Do you like horror movies? Expert Says There’s A Scientific Reason People Like To Be Scared


Everyone experiences fear – this is one of the most primary emotions. Merriam-Webster describes “fear” simply as “an unpleasant emotion caused by anticipation or awareness of danger”. But is there any science behind it?

New York University neural science professor Joseph Ledoux has spent much of his life studying the biology of emotions, and more specifically fear. He told “CBS Mornings” co-host Nate Burleson that the fear is based on past personal experiences.

“For the most part, the things that scare us are things we’ve learned. We don’t come into the world knowing guns and knives. But there are some things we’re predisposed to at least learn, if not having an automatic response to snakes and spiders and so on because our primate ancestors fell prey to them when they lived in the trees, ”he said.

But what is behind the urge to seek out this primal emotion? Are people just looking for a cheap thrill or is it more than that?

“Why do people love horror movies? Because they get this rush in a safe setting,” Ledoux said.

Professor Debbie Felton teaches ancient Roman and Greek classics at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. She says human beings have entertained themselves with fear for thousands of years.

“This kind of human behavior and these types of responses have been around for thousands of years and are not just a product of modern society,” Felton said.

Procrustes is a figure in Greek mythology and a blacksmith who attracted weary travelers to his roadside house to rest, only to remove their tired limbs with a saw, ax, or hammer. He is considered one of the first serial killers.

“People really don’t think of these kinds of stories when they think of the ancient Greeks and the ancient Romans. But there were a bunch of stories that were considered folklore among people, and we’re fortunate that some of those stories survive, ”Felton said.

Fast forward a few thousand years and the horror genre has catapulted itself into mainstream audiences with films like the 1996 horror classic “Scream”, which helped redefine the meaning of fear.

Tyler Gillett and Matt Bettinelli-Olpin are the directors of the last chapter of the “Scream” saga. It’s the long-awaited return of a franchise. The upcoming film will be a reboot but a sequel to be released next year.

Some of the original actors, including Neve Campbell, Courteney Cox, David Arquette and the iconic voice of Roger Jackson, will return in this film.

This is the first “Scream” film without the legendary filmmaker Wes Craven, who died in 2015. Craven’s work on the 1984 film “A Nightmare on Elm Street” introduced a new generation to the genre, including Gillett and Bettinelli-Olpin .

“What do you think fear is that people like? Burleson asked.

“It’s the desire to have a shared experience, isn’t it? Our mortality is the thing we all have at the end of the day in common. And so get to be in a place where you can. exercising it in a really, you know, a really real, emotional and community way, ”said Gillett. “And honestly, also what we love about horror movie making.”

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