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Weird World: Why we watch horror films

Drinks and corn! Portrait of a cheerful African couple watching a 3D movie enjoying their drinks and popcorn

People find “comfort” in horror films, according to a new study.

Psychiatrist Gail Saltz, an associate professor at the New York Presbyterian Hospital Weill-Cornell School of Medicine, claimed viewers have turned to scary movies during the coronavirus lockdown as “they find comfort in repeating traumatic feelings”.

Saltz suggested that people replay horror movies to desensitize themselves to the trauma in a behavior called “repetition compulsion”.

Fellow psychologist Bruce L. Thiessen adds that horror flicks give audiences a sense of closure, something that has not been provided with the global health crisis.

He said: “By watching horror movies, we get to find out how events unfold and get to find out the ending within a relatively short (amount) of time.This brings a sense of control to the chaos we experience with anxiety-provoking real-life events.”

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