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Horror Movies for the Mentally Ill

  • Date Submitted: 01/22/2012 06:44 PM
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Horror Movies for the Mentally Ill

There has always been a fine line between mental illness and the criminal behavior portrayed in horror movies. Horror movies have a hold on people that influences their outlook on present day situations. Growing up in modern day America, the scenes played out in horror films are crimes too real to laugh at. However, people watch the gory, bloody scenes to face or overcome their fears, to become more comfortable with the unnerving occurrences of sexual attacks, murder and carnage, or to feel the fear. These movies were designed to appeal to the emotional side of people that controls fear, not mental stability. Just as comedies are created to create laughter and light moods. Horror films these days offer a bit of a different ‘scare’. The scenes are more geared towards captivity, suffering and torture as opposed to ‘the thrill of the chase’. Scenes depicting someone being tortured cause many people to imagine the same things happening to them, which is what makes horror movies ‘scary’. Those who enjoy horror flicks are not mentally ill; they are just curious and inquisitive. Their desire to understand life’s horrific occurrences is stronger than their will to look away.
The first horror movie that I recall seeing was the Texas Chainsaw Massacre. At the age of 9, the effect the film had on me left me feeling shockingly cavalier. I was too young to really understand the illness ‘Leatherface’ suffered from, and the tomboy that I was, I just thought the blood and gore was ‘cool’. I am not mentally ill. After watching the movie, my mother explained to me that the film was based on a story about a man named Ed Gein. Some scenes now make me cringe; just knowing that things like skinning humans alive, hanging people from meat hooks, pouring salt on open wounds, removing body parts with chainsaws, and torturing them to death, actually occurs in reality, makes me feel ill and a little terrified. Horror movies used to portray crimes that...

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