Horror Movies: Man’s Best Enemy


Lama Younis, Staff Writer

It is almost that time of the year again, the infamous holiday season. As October nears, Halloween is quickly coming up, and, accordingly, production industries premiere their best horror films during October. As a result, your local thrill-seekers will be heading to the AMC Theater to buy a ticket. You are not a fan? You would not be the only one. 

The human species has a love-hate relationship with horror movies. Many argue that this genre of movies induces fear and paranoia. While that may be true, the benefits of these thrilling films are overlooked, and very much outweigh the disadvantages. To the surprise of many, the occasional thrill is good for the physical, mental, and emotional aspects of the body. 

First off, scary films actually relieve stress and help individuals deal with anxiety. You read that right– those movies that make people tense up with fear can be the best coping mechanisms for anxiety. Nerve-racking scenes, such as jump scares, create a different kind of fear and worry that is not about the individual watching it, a disconnect from real world problems. Of course, this differs from person to person, but according to a Dr. Mathias Clasen of Aarhus University in Denmark, this makes sense. He spoke to Broadly for an article titled “Why Some Anxious People Find Comfort in Horror Movies,” and explained why individuals find horror movies theraputic, stating that this genre allows people to, “voluntarily-and under controlled circumstances- get experience with negative emotion.” This allows for a psychological distance from the world and its various problems, and creates a sense of gratification and relief. 

Not only are horror movies beneficial to the state of mind, but also to the body itself. Too lazy to hit the gym? Just watch a scary movie. Meenu Katariya wrote in “Just 7 Scientific Reasons That Prove Watching Horror Movies Is Actually Good For Your Health” that doing so can burn 200 calories. That is the equivalent of the amount of calories burnt during a 30-minute walk. Additionally, scary films can enhance brain activity through the release of neurotransmitters, and thus, make the brain more alert.

To delve deeper into the world of horror, a multitude of highschoolers were asked the following questions: 


  • What are your thoughts on horror movies? How do you feel after watching one?
  • When was the last time you watched a horror movie?
  • Would you believe that horror movies can in fact relieve stress?


Swathi Kovvur(above): “I like horror movies while I’m watching them, but after it is over, I get paranoid and scared.”



Prat Verma(left): “The last time I watched a horror movie was about a month ago.” Rachel Mandzyuk(right): “I really could not tell you when the last time I watched a horror movie was.”


According to the results, 36.6% of the people that were asked these questions said they felt frightened or paranoid after watching horror movies, and that they did not like them. The other majority felt either relief, satisfaction, or alertness after watching scary films, and thoroughly enjoyed them. Additionally, the vast majority of the people surveyed either could not remember the last time they watched horror movies or watched one in the last week or two. These statistics really embody the fact that humans, as a whole, have very mixed feelings on the subject at hand. However, an overwhelming number of highschoolers said that they truly believed that scary films cause stress, not relieve it, contrary to the research shown that proves otherwise. So, essentially, just like in any other matter that involves opinions, perception of horror movies differs from person to person, but as they say: “What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger,” quite literally in this case.


While you may or may not necessarily be a fanatic of jump-scares and graphic images, it certainly would not hurt to choose a horror film instead of that cheesy rom-com every now and then. It might even benefit you to head over to the Collection at Forsyth and buy a ticket for IT Chapter Two or Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark. Speaking of which, Halloween brings the most anticipated horror movies with it, such as: Polaroid, Ready or Not, Zombieland: Double Tap, and Girl on the Third Floor. In light of this new information, grab your friends, get the popcorn, turn the lights off, and beware of the demons.