Are Scary Movies Bad For Our Mental Health?
SPOILER ALERT!!!! You have been warned!!!
This past weekend, I went to go see the movie IT with my husband. However, before we went we asked other couples if they wanted to tag along and the overwhelming response we got was absolutely not. There were different reasons, varying from religious to just plain scared of scary movies. That is when I noticed that many people that we associate with do not watch horror films. I could only think of one person I knew who didn’t mind watching these gruesome films, and part of me understood why most of the folks around me did not.
The last movie that really scared me, outside of IT, was Insidious. I stared at the screen wondering for the life of me why I would watch something so sinister, but by the time the movie was over I was very satisfied with the film. I had the same feeling with the movie IT. The graphic scenes seared into my brain so much that when I closed my eyes, I could see the clown and those creepy eyes peering into the depths of my soul. I was so disturbed by the images that I was contemplating leaving the theatre. That is when I thought about it a little deeper. What were these images doing for my mental health? What was I allowing my brain to absorb and would it have negative affects on my positive healing journey?
When we got home from the movie, I was still a little creeped out, but I surprisingly felt pretty good. I slept with the lights off and I had a peaceful slumber with no evil dancing clowns invading my dreams. The next day, I kept thinking about the ending and how those little kids were so brave and how they stood up to their terrorizer. This made me think about all the horror movies I have ever watched and I then realized the true lesson in horror films. I realized that we often give into fear. A fear can grow and grow until one day we look up and there is a creepy clown in front of you asking you to come float. Okay, maybe not a creepy clown, but there are so many things in our lives that we are afraid of that aren’t even really a reality. I was always afraid of rejection until one day, I realized that I don’t need validation from other people.
However, I let that fear paralyze me for most of my life. I let that fear destroy my destiny. I am not saying this to say that you should walk around with zero fear because having some fear is healthy, but when your fear stops you from living a life that you want, that is when it becomes a major issue.
So are horror movies bad for the psyche? I’m not sure, but I have decided that they have helped me realize that I can tackle a problem or an issue, no matter how much scary stuff I see along the way. I know and have faith that I will overcome it in the end.
By the way, the movie IT was great. Those kids really beat that clown’s ass and I can’t wait for the sequel.