,"Horror movies: The movies that scare us so much it’s fun—for some people at least. But horror movies can have serious side effects, both positive and negative."
--Phoebe lefebvre, 8th grade
Well, horror movies are usually only enjoyed by those who seek them out. The main reason people watch horror movies is that they want to be scared. The thrill of watching a horror movie creates an adrenaline rush which people love. It also releases a chemical called dopamine, which, when combined with the adrenaline your body created, can cause a slight, temporary euphoric feeling. There are also more positive effects to watching horror movies. In some individuals, it can actually help reduce anxiety, and not only that, but it can also burn up to 200 calories at a time, increase brain activity, and boost your immune system. Horror movies can also help some people relieve stress, but for others, it can increase it.
Horror movies can have pretty negative effects on both kids and adults; for example, sleeplessness, or sleep disturbances. The intensity and length of sleep disturbances can vary from person to person, sometimes lasting weeks, months and, in some cases, years. Some people suffer from insomnia, which is a disorder that causes people to not be able to sleep. Sometimes people diagnosed with it don’t sleep for days at a time. Sleep disturbances can also be things like nightmares, or even sleep paralysis, as shown in The Broward College Observer, but horror movies can inflict more negative effects, especially upon children. For children, watching a gory or violent horror movie can increase aggressive and violent behavior, even if for a short while.
Horror movies can also cause mental trauma, new phobias and extreme anxiety in viewers. The varying intensities of horror movies can cause our brain to be more or less affected by what we see. According to an article on The Psychology Spot, we’re programmed psychologically to think that everything we see is real; when we watch a scary film that has a murderer, we actually think were going to be murdered. So watching those films can not only cause trauma, but can also provoke post traumatic stress disorder, especially in soldiers or people who’ve been in extremely traumatizing situations.
So the next time you decide to watch a horror movie, make sure you’re prepared for the aftermath.