Vatican condemns Hallowe'en as anti-Christian
(11-02-2009, 10:23 PM)Fontevrault Wrote:
(11-02-2009, 04:36 PM)INPEFESS Wrote: First, I apologize for being so tardy in my reply. I have been (and still am) very busy; I haven't been on here for several days.

But what do you think of movies involving the paranormal in general (no nonsense gore or Satan worship), movies like "Halloween" (where a girl is being stalked by a stranger with a mask - there is no nonsense gore or mention of religious themes) and "The Strangers", movies that fall somewhere in between ("White Noise"), or movies that focus on good religious themes (such as "The Exorcism of Emily Rose")? Do you think that a fascination with that which horrifies the psyche, scares the mind, or excites the amygdalae and sympathetic nervous system is spiritually detrimental? If so, I'd be interested in your perspective and opinion.

First, INPEFESS, please don't apologize for being busy.  I certainly understand!  :)

I can't say I've seen the movies you list . . .   I have a sort of natural aversion to those things.  I couldn't sleep for days after watching Seven and haven't watched another "horror" film since.   Given that I haven't seen the movies, perhaps I might ask a question:  Assume after a long day of work you want to come home and relax.  You choose to have a beer, a little pizza, and watch one of those movies.  What do you gain from watching it?  Does it give you some feeling of catharsis?   Why do it? 

Well, we could get into why we like what we like, but the moral issue is what concerns me most. For many who like horror movies it is a love / hate relationship. Think of the genre as hot sauce or jalapeno peppers; they are both spicy and burn the mouth, but they both add so much flavor and zest! Or you could think of it like a terrifying roller coaster; it's scary while you're riding it for the first time, but once it's over you think, "that was fun!"

Physiologically, horror movies stimulate the amygdalae, a pair of almond-shaped regions in the brain primarily responsible for intense emotional responses and activate the sympathetic nervous system (rather than the parasympathetic). For a diagram of the amygdalae, see:

And, although I think I see what you mean, I wouldn't quite say that anything is gained from watching any movie. Some horror movies can promote a stronger sense of spirituality. Most, however, do not accomplish this. For me, I struggle to "get into" movies. I have a hard time placing myself in the story and becoming "part" of the movie. The only genre so far which consistently succeeds in taking my attention away from all other occupations of life, eliciting my undivided attention for the entire duration of the playing time, and putting me inside the activity on the screen (because of the strong emotional appeal) is the horror genre.

But please don't get me wrong. I'm not trying to justify anything with the above explanation; I'm simply answering your question pertaining to the "likeability" of horror movies.

Quote:If “Halloween”  is about a stalker scenario, isn’t this deviant/obsessive behavior?  “The Strangers” looks to be about a violent assault on a couple.  Once again, it’s full of sick, depraved actions.  (IMDb is handy for plot summary.)    Don’t these two at least qualify as a fascination with the macabre?  Forgive this if it seems hypercritical.  I just don’t understand why anyone would watch these films.

Yes, I think you're right; they would be classified as macabre. I think fallen human nature is responsible for the attraction. However, due to my career field, I am fascinated with the study of crime, criminals, and most especially, the criminal mind. I do not seek to glorify evil; rather, I am intrigued by what people do, what influences people to do what they do, and when they will do it. But I will say that many "horror" movies seek to glorify evil, either implicitly or explicitly. By specifying the glorious and potentially satisfying nature of evil, they often make evil appear attractive. And we as humans don't need any help in doing that.

What do you think of movies like Jaws, Jurassic Park, Anaconda, Alien and other movies of the thriller genre (though Jaws and Alien are technically considered horror)? Do you think there is a difference between "scary" movies and horror movies? If so, what is the difference? Can horror simply be a heightened level of scary and can scary be a less intense degree of horror?


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Re: Vatican condemns Hallowe'en as anti-Christian - by INPEFESS - 11-04-2009, 05:42 PM

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