Friday, June 29, 2012

A guest post about Horror by Donna Burgess with Giveaway!!!!

The Psychology behind the Horror: Why we love having the hell scared out of us
Guest Post by Donna Burgess

I love horror. I always have—that’s why I write the stuff I do. But lately, I’ve been wondering why. Why do we love being scared? When you really consider it, it’s pretty silly. Laughing is more pleasant, isn’t it?

Well, maybe not for all of us.

Think about it.

There you are, sitting in the dark on your sofa or in your local movie theater, eagerly awaiting the next horrible thing that’s inevitably going to happen because it’d better. You’re at a horror movie. Thrills, death and scares are what you’re here for.

You keep reading that scary novel, deep into the night. The house is silent and dark, but there’s that one little nagging thought. Maybe someone or something’s hiding in the shadows of the hallway.

You did this to yourself. You wanted this.

But why do we pay good money to have the hell scared out of us? Why do we plug in the latest horror DVD and shut out all the lights? What’s glitch lies within our psyche what would make a seemingly reasonable person want to be frightened?

Well, we’re not as messed up as you might think. We didn’t have parents (well, most of us didn’t) who locked us in closets or sent us alone, at dusk, to place flowers on Grandma’s grave. We’re, well, normal.

Fear is the most negative emotion, and according to Aristotle, we learn more from ugly and painful things than from any other reaction. As human beings, we enjoy learning or “gathering the meaning of things.” Frankly, when I look around most movie houses, I find that to be a true statement. Who goes to see horror? Nerds. Geeks. Bookworms. Writers. Pretty sharp minds. Not the most fashionable folks, but definitely intelligent.

Now, take a look at the crowd at the latest Tom Cruise flick. DUH!

Of course, Aristotle might have had some insight on this, but evolution may suggest something else. Why do we rubberneck in hopes of seeing a bit of blood when we pass gruesome accidents? Most of us live in a cushy lifestyle where the most threat we see is trying not to trip over a curb. Fear and revulsion trigger signals that indicate danger. As a constantly evolving species (again, questionable, don’t you think), we must heed to those signals in order to increase our chances of survival and propagation.

That’s way too scientific for me, but horror movies and scary reads actually do this same thing. The nice part is there is no investment. Once we close that book or leave that theater, we’re finished. No ties. No responsibility. No obligation. No apologies. That’s what good horror is. A building sense of dread, heart-pounding moment, and then a nice climax. It’s a horror geek’s twisted version of pleasure and I love it.

If you love to be scared as much as I do, please check out my latest novel Solstice. Afraid of the investment? Try a sample first. You may enjoy it. Visit Amazon for more information.

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  1. So the zombies keep their brains and want to consume normals... ok "I'll Bite". LOL

    Movie I liked? I'd have to go with the classic version of "The Night of the Living Dead".

  2. I don't know about my favorite movie or book, but I am a huge fan of The Walking Dead.

  3. I like 28 Days Later, Shaun of the Dead for movies. Love The Walking Dead graphic novels. I also really liked Flu by Wayne Simmons. teawench at gmail dot com. Thanks!

  4. Gosh, I don't know if I have a favorite. One of them is Dawn of the Dead. I watched that when I was a teen and thought it was awesome. Watching it now as an adult it is so cheesy, but I still like it. lol

    nicnac63 AT hotmail DOT com

  5. Dawn of the Dead, for sure.

  6. I must admit, I find most western horrors hysterically funny. The effectively scary stuff seems to come from Japan and Korea at the moment - the original Ring and Dark Water spring to mind. Saying that, I did enjoy 28 Days Later and Black Sheep was an absolute blast. Book wise I'd have to go with World War Z and Stant Litore's Death Has Come Up Into Our Windows for sheer awesomeness.

  7. I've never checked out any of The Walking Dead stuff, but I really should based on all I've heard. I have also been curious about World War Z based on some stuff I have seen. Good luck everyone!!

  8. Resident Evil is my favorite, I LOVE all movies and I'm so excited for movie #6 to come out in September :)

    1. I'm "S" on the rafflecopter. I haven't notice it was like that, here's my email
      lissette_125 at hotmail dot com

  9. I really enjoyed horror, reading and watching, as a child, but now that I'm older and the parent, I'm a little hesitant. Since it's my job to go investigate the mysterious noise, I don't like being scared so much.

  10. Any zombie movie really. I've only seen one that I really just thought was stupid. (and not because of bad graphics or anything, but the whole story)

    I'd have to say my current fave is Dawn of the Dead.

  11. Resident Evil is my favorite so far, but The Walking Dead is a close second. Loved the post! Solstice looks great...beautiful cover. :)

  12. My favorite movies would be Dawn of the Dead and, so super, Shawn of the Dead :). As for a book...I have to say, i really enjoyed the YA zombie novel "The Forest of Hands and Teeth" by fellow North Carolinian (and lawyer) Carrie Ryan. I have only read that first one of the three-book series, but do plan to read the rest. It might be slow for some who really like the fast action and guts/gore of other zombie novels, but I liked the character development and allusion to the post-apocalyptic world in which they lived.