Why do we like scary movies? It’s an escape and adrenaline rush, expert says


New York City psychologist Linda Hamilton theorizes that the reason some of us love horror movies is that it takes us out of our normal life.

“Halloween and scary movies, scaring people and being scared, is not boring,” said Hamilton. “We are attracted to doing things that are unusual. How many people slow down and look at an accident? It’s just not something you see every day.

“You’re getting that adrenaline rush of being scared, and the positive feelings of accomplishment and relief afterward,” Hamilton continued. “If we’re watching a scary movie, we project our feelings about evil onto the bad guy. When that person is defeated, it feels good.


Watching horror movies is a good date-night activity, she said. “Boys act brave, while the girls act scared; there’s a stereotypical behavior of boys acting like ‘a man’ and girls like a ‘damsel in distress’ that can make it a way to enjoy each other’s company.”

The downside, she said, might be that if you watch a movie like “Psycho,” the negative feelings can get stored in your brain, and then you’re afraid to take a shower.


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