What I Learned from Watching Horror Movies
I have always been terrified of horror movies. After watching the 6th Sense, I did not sleep for three days. My mother yelled at me for believing in that nonsense and ordered me to bed. However, scientists have studied why we watch horror movies and the answer is surprising : we watch them to bond.
Think about it, we have so many bonding rituals that we do not even consider great for society. Chicks get their nails done together and men watch football. Yet, the way the two genders bond cannot always be seen out in public. So, we find ways to connect with each other as a group . The two best ways are anger and fear. Protesters bond in the anger over something they fear. When someone experiences a traumatic event with another person, like a car crash or a birth, it bonds them for life.
I am writing a screenplay for a client in love with the horror movie genre. So, I had to face my fears and watch a few to understand what makes a bad, good, or even great horror movie. This is what I learned in no particular order:
1. Sleep is when we are most vulnerable. We conk out for at least six hours and we are susceptible to intrusion.
2. At some point, one character is not believed that things are happening around the house. Everything is supposed to have an explanation and the one with the most psychic powers is generally the most resistant.
3. Childhood is a sacred time in everyone’s life that cannot be interfered with by adults. Kids are low hanging fruit to make creepy because we want so badly to give them the idealistic childhood none of us had.
4. Use the happiest sounding song during what is supposedly the scariest part. Tiptoe Through the Tulips played during the stupidest part of Insidious.
5. Dolls are always scary. I only played with barbies growing up because dolls are freaky at best, possessed by the devil at worst.
6. The moms who are psycho and force their offspring (usually boys) into being serial killers generally tend to be glamorous. Michelle Crane’s fashion sense makes me want to pass out from happiness.
7. Mirrors are portals to hell. Also, they are torture devices not only to see the ever-increasing lines on our faces or bad hair, but something sinister lies on the other side.
8. Never be in your house alone; you will be touched by some invisible force.
9. If someone looks like they are bad dancers, they may just be possessed by a demon who is just getting used to their new body.
10. They are always lame. I have yet to see one that truly stays with you beyond the cheap pop up scares.