Essay on Horror Movies: An Art Form?
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Ever since the advent of celluloid films, horror movies have always held a fascination for viewers. Just why do people pay good money to be scared out of their wits? Apart from its entertainment value, the horror movie satisfies certain primordial needs in man. Through the horror movies, one is able to come to grips with one's personal demons, fear of death and other irrational phobias and in the process achieve a catharsis. Far from being morbid, such movies actually affirm life for the movie-goer, for he is able to emerge from the dark into the light, both literally and figuratively, having explored the world beyond our normal perception as well as the deep recesses of the human soul and say, "It's good to be alive."
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And that is the greatest fear of all.
In the horror movie, however, death is not the be all and end all; it could be the start of a diabolical way of `life', as a vampire, zombie or a resurrected creature as in the case of Frankenstein's creation. Such creatures are a travesty of life and their very presence serves to reaffirm our humanity and provide us with a catharsis for our fear of death, for there are worse things, after all.
At the most basis level, horror movies are about the age-old fight between good and evil. At a deeper level, however, the beast within us is the evil that we have to conquer. This is exemplified in such movies of spiritual possession as The Exorcist and The Omen. A variation of the possession myth is the myth of transfiguration or metamorphosis. Dracula transfigure his victim with a bite; the full moon transforms a mere mortal into a lethal lycanthrope; a potion facilitates Dr Jekyll's metamorphosis into the evil Mr Hyde. These "monsters" are a symbol of the duality of human and reflect man's constant struggle within himself.
The horror movies of the past ten years of so have tended to be more violently graphic and visceral - a reflection of modern times, perhaps. Think of the blood and gore, of the violent deaths at regular intervals in such movies as the Friday the Thirteenth series, I Know
People have enjoyed a state of fear since a long time ago, but only the appearance of the cinema made depiction of fear as real and graphical as the real life can be. Over the course of the 20th century the horror movies of all kinds, from crudely primitive to rather intellectual have been extremely popular and remain to be so in the 21st one. But why?
The main reason, in my opinion, is that, no matter what people say about modern world and how terrible it is, the fact that the life of the majority of people is much safer and pleasanter than it used to be in the ages passed is certain. A couple of hundred years ago an average man had enough problems and fears of his own to be interested in additional adrenaline received from artificial ones.
In addition to this, people seem to be showing a tendency to love to be afraid. The regularity with which public consciousness creates new and new global scarecrows, like annual deadly pandemics and ends of the world, global warming, Large Hadron Collider and so on, shows that humankind is simply bored and wants to create distractions.
While not being an actual scarecrow, horror movies serve as an excellent short-span adrenaline stimulator, so it is no surprise so many people are fond of them.
All in all, horror movies seem to be a…