For the record, most of the people I know who enjoy horror. . .are women.
Originally, this post was going to be a point by point argument, but I've decided it's more fun to respond to absurdity with more absurdity. So instead I'll be detailing how reading or watching horror makes you the most fantabulous human being of all.
That's right. Because the fight or flight response is triggered, your body floods with adrenaline. Adrenaline makes you strong and fast, and triggers more rapid blood clotting. In other words, you have super speed, super strength, AND super healing. Other than the ability to fly, what more could you ask for?
2. Horror produces shiny happy people!
Another hormone response of fight or flight is to release endorphins. What do endorphins do? Why, they reduce pain, reduce stress, and provide a sense of euphoria. Instead of exercising to get that sense of well being--the runner's high--you can just watch a horror film. What could be easier? If more people watched horror, humanity would be happier in general, because they'd be full of endorphins.
3. Partaking of horror = disaster preparedness!
Don't enjoy horror? Aw, that's too bad. The zombies will eat you first. Those of us who watch horror already know the rules. Psycho killer? We know what to do. In fact, we'll figure out who it is before anyone else. Overrun by zombies? No problem. We got this. Werewolf pack problems? Easy to avoid if you know what to do.
4. Horror, great for weight loss!
Want to be skinny? Being scared triggers the metabolism of fat and glucose stored in the liver. Didn't get out for your walk today? No problem. Pick up a terrifying book and watch the pounds melt away. You've just burned off a bunch of calories, so don't forget to snack.
|Image: Cats Eye|
The fight or flight response causes your eyes to dilate so you can take in more details. You hear that? You can see in the dark! You might as well be a cat! Tired of wearing your glasses? Get a good scare and you'll never need them again.
Enjoying a scary story doesn't make a person a psycho. It doesn't mean they don't have feelings. It doesn't mean they can't feel for others. What it means is they like a good scare. Whether that's for escapism, catharsis, or the love of cheesy special effects, it's not a bad thing. Some of the best drawn characters, the ones where you really get into their heads and understand what they're going through, are characters in horror novels. A movie or novel would be half as terrifying if those reading or watching couldn't identify with the characters, couldn't empathize with their plight. You can't be scared by something you can't feel. And you can't be scared for someone you can't feel for.
What do you think? Are people who enjoy horror sick in the head? Do they lack empathy? Is it possible to enjoy horror if you feel for others? What stereotypes exist for the genres you most enjoy? Are you misconstrued by people who just don't get your genre?
May you find your Muse.
Horror - By Roberto Ferrari from Campogalliano (Modena), Italy (Horror Uploaded by russavia) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
K - by Scott, clker.com
Cats Eye - By Guylaine Brunet (originally posted to Flickr as oeil) [CC BY 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons