HOLLYWOOD—Someone brought up something recently that really got me thinking? Are horror films bad for one’s mental state? I never thought about that, but it got me thinking. They are indeed dark, they are violent, some can be disturbing and they can deliver some serious nightmares at times. So why is that? Well, horror is all about fear. It is the notion of us having to confront the things that scare us or the things that we hope to never see happen.
With horror films in particular we get the opportunity to put ourselves in the shoes of fictional characters and question how we would react or what we would do in certain situations. At the same time, it is an adrenaline rush to watch a horror flick with an audience because everyone feels the same emotion: fear. Or you could say terror, suspense or a few other emotions.
It does raise the question of rather you can watch horror flicks without experiencing certain triggers in the brain. For me personally, I’m a fan of horror, I have been since I was like 4 or 5 years old. Trust me my mother and father were royally against it, my mother more than my father, but I had a curious brain. The worst thing you can tell a child is that they cannot or shouldn’t do something. That just makes you that more curious to want to do it.
I remember my first horror flick like yesterday, it was “Halloween 4: The Return of Michael Myers.” I wanted to see that movie so bad, and my mother said nope, no chance. I think a year later, I finally got the opportunity to see my first horror flick which happened to be “A Nightmare on Elm Street 5: The Dream Child.” The funny thing was that I was in the theater with my dad, a cousin and a few other family members, and I had my eyes closed the entire time people. My affinity for horror started there, but after my parents got divorced I had a separation from horror for almost 6 to 7 years.
I happened to get back into horror by a fluke right around middle school and the rest is history, but my horror is not everyone else’s horror. I’m not a fan of the gore, the excessive violence and all that nastiness that is immersed with the genre. For me it is about suspense. For me, that is the pure definition of horror in my eyes, not how freaked out a person can get from seeing something disturbing.
If there are any flicks in the genre that hold a special torch it has to be from the “Halloween,” “A Nightmare on Elm Street” and “Friday the 13th” franchises. Those are my 80s movies and those are the only ones that I can stomach and actually watch. Yeah, you might say there is gore with the “Friday the 13th” movies, but that is camp and that is what is expected with the franchise that is how it was intended.
However, I mainly indulge around Halloween with horror; it’s not an everyday occurrence. It just isn’t something I can do and have a positive and relaxed mindset people. So I do believe in this notion of lightening the load on horror can change the energy that comes your way. You don’t have so much negativity; you can watch a comedy, animated flick or an action flick that heightens a bit more positive aura in the universe than the dread and mayhem that comes with horror people. I guess you don’t realize the mental anguish of horror until someone opens your eyes to it.
Let me be clear this is not to say that people who watch horror indulge in bad things, it simply means everyone has their own cup of tea of entertainment, but seeing another perspective is important. However, if you’re having sleepless nights, not always able to be in a positive state of mind, you might have to ask why that is. Horror could indeed put a smile on your face because it allows you to unwind, for me it allows my creative juices to explode as a writer. Ideas explode in my head about what I want in a movie, what I don’t want and what I want to see. Movies have a weird way of entertaining, and when you hear someone’s perspective as to why they don’t indulge in a particular genre of film it makes you say, “Oh, I see.” That is something I never considered before.