We have the romance movies that have us swooning on the idea of love, suspenseful that keep us on the edge, drama that cause to rethink life matters
PUBLISHED: September 01, 2023
Studies reveal that we watch movies to be entertained. They serve as a form of relaxation, escape from reality, a means to draw creative intuition, atmosphere booster and many other unstated reasons. We have the romance movies that have us swooning on the idea of love, suspenseful that keep us on the edge, drama that cause to rethink life matters, action that has our adrenaline pumping with each staged act of violence, fantasy that draw us into its magical/mystical realms and the list goes on.
Journal of Media Psychology enumerated the three main reasons people watch horror movies are the tension, relevance, and unrealism created in these movies. Andrea Ferraro, who identified himself as a Horror Movie Bing-Watcher wrote, “I usually enjoy watching horror/thriller movies as they give me the rush that other genres fail to evoke”. The gory details of blood splash, spine chilling paranormal activity or mind-twisting psychological scare that come with this movie genre sets it apart from others. Horror movies usually aim for the external effect of goose bumps, accelerated heartbeat, jumpy state, ear-deafening screams or worse, sleepless nights or state of paranoia on its audience. If these unpleasantness are (most times) identified with this genre, why then do people prefer to view it in the dark (especially before bedtime)?
First thing to observe is that many horrors movies have darker ambience than other movie types, even scenes shot in the daytime such as in The Inheritance tend to have a dark hue to it. This sets the tone of the movie of which the audience may not even be aware of. Also, has anyone else ever noticed that on getting to the peak of the part where you’d be scared to death, for instance, Insidious there’d be a light but sharp suspenseful background sound which then abruptly stops – revealing the scare? Horror movies with psychological twist such as Get Out do not frighten you right away until you begin to question how normal the abnormal was reeled. Even the ones about the supernatural stories tied to our indigenous background that traumatize our seeming ‘regular’ day-to-day acts just like After School Hours? And Diamond Ring.
So it remains a wonder why, one says “Netflix and Chill”, then put on a horror movie that has one scared from his/her skin? When the question of why people watch horror movies at night was brought up on popular digital platform, Quora, a user by the name Ayush Jajoo replied, “I always watch horror movies at midnight with headphones on and minimum lights in the room. I personally think horror movies are meant to be watched that way. When you are so involved in the movie that you actually think you are a part of it”.
Could it be because darkness is synonymous with horror movies like in the Nollywood classic Koto Aiye? Or because one gets to hear each high and low pitch of each sound intricately in the quiet of the night as we did in Blood Money? Who made this unspoken yet famous rule of drawing the curtains, switching off the lights and watching horror movies in the dark of the night?