Horror is a film genre that tries to create a negative reaction from the audience, trying to create tension, foreboding and suspense.
Target audiences for Horror are attracted by 6 reasons…
- Brain physiology – Koch- peoples fears e.g. some more afraid of animals. Found in the right amygydala of the brain.
- The Uncanny – Freud and Jung – deep seated anxieties
- Catharsis – Aristotle – losing oneself
- Fascination- Zillmann – transgressive behaviours
- Sensation Seeking Scale – Zuckerman – thrill seeking
- Societal fear – Skal – safe space for social fears
The Horror genre is defined by its intended effect on the audience. Horror film conventions are generally accepted standards or norms in the genre. The subdivisions of a larger film genre are known as Sub-genres, each with their own distinctive subject matter, style, narrative formulas and iconography. Horror films can often be identified as a Hybrid. Horror films often
exhibit the conventions of more than one genre in order to give a fresh twist on tradition
and shock the audience in new ways, for example Alien (Scott, 1979) is a horror/sci fi hybrid or Shaun of the Dead is a comedy/horror hybrid.
Why to watch different types of Horrors?
Gore watching – characterized by low empathy, high sensation seeking, and in males a strong identification with the killer
Thrill watching – high empathy and high sensation seeking – motivated by the suspense of the film and more identification with the victims.
Independent Watching – high empathy for the victim with a high positive effect of overcoming fear
Problem Watching – high empathy for the victim but characterized by negative effect – sense of helplessness.