experience

Horror film-watching could sometimes turn into a collective experience. When the audience in the theater shrieks, several people shriek together. The same could be the case when watching a film with friends in front of the TV.

Yes, a well-made horror movie might offer more than ample shocks and scares.

What to Know About the Horror Comedy Genre

Movies are becoming more splintered these days, with genres melding and terms straining to describe them. One of the latest to gain popularity is Horror Comedy.

What is Horror Comedy?

Horror Comedy is exactly what it sounds like: a mix of horror and comedy elements. These will be movies that have a horror setting or surround the events of a killer but take a light tone and incorporate other comedic elements. While there is a general premise of horror interspersed with jump scares and elements of gore, horror comedies tend to be meta and self-referential, bringing the audience in on the joke. It is a natural melding of two human emotions that reside on different sides of the same coin.

Why You Should Watch Horror Comedy

Horror comedies are gaining in popularity because they can be made on a low budget and allow for more creative control from the director. Time travel, magic, slapstick, and shock are all on the table in a horror comedy. It also elicits one of the strongest responses from audiences, allowing them to be scared of their fears before laughing them off. There is creativity in understanding how to undermine the audience’s perspective and preconceived notions, and horror comedies are rife with challenging those norms.

Popular Horror Comedy Films

The Evil Dead is one of the first popular horror comedy movies, a darkly comedic take on the “cabin in the woods” trope. Tucker and Dale Versus Evil lampoons the murderous hillbilly trope. Happy Death Day is a fun yet emotional take on murder, time travel, and grief. Most recently, Freaky is a send-up of Freaky Friday, with a girl switching bodies with a serial killer instead of her mom.

The Essence of Good Horror: Its Constituent Elements

Although we may jump as if we’re about to flee in terror, something about a good horror film continues to magnetically attract us back to them.

Some might say, it seems as if it is almost by magic.

This magic persists, ambivalently. Until, after hazarding a glimpse, you’ll quickly note the glaringly evident key commonalities. Still, most viewers would never notice them.

Even though these concepts bridge a gap between the greats, it’s easy to get lost amidst the gory jump-scares of most modern masterpieces.

Five Poignant Perspectives to the Fuel Those Coveted Nightmares

To begin, we’ll cover what we believe to be among the most universal elements found in horror throughout history. Of course, the specifics change depending on which culture Wrote the tale. Still, it doesn’t take an anthropologist to detect shared storylines. From the Goths to the Seleucids, fears have been a driving factor in man’s quest for entertainment since the dawn of antiquity.

  • Fear of Death:
    Above all, the most universal equalizer in our society would undoubtedly be death. Even the most insurmountable lead disparate cultures showcase either fear or reverence for it. Since motion pictures first lit up the screen, directors have been playing with our most fundamental collective fear.
  • Fear of Loss or Pain: Although pain and loss may not seem much different, as you consider the implications, the distinctions between them are as evident as a flat tire. To lose something, now that’s a concept with enough breadth for the aspirant directors.
  • Fear of the Unknown: Even more basal, the unknown is among the most formless fears found in man. Dating back to the time of Cato the Elder, men have been driven mad by mere murmurs from dark shadows.
  • Dissonance and Discord: Have you ever felt like things just weren’t right? If so, then the dangling tendrils of cognitive dissonance were beginning to sow a psychic maelstrom. When things just don’t add up, even if you can’t quite put your finger on it, it’s impossible to settle the mind.
  • The Unnatural or Supernatural: Finally, even in technocratic civilizations, there still exists a belief among the populace. A belief in forces so powerful its beyond our imagination. From the Fertile Crescent to the Western frontier, we’ve been captivated by tales of unnatural forces, which tear us asunder.

The Best Horror Movies of 2020

We’ve all heard the phrase that 2020 was a horror film in itself. As people kept thinking that the year would unravel like some Walking Dead real-life experience, we realized that the actual horror was still waiting for us in the theatres. If you are an adrenaline junky, here are a few horror films from 2020 to tickle your fancy when you think back on that horrible, terrible year.

The Host

Set in quarantine, the film showcases friends who have decided to connect through a zoom call. In one of their zoom meetings, one of them, Haley, hires a medium. They then summon a spirit together but brush it off as being a joke. When the medium drops the call, the friends admit to feeling some weird phenomena happening around them. It so happens that they summoned a spirit named “Jack” that keeps attacking them. The spirit attacks them all one by one as they fall to their death.

His House

The Netflix film focuses on two refugees, Bol and Rial, who escaped South Sudan into the UK with their daughter Nyagak. Their daughter died on the ship as they were crossing. When the couple gets to the UK, they are given a house, although they were warned that they might get deported. The two start seeing strange things happening in their home. They see visions of Nyagak and a mysterious man disappearing in walls. After figuring out what to do and finding no solution, the couple decides to live with the ghosts from their past in their new home.

Gretel and Hansel

If you are a fan of this story from our childhood, you will love the horror version of it as well. The movie follows siblings who had to fend for themselves after their mother went mad. They meet a friendly owner who turns out to be different from what they suspected.

Scary Movies that Started as Books

Many favorite and classic horror films were first developed as novels. Some people prefer to read the books before the movies, and some people do not learn about the books until after watching the movie. Either way, it is worth checking out these 30 scary movies that once started as best-selling books:

1. The Exorcist

2. Psycho

3. It

4. The Shining

5. The Silence of the Lambs

6. The Invisible Man

7. The Ring

8. Misery

9. American Psycho

10. Birdbox

11. Jaws

12. Cujo

13. Carrie

14. Candyman

15. The Amityville Horror

16. Pet Sematary

17. Christine

18. The Legend of Sleepy Hollow

19. Coraline

20. The Turning

21. Audition

22. The Woman in Black

23. Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark

24. Let the Right One In

25. The Ritual

26. World War Z

27. Hellraiser

28. Frankenstein

29. Interview with the Vampire

30. Red Dragon

Always Read the Book Before Seeing the Movie – Especially with Horror

Whatever movie is based on a book, reading the book before seeing the movie is a good idea. There are advantages and disadvantages to both situations, and many factors depend on the genre. However, there are reasons why it is always best to read the book first.

The book has more detail.

Because movies usually have time constraints, the book will have more detail about a story than the movie does. This means that reading the book in advance will give you the details of the story that the movie needs to cut for sake of time

You will understand the story background better.

The author of the book often provides information about events leading up to the story. For example in a horror movie, the teenagers might get marooned at a spooky house, but the book may give the reason for the trip.

You will understand the characters better.

By reading the book, you will usually understand the motivations of the characters a lot better than you will from a movie. For example, the book may give you an extensive background of the antagonist of a horror story and why he is a psychopathic murder out to kill the teenage girls. A movie might not include that information.

You will understand the movie better.

Finally, the book gives you a lot of background information that actually makes it easier to understand the movie. Often movies are about getting the main plot as quickly as possible because of time constraints none of which exist in a book.

While reading the book in advance can ruin a surprise ending, more often than not, knowing the ending in advance does not hinder your enjoyment of the movie — it can actually enhance it. So, if you have the opportunity, read the book before going to the movie with horror stories.

The Best Scary Movies for Kids

When it comes to children’s horror, the ground is quite tenuous—directors must strike a balance between having fun and introducing kids to scary ideas without catalyzing phobia. Horror has a reputation as a niche genre, but wherever we look, there’s a bit of something for everyone in search of a spooky thrill—even kids. From werewolves and zombies to ghosts and death, here are a few of my favorite scary kids movies.

The Monster Squad—This movie follows a group of young genre nerds who have to protect their hometown when Dracula and his monster friends are unleashed in the quiet suburban streets. Fred Dekker wrote the script with Shane Black, which gives the film a nice, humorous edge for parents and adults. The creatures themselves are spooky, not scary, making this a great choice for kids interested in the genre.

The Frighteners—Peter Jackson brings his signature energetic direction and top-notch special effects to a slightly family-friendly affair. This movie is rated-R, and it has a few pretty intense gore effects, but this is a great transitional movie for kids who are no longer scared by the noises in their closet. It doesn’t have much in the way of scares, and much of the horror is effects-driven.

Little Shop of Horrors—How scary can a film be if there’s singing, Steve Martin, Jim Belushi, Bill Murray, and Rick Moranis? There’s not too much in the plot to frighten kids in this one, but the man-eating monster action still sticks around in my nightmares.

ParaNorman—This is a relatively new film, and it’s pretty dang brilliant. This movie adds some creepiness to an otherwise kid-friendly affair. This is, by far, the most overtly horror-oriented children’s film I’ve ever seen. The movie has ghosts, a main character who can talk to the dead, and a town curse. Animated and billed as kid-friendly, this is—surprisingly—one of my favorite entries on this list.

The Correlation Between Child Development and Fear

As I’ve established, fear is a natural part of childhood. However, children aren’t born with these terrors and anxieties. Some may be introduced through socialization, but many come to fruition as a result of the natural development process. It’s a fascinating correlation, and with a bit of study, I’m sure we can gain some insight into what scares kids the most—and how to help them through it.

Newborns—Newborn babies have two fears: loud noises and falling. These phenomena are not easily interpreted by their undeveloped brains, and the speed and sensory overload is enough to send them into a screaming fit.

7-11 Months—Stranger and separation anxiety become apparent in babies after spending a significant amount of time with the mother and/or father. While this is a healthy part of development, these anxieties are especially frustrating for parents.

1 Year—Along with a child’s first steps, the one-year birthday brings with it a growing need for independence and control over the environment. This means that things beyond the child’s control will be especially frightening—jumping dogs, automatic-flush toilets, thunder, and the dark. The inability to control these phenomena will continue into early adolescence, sometimes well into adulthood. This is why jump scares in horror film and television remain remarkably successful for some people. It’s not explicitly the fear of the noise—it’s the fear of the unknown.

While these fears are a natural part of childhood, they rarely cross the line into phobia territory. Genuine phobias in childhood are extremely uncommon. While most childhood fears are considered to be irrational from an adult perspective, they are actually very reasonable. If, however, you continue to experience a fear of the dark, dogs, or thunder well into adulthood, your childhood fear has likely transformed into something more sinister.

 

How Hereditary Shifts the Horror Genre

In mid-2018, A24 and Ari Aster released one of the most terrifying films of all time: Hereditary. It stars Toni Collete and Gabriel Byrne and follows a family haunted after the death of their secretive grandmother. The film was acclaimed by critics, who called it “truly, upsettingly powerful on an emotional level.” The film quickly became A24’s highest-grossing film worldwide, and it has received several impressive awards nomination. Plus, Toni Collete delivers the performance of her career.

So, here’s what happens. Annie Graham lives with her husband, Steve, their 16-year-old son, Peter, and their 13-year-old daughter, Charlie. When the matriarch of her family passes away, the Annie and her children begin to unravel cryptic and increasingly terrifying secrets about their ancestry. I won’t spoil it too much, but the thrust of the plot is provided by Annie, Peter, and Charlie’s inability to outrun the sinister fates they have inherited through their mother’s bloodline.

So, what makes this film so scary? A lot of things, but primarily: it combines both childhood and adult fears. It makes the viewer terrified of what’s behind the curtain, but it also deals with the trauma of inheriting and living with a mental illness. It depicts a horrifying cult, but is also makes the viewer fearful of strangers. Hereditary artfully combines some of the most basic and complex fears we have as humans and throws them back in our faces. It’s truly exhilarating.

Here’s another fun piece of movie trivia. Apparently, the film has been “scientifically proven” to be the scariest film of 2018. A24 gave a randomly selected audience Apple Watches, which monitored their vitals. During the film, their heart rates raised to an alarming 164 bpm. A healthy resting heart rate is generally between 60 and 80 beats per minute. If that’s not enough to make you want to go out and see this movie, I don’t know what is.

 

The Three Best Horror Blogs You Should Read Right Now

Alfred Hitchcock once said, “There is a distinct difference between ‘suspense’ and ‘surprise’ … We are now having a very innocent little chat. Let’s suppose that there is a bomb underneath this table between us. Nothing happens, and then all of the sudden, ‘boom!’ There is an explosion. The public is surprised, but prior to this surprise, it has seen an absolutely ordinary scene of no special consequence. Now, let us take a suspense situation. The bomb is underneath the table and the public knows it, probably because they have seen the anarchist place is there. The public is aware the bomb is going to explode at one o’clock, and there is a clock in the decor. The public can see that it is a quarter to one. In these conditions, the same innocuous conversation becomes fascinating because the public is participating in the scene. The audience is longing to warn the characters on the screen, ‘you shouldn’t be talking about such trivial matters. There is a bomb beneath you and it is about to explode!'”

The horror genre takes time to develop; held in place by suspense, these stories creep into our imaginations and take hold, twisting the imaginary into perceived reality. Hitchcock illustrates it in the above quotation; the best horror takes hold of the audience’s attention, requiring participation. This active participation can be time-consuming—another characteristic of the genre.

But what happens if we want a little dose of horror to get through the day? Where should we turn? Horror blogs have been churning out quality content for years, and their free, accessible, and concise content is a great method for getting that quick, daily fix. Below, we have listed our top three horror blogs.

CreepyPasta—This website has spawned hundreds of terrifying tales, including Slenderman, The Russian Sleep, and Candle Cove. CreepyPasta is a collection of paranormal and scary short stories published anonymously on Reddit and 4chan imageboards. Now, readers and writers can submit their own “creepypasta” to be published and archived.

Skyway Bridge Jumpers—This website tells the true stories of those who have jumped to their deaths from this particular bridge. The site counts the number of suicides and provides short stories depicting and lives of the jumpers.

Terror Feed—This site hosts horror shorts and spooky trailers. With over 3,500 videos, you’re sure to find something terrifying enough to get you through the day. Additionally, Terror Feed is community-run and swears by the quality of its videos, meaning you may encounter a friend or two when looking for a scare.