Besides that, in popular culture, evil is said to be an independent phenomenon in the horror genre. The old explanation given to us by priests as to why evil persists is not enough to quench the thirst of people from this day and age. Instead, people gain explanations from movies such as Mary Shelly’s “Frankenstein,” which plays a role in describing human technological arrogance, where the “man-made monster turns on his own creator,” or Robert Louis Stevenson’s “Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde,” which describes the clear divide between good and evil.
Testing limits in safe boundaries
Have you ever been so scared to watch a horror film and then decided to watch it with all the lights turned on or with a group of friends who tease the characters on screen, reducing the actual spook of the movie? It completely changes the feel of the film, doesn’t it?
When one knows they are safe while watching the frightening contents running on a TV screen, it allows them a space to test their personal limits. Hence, the watching of horror movies can be a therapeutic experience for some, allowing people the chance to deal with their own anxiety. Psychologist Svein Age Kjos Johnsen described this theory by saying, "In psychology, we call this activation of a feeling ‘emotional regulation.’ By watching horror films one can have a sense of control over both the situation, or the viewing experience, and over the feeling of fear.”
Fear of the unknown
Often, a part of horror films that interests viewers is how everyday situations and objects can become a part of the realm of the unknown. Possessed people, frightening locations, haunted houses and cursed objects are all a part of this so-called “fear of the unknown” which leads to people being drawn toward the genre of horror.
According to Glenn Sparks, a professor and associate head of the Brian Lamb School of Communication at Purdue University, different people respond to physiological arousal in different ways; while some people are wired to enjoy high levels, others are not. People tend to also enjoy the adrenaline rush that comes with the watching of anything related to the horror genre in general.
Another reason people tend to turn toward horror films is because of their novelty. Often, people are drawn to anomalies in their environment. As Glenn Sparks stated, “Since danger disrupts routine, curiosity about change is important for survival.” Also, the visual effects used in horror films draw quite a bit of curiosity toward them, especially by avid horror fanatics who become enamored with the use of visual effects in the context of film.