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Why is the 'horror' genre so appealing to many?

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Why is the 'horror' genre so appealing to many?

Old 11-25-05, 12:11 PM
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Why is the 'horror' genre so appealing to many?

When I was a kid, I really wasn't that into horror movies. I liked Freddy and then Michael, but that was it.

Now, as a dvd collector it seems to encompass the biggest portion of my collection and when I want to see a movie I usually go to that section most often.

I enjoy the ones I pick out and have never seen, save for last night's late night pick of "I Spit on Your Grave". I didn't hate it, but I was expecting more gore on the revenge scenes.

So I ask this with hesitation as I don't quite know why I am attracted to the genre.

How about you?
Old 11-25-05, 12:21 PM
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It tends (along with sci-fi) to be the genre with the most at stake...add to that the raw intensity the best ones provide and you have a genre that always engages you. Even if the horror as presented is ho-hum, usually the idea behind any horror movie can get a flutter out of the old gastrointestinal butterflies, and I think that's its appeal--it's so viscerally engaging in a way that no other genre, save again for sci-fi, is.
Old 11-25-05, 12:39 PM
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Originally Posted by Filmmaker
It tends (along with sci-fi) to be the genre with the most at stake...add to that the raw intensity the best ones provide and you have a genre that always engages you. Even if the horror as presented is ho-hum, usually the idea behind any horror movie can get a flutter out of the old gastrointestinal butterflies, and I think that's its appeal--it's so viscerally engaging in a way that no other genre, save again for sci-fi, is.
i like that answer...i like it a lot! very verbose and succinct.
Old 11-25-05, 02:20 PM
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Originally Posted by scott1598
i like that answer...i like it a lot! very verbose and succinct.
You're half right.
Old 11-25-05, 02:21 PM
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I used to like horror more for the gore than anything else, but within the last 15 years I really started to like the music in horror films more. I still buy horror films, but I like collecting the soundtracks more, especially the Italian horror films from the late 60's up to the 80's.
Old 11-25-05, 03:32 PM
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So do you want to know why each of us individually likes the horror genre or why the horror genre is appealing to so many?
Old 11-25-05, 06:19 PM
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Originally Posted by RyoHazuki
So do you want to know why each of us individually likes the horror genre or why the horror genre is appealing to so many?
why individuals like horror in general...
Old 11-25-05, 07:07 PM
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Originally Posted by scott1598
why individuals like horror in general...
Individually... or in general?
Old 11-25-05, 09:57 PM
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They represent the most surreal/"out there" cinema has to offer without moving into artsy.

Anything can happen, and we accept it - even if it's just for fun. You can have aliens, murderers, cannibals, zombies, whatever - Characters are disposed of with little warning, and a Hollywood ending may or may not occur. Mix with generally badass visuals and/or visual tricks, great atmosphere, beautifully dark sets, and numerous other things, copious crimson, and either a) extreme atmosphere or b) brisk pace, and you've got why it's probably such an appealing genre.

Now, with that said, everybody get The Descent (2005), so damn good.
Old 11-25-05, 10:14 PM
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Scantily-clad and oft-naked women.
Old 11-26-05, 09:36 AM
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fear without consequences
Old 11-26-05, 10:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Fincher Fan
Scantily-clad and oft-naked women.
While I can certainly 2nd this, I have to agree that the movies appeal to people on a visceral level. These films really hit people across the board on the same level despite race, religion, gender, etc. They provide a cathartic experience and since they tend to be so fun, they also tend to have more replay value. They may not be as emotionally rich as other films which may require additional viewings to delve into the layers, but horror movies tend to be a joy to come back to over and over again.
Old 11-26-05, 11:44 AM
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Now from the other side. I dont understand horror at all. There are very few movies that I can get into and most of them have more to do with suspense than gore. I dont understand how people could like movies like the Devil's Rejects, etc. For me it is disgusting and disturbing and I dont want it in my life.

I am not tyring to say anyone who likes this genre is, Im only saying what it is like for me. I have tried to watch and it doesn't scare me, it only makes me scratch my head and ask my self why am I watching this, whats the point. Some of the movies are actually a lot of fun but I dont think they are what is being talked about here (Shawn of the Dead, the Ring, and I even like some of the classics like Evil Dead, etc to an extent).

While waiting in line at the movies my brother and I walked into Saw II to watch for about 15 minutes. I admit, we did not know what was going on, but the acting was so bad I am almost certain I would hate this movie. It seemed that even the scenes that were supposed to be "intense" were so fake that I felt no "fear" or whatever.

I dunno, I came here to read why the gore is so attractive and what draws people to the genre. Maybe Im not watching the correct movies. Can anyone help me with some suggestions now that you know how I feel? I really want to find some that I like.
Old 11-26-05, 12:14 PM
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Caliking, everyone has their own idea of what's scary. I could make suggestions such as Halloween, The Exorcist, Poltergeist, Carpenter's The Thing, Night of the Living Dead and Jaws. Others would think those aren't scary.

Horror movies tend not to "scare" me much anymore but I still love to watch them. I also like Japanese horror but they're more atmospherically creepy than scary. Now an ultra-realistic movie like August Underground can be scary because shit like that actually could happen.
Old 11-26-05, 12:39 PM
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Horror movies rarely scare me but when they do its great. I do love in horror how anything can happen. Also to me horror movies are nostalgic. Another reason i like them is for the death scenes. Horror movies are also fun to watch with a group of friends and just kick back. Thats why i like them.
Old 11-26-05, 07:44 PM
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Because it gives us many ideas on how to take care of those nasty "Post Office Employees."

Sorry. Had to go there this week.

Seriously though, everybody is different. One example. I saw "The Ring" before most anybody else and I still scratch my head to this day when people say how scary it is. That they were frightened and scared to go out or watch tv afterwards. All it made me want to do was come home and take a nap.

I enjoyed several when I was growing up. I still like some. But, I will admit I only have probably enjoyed maybe 30% I have seen. And I have seen many over the years.

Last edited by AllHallowsEve; 11-26-05 at 07:47 PM.
Old 11-26-05, 08:52 PM
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I'm agreeing with both Rich and Fincherfan.

Most other genres of movies are based pretty firmly in reality. I get enough of that on a day to day basis. To the best of my knowledge, I've never had someone kill my friends, get shot by 20 cops, and then come back to life to kill me.
Old 11-26-05, 09:16 PM
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I don't know. Most horror films are just gore films. I've never been truly scared by a horror movie (as an adult), but I have been disgusted by them... as if being afraid and being nauseated are the same thing. Most of the "scares" just come from the visceral anticipation of violence.

There are spooky scenes that don't require anyone being maimed, though, like the birthday party glimpse of the alien in Signs. Alien is a great horror movie, too. Sometime watch just how little blood there is in the film yet how creepy it is.

Last edited by Breakfast with Girls; 11-26-05 at 09:23 PM.
Old 11-26-05, 11:00 PM
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Originally Posted by mndtrp
To the best of my knowledge, I've never had someone kill my friends, get shot by 20 cops, and then come back to life to kill me.
Then you, sir, haven't truly lived.
Old 11-27-05, 03:25 AM
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Originally Posted by Breakfast with Girls
I don't know. Most horror films are just gore films. I've never been truly scared by a horror movie (as an adult), but I have been disgusted by them... as if being afraid and being nauseated are the same thing. Most of the "scares" just come from the visceral anticipation of violence.

There are spooky scenes that don't require anyone being maimed, though, like the birthday party glimpse of the alien in Signs. Alien is a great horror movie, too. Sometime watch just how little blood there is in the film yet how creepy it is.
I've always loved that shot. It completely freaked me out the first time I saw it, and many times after as well.
Old 11-27-05, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Breakfast with Girls

There are spooky scenes that don't require anyone being maimed, though, like the birthday party glimpse of the alien in Signs.

you ain't kiddin'. even reading about that scene still gives me chills.
Old 11-27-05, 09:13 AM
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Ok, just to "Dove tail" off of this topic:


What's the difference between a "Horror" and "Thriller"? It seems to me a "horror" movie can be also be a "thriller". But you can't really have a "Thriller" with "horror" elements because at that point it crosses immediately into the "horror" genre.

You know what I mean?
Old 11-27-05, 09:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Philzilla
fear without consequences


The world can be a scary place, and horror movies allow you to deal with that in a safe environment.

When children first discover just how scary the world is, they like to hear stories about wicked stepmothers and witches' houses made of candy.

I once heard Stephen King say that popular horror movies reflect what most scares people at the time. In the 1950s, he said, people were worried about communist infiltration and atomic bombs, so they watched Invasion of the Body Snatchers and Godzilla. In the 1980s people were more worried about diseases and cancer, and they watched movies like Alien, where something malevolent grows inside of you.
Old 11-27-05, 09:22 AM
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Originally Posted by Breakfast with Girls
I don't know. Most horror films are just gore films. I've never been truly scared by a horror movie (as an adult), but I have been disgusted by them... as if being afraid and being nauseated are the same thing. Most of the "scares" just come from the visceral anticipation of violence.


I couldn't disagree more. Gore is only one part of the horror genre (a genre of the genre, so to speak).

The Others
The Haunting (original)
Jaws
Alien (as you mentioned)
Poltergeist
Ju-on (the Japanese version)
The Ring
The Devil's Backbone
Blair Witch Project

Hell, even the original The Texas Chainsaw Massacre was relatively gore free.

Granted, blood is part of the genre, but gore is not. There are many well done horror movies that are gore free.

I personally like horror because I like seeing the most fucked up situation a person can be put into, then watch them trying to get out of it.
Old 11-27-05, 11:31 AM
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I believe people like horror films because we are curious about savagery. In our Information Age and especially now-a more conservative time due to Bush's presidentcy-there's not a lot one can due to tickle that pirmoridal man that does lurk within us. Think of a primitive man's everyday life compared to ours; there's not a lot modern man can due to unleash his/hers savagery except horror films (well, theres murder and rape but that really doesn't relate to this discussion).

Horror films can safely release that valve. My take anyway.

Horror is also a brave andeuver for someone to walk into the macabre, the unknown, or to thrill-seek all in a safe manner.

If one does like a horror once in a while, I question your innards. Let the crimson flow....

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