Editor’s note: As part of upcoming “Vitriol” issue, Black & Grey in the Schools oversaw a competitive contest by today’s young writers to promote new talent. The following piece was a winner of this contest and is written collaboratively by Amber Bailey, Bobby Krouse, Thomas Pillion, and Raymond Schroeder.
1. Misattribution or Mistake; You decide
When watching a movie, two very common feelings one may experience are fear and anxiety. These are brought on by scenes designed to be frightening, which are what makes a horror movie a horror movie. But, one thing most viewers are not aware of is the misattribution that they are unconsciously experiencing. When one is experiencing fear and anxiety during a horror movie, it has been proven that the majority of viewers take these two common feelings and misconstrue them for sexual attraction. When one realizes they are being aroused, a natural response is to try to determine what made them feel that way. Mental and physical feelings are the two main ways people use to determine a particular reason for feeling as they do. In many cases, it was found that instead of just accepting that they were experiencing sweaty palms or their heart racing due to the fact that they were watching something creepy or horrific, they instead came to a final conclusion that they actually were feeling the way they did due to being very attracted to the person they were watching the scary movie with. Hopefully that doesn’t wear off after the movie ends!
2. The Release of Serotonin; The Key to Leaving on a Good Note
The body releases serotonin when it gets frightened or excited in certain situations. Watching a scary movie gets you on the edge of your seat through suspense causing a rush of these chemicals to kick in and your body beginning to feel an adrenaline rush. For you to experience an adrenaline rush you must secrete serotonin, for serotonin to be secreted you must first experience a level of suspense, and most suspenseful moments can be found in horror movies. In turn this adrenaline you feel is a feeling all on its own. It takes your body to another level, which makes the experience with whoever you are with more memorable, in time ultimately making you more memorable, and that more likely to get a second date.
3. Blood, Gore, & Confidence?
When you watch a horror movie, you will more than likely be scared at some point during the movie. Usually by the end of the movie the menacing conflict is resolved and monster, the demon, or murderer is defeated. Therefore, by the end of the movie your fear will be conquered and forgotten. This in turn causes you to naturally feel good and add to your confidence, which can shine through when talking to that special someone you are watching the movie with. And who doesn’t like someone with confidence?
4. Trick or Dopamine; The Feel Good Chemical
When we get scared our brains pump dopamine into our bodies. This is the same chemical that gets pumped into our bodies when we are in love with someone or attracted to them. Your heart races at the thought of what is going to happen next or what is going to jump out and scare you. At times, people even develop an addiction to this particular feeing. Getting scared creates that exhilarating feeling that some people cannot get enough of. So, the next time date night rolls around reach outside that comfort zone and go for a thriller instead of the latest comedy.
5. Creates a “Snuggle Effect”
For those of the more masculine type a horror movie is the perfect time to display their dominance and “mastery of fear.” This doesn’t necessarily mean that they do not get scared, but that they are better prepared to deal with the feelings one experiences when watching a horror movie. But, that isn’t to say that those of a more feminine type are left with nothing. While your masculine partner is channeling their absence of fear, there is no better time to seek the shelter in the arms of that special someone. So, while the movie is playing both individuals can better experience what might otherwise be an unpleasant experience whether that is as the protector or the protected. Which are you?
Literary Editor: John Yu Branscum