We usually define “fear” as a negative emotion, which is unpleasant. Normally, we desperately want to avoid this emotion because it causes distress and terror. However, the aesthetics and psychology behind horror films explain “fear” can be a pleasurable experience. “Fear” is an essential element in horror genre, which is why we consistently crave the adrenaline rush in scary films. Neuroscientists, psychologists, and filmmakers constantly study viewers’ fear responses to see which techniques can terrify audiences. This thesis demonstrates the different methods filmmakers create to attract the audience in enjoying horror films. As well as, including psychological and scientific studies to explain how scary films affect our brain and body.
horror films, psychology, aesthetics, mise-en-scène, cinematic technique
Year of Completion
Park, Michelle, "The Aesthetics and Psychology Behind Horror Films" (2018). Undergraduate Honors College Theses 2016-. 31.