Horror is a popular film genre that uses fear, terror and tension to entice the audience and keep the audience interested. The negative reactions evoked by the gruesome, psychological, or gothic narratives create a forbidding and suspenseful reaction from the audience.

 Attraction of horror


There are many theories as to why people enjoy the adrenaline caused by watching a horror film, some of the popular theories are:

-brain psychology: Right amygydala: Koch’s theory

– The uncanny: deep seaded: Freud and Jung’s theory

-Catharsis: Losing oneself: Aristotle’s theory

-Fascination: transgressive behaviours: Ziuman’s theory

-Sensation seeking scale: thrill seeking: Zuckerman’s theory

-societal fear: safe space for social fears: Skal’s theory

The four most common Horror Genres





Horror Watching

Gore Watching: Characterised by low empathy, high sensation seeking, and in males, a strong identification with the killer

Thrill Watching: High empathy and high sensation seeking- motivated by the suspense of the film and more identification with the victims

Independent Watching: High empathy for the victim with a high positive effect of overcoming fear

Problem Watching: High empathy for the victim but characterised by negative effect- sense of helplessness.



Further Information

The main element of horror is the effect on the audience and the intent to provoke fear and suspense. General typicalities within the Horror Genre include low key lighting, weapons, blood and gore and high pitched screams.Although many horror films fit almost all of the typical horror elements, there are some films, such as ‘Shawn Of The Dead’, which is known as a hybrid. Although this film follows many horror stereotypes, it also includes many comedic conventions. This is known as a hybrid. Another example of a horror hybrid is ‘Screamers’ which is a Sci-fi and horror hybrid.