Which type of horror movie fan are you?
By Tara Yilmaz
October is my favorite month of the year–not for the pumpkin-flavored baked goods or coffee. Definitely not for taking hayrides and watching the leaves change colors. October is my favorite month because of all the horror movies that are available to watch all month long. From the first of the month to my wedding anniversary on Halloween. I watch at least two scary movies a day, listen to true-crime podcasts while at work, and scour the internet for unseen scary movies. Each of these activities brings me such joy but not more than watching The Exorcist. My best friend Ashley is puzzled by how I can watch terrifying films and not be affected by them. I told her, “Movies don’t scare me; real life does.”
→ Did you know people may seek out horror movies to trigger chemicals in their brains, to help them plan for worst-case scenarios or to practice coping strategies and control? Psi Chi, the International Honor Society in Psychology, states that based on scientific findings, people may seek out horror movies for these sorts of reasons and more. I agree with these findings because I am one of those people who constantly plans for the worst-case scenarios. I’m not as professional as Jason Bourne or meticulous as Denzel Washington in the Equalizer trilogy, but close enough. The Washington Post Article “Why we like scary things: The science of recreational fear,” gives another reason for our collective fixation on boos and frights.
→ Did you know there are three broad types of horror fans? According to the Washington Post, the classification ranges between adrenaline junkies, white knucklers and dark copers. What are those you might ask? Adrenaline junkies are the most obvious out of the three. These people get a mood boost from the recreational fear experience and try to maximize that experience, such as by actively focusing on scary events or allowing themselves to scream. White knucklers try to “lean out” of the experience by trying to find the situation funny or lessening their exposure to scary stimuli. Dark copers, the third type of horror fan, seem to use scary media to help them deal with anxieties about the world or their own lives by focusing on a more concrete threat. So, the real question is, which one are you?
→ Did you know Rollingstone.com lists 101 best horror movies? It lists diverse movies from subsets of the horror genre which include movies with supernatural entities, religious dogma, American crime thrillers, domestic and international independent films, gore, slashers, psychological, and many more. Out of the 101 movies listed, I’m not embarrassed to say that
I’ve seen my fair share and more. The difference is, that I consider myself a horror film snob and only a few of those movies are on my “must-watch list.” Movies such as, Poltergeist, Candyman, A Nightmare on Elm Street, Silence of the Lambs, Carrie (1976), 28 Days Later, The Fly, The Shining, Get Out, and of course The Exorcist (1971). In my opinion, there are a few movies that should’ve been included on that list, if not, honorable mentions. The Conjuring franchise, Howling II: Your Sister’s a Werewolf, The Omen (1976), Hellraiser (1987), American Psycho, Nope, A Fire in the Sky, Doctor Sleep, Wind River, Annihilation, and Dark Skies just to name a handful.
Of course, many people won’t understand individuals’ taste for horror movies. At the end of the day, zombies can’t infect viewers with a thirst for brains and vampires aren’t real, no matter what you’ve read on this page, but the thought of putting my hand accidentally in my mouth after touching a shopping cart is enough to make me shiver in my bed sheets.