Discussion by: JogreHello all! As a recently awakened former preacher I was mindlessly watching late night programming, reading some scientific literature, when multiple commercials endorsing some new horror films flicked across the screen. As I watched, I couldn’t help but feel the twinge of my previous mindset (preacher, bible teacher, seminarian) flare up absolutely petrified. I felt the hot singe of panic (preacher’s panic, not sane person panic – there is a very different and thoroughly more potent reaction with ‘preacher’s panic’) shoot up my spine and into my chest. Then it disappeared as this thought came into my head: “I wonder where the evolutionary roots of fear of ‘possessed’ people, dead people, horror films in general, originated.” I stifled a bit of laughter when I realized how quickly my previous fear-responses died when I thought about science, and how quickly science came to mind – absolute satisfaction for this newly awakened person.
I am wondering if any of you have any insights on the basis for the fear (fascination?) of the grotesque, the horrific gore, and the paranormal infection that plagues modern cult films. I have many hypotheses as to what could potentially elicit various responses, from fear to fascination, from intense sadness to intense enjoyment, etc.
It seems to me that the genre which brings up fear/torture/explicit harm to others looks an unnecessary film genre (though certainly my inability to understand films like this is a horrific bias on this issue). I would love also to hear opinions on the horror film genre in general, whether or not you enjoy them, or what your ideas on the pros/cons of cultural exposure to their intrinsically sinister themes are. I appreciate your input!