Tuesday, June 19, 2012

Horror Movies and Desensitization

Does anyone ever feel like horror movies don't leave the lasting impact you want them to? I honestly like to be scared. Scratch that, I like to be terrified when I see a horror movie. I'm addicted to the little thrill you get from it. A long time ago, when I first started out with things like The Ring, I jumped at shadows for weeks. The Grudge had me checking my bathroom every 5 seconds and locking my black cat out of my room. Even Jaws made me want to stay out of the ocean. Nowadays it seems I can't find anything that does more than creep me out for a few hours.

It all leads back to desensitization. It's gonna happen. You watch enough scary stuff and you start becoming accustomed to it. Which means you look for scarier and scarier stuff to satisfy your horror movie cravings. When you get to the point where nothing scares you what do you move on to? I still enjoy horror movies. They just don't have the same...kick.

After you've seen a lot of really good ones you start to notice the flaws in lesser ones. You can't help it! You start to pick at the little things and compare them how said superior movie did it. Nothing is ever good as that one movie.

Gore doesn't make things scarier to me. Period. I think you can have a very good horror movie without excessive and unnecessary blood spray. However this leads back to desensitization. Producers want to make scarier and scarier movies to keep people on the edge of their seats. They seem to think gore and torture will accomplish this. To me, it just makes it disgusting. I've seen so many movies where I've been utterly grossed out without ever feeling a bit of fear. (One reason I enjoy older horror movies.)

I mean, really?

I don't think there are enough good psychological horror movies out there. (If you know one please suggest it!) I like movies that mess with your mind and leave you going "What the hell just happened?"  There are still good movies like that being made. Eventually though, people will run out of ideas and just continue to up the blood and guts.

But think about it. Desensitization. We see horrible things on the news every day, horror movies get gorier every year, children play M rated violent games, and there are little kids running around Halloween Horror Nights. (I've seen it!). Back in the day (Before I was born) people were walking out of theaters and throwing up during The Exorcist. As amazing as that movie is, if you compare it to things today it pales in comparison in the graphic details department. What's it going to be like in another 20 years? 50? Do you think this desensitization is eventually going to have a negative effect?

Still, I'm going to continue my search for more enjoyable horror movies. There are so many out there that I still haven't seen so I have hope. Not to mention I can still appreciate a good movie even if it's not necessarily scary. Send me your recommendations!


  1. I really love your point!
    I am doing an assignment on the desensitization of horror films for my end of year results. This site of yours is extremely helpful, so thank you!

    I like you love horror films! The scarier the better!
    Horror films these days are freaky but after a few hours I feel totally fine.
    And for gore, I don't mind it.. But it isn't scary, just feral.
    I'm sorry, I can't think of a new movie that really scared me..
    Insidious scared me, but when I went home after seeing it I was fine.
    Sinister is meant to be really scary!
    Thanks again!

    1. I'm so glad to have helped! I haven't seen Insidious yet, but I might give it a shot. I have to say right now my favorite horror movies tend to be foreign Indie or Art-house films. They're much more creative. Of course, I have some love for older horror movies as well. Hellraiser scarred me on a psychological level the first time I saw it so the first two movies will always be high on my list ^^"