Students reflect on impact of horror films

If one scours the internet, he or she could find a multitude of lists and articles with titles such as “10 best horror movies” and “5 best/worst slasher films.” Some watch them for a laugh. Others watch them to be scared, while some others watch them because it’s the thing to do around this time of year.

However, it has been shown that, varying from person to person, horror movies can have positive or negative impacts. Most are not impacted negatively because these types of movies are seen as clearly not real and as a means of entertainment.

Emma Pell, a sophomore and digital cinema major, says that while she enjoys watching horror movies for entertainment, she would never make horror movies. She talked about them as “a good source of entertainment.” Of horror movies she says, “I’ll watch them for a laugh.”

Pell also mentioned that she doesn’t watch them very often, not because they’re scary, but because they tend to bore her. However, she also sees no qualm in watching them even if they have “scary,” gory or even demonic themes. She says that they have value, but not quality film value.

“I think it has a different sort of value. People want to be scared. Same thing with rollercoasters.”

Rachel Humphrys, sophomore, thought the same thing. Humphrys said she loved watching them because they were exciting. She also saw them as a “good source of entertainment.”

“If I want to have fun with my friends and have a good laugh, maybe we’ll go out and watch a horror movie, and that’s okay.”

Humphrys understood that though they can be scary for some, she said that “they’re just movies, not reality” and that’s why people, even Christians, shouldn’t be afraid to watch them.

Grant Horner, a professor at The Master’s College, offers a Christian perspective on the popularity of horror movies. He says, “Frightening movies have always been a major segment of Hollywood fare. Fear sells tickets.”

He mentions that there are different types of fears, and that one of those is the fear of God. He talks about how we as humans are “built to fear” something infinitely greater than ourselves.

He also mentions how that fear can often be misplaced on objects and ideas, like death or people. It makes sense for Horner that we would enjoy fear and watching these movies. He says that the fear of God is too big for us and often overwhelming, which is why it is often replaced with other fears.