Oh, the Horror!
September 13th, 2012 | 9 comments »
Dr. Wilson speculates that our attraction to violence and morbidity stems from our need to “express pity and fear in an artificial setting” which enables us to “drain these emotions from out systems and subsequently feel purified, relieved, [and] refreshed” (49). This idea of achieving catharsis through purgation is not recent speculation; it is an Aristotelian concept. Dr. Wilson writes:
An aesthetic experience of the macabre – in pictures, books, films, maybe even video games – is useful, therapeutic. The child loves violent fantasies as she would a wizened mentor, a skilled guide. We, as adults, can learn from this: the morbid builds morale.
Do you find watching or reading horror to be cathartic? If so, what’s your favorite book or film? Do you remember the first horror/slasher film you saw, either at the theater or at home? If you have children, do you let them watch scary movies or read scary stories?