I enjoy blood.
The way it flows. The consistency. The brilliance of the crimson color as it’s brought to the surface from the flesh underneath. There’s so much beauty in it. But why is this interest rooted in me? Maybe because blood is a vital life source, and the fact that it gives life is beautiful. Or, maybe, a deep, dark part of me just gets a rush from seeing blood seeping from the wounds of a terrified victim that’s about to be murdered? I know, that sounds terrible, but my love for the horror/dark genre remains strong.
I’m sure many other people can attest to this feeling.
Horror fanatics watch films for the thrill, the adrenaline rush, the sense of danger. Although awful things happen to real people everyday, there’s something to be said for watching a horror film and putting yourself into the shoes of the victim. If you become engrossed in films/TV shows like I do, you’ll find yourself on the edge of your seat. Cold sweat may form on your brow. Your heart may even race. This adrenaline you may feel, in my opinion, is a manifestation of excitement.
For most people, being in the shoes of a victim fearing for their life is (hopefully) something they haven’t experienced before. In regards to this, humans are naturally curious beings. Our brain will latch onto new information and try to make sense of it (even if you don’t realize it, you’re always processing excess information subconsciously. Psychology student over here, ha.)
You enjoy your cozy life…but what if?
To add to this, many of us live relatively comfortable lives. You go to school/work, maintain a social life, indulge in your hobbies, work on projects, go to sleep, and do it all over again the next day. So when we let ourselves ‘become’ the victim in a show/film, whose life is being threatened, we’re introduced to a totally new experience. It has a darkness to it that would seem so wrong to enjoy if it were real. Which most us horror fanatics aren’t really twisted psychos, right? Of course we don’t want to see someone actually get stabbed to death. We typically yell at the people on the screen in an attempt to save them.
“Oh jesus, run you idiot! Don’t just stand there, the killer is right around the corner with a butcher knife, holy shit, please just run now.”
But our forever curious brain just eats it up. It enjoys the danger. It enjoys straying from the social norm just because it’s so used to being set behind socially acceptable bars that keep us presumably safe. There’s something to be said for having an interest in the dark…the things that seem to be oh so wrong.
Rejecting society paves the way for what we know as darkness.
I find it interesting when I analyze the motives of a killer in a show and see how their entire rejection of social formalities has led them to a corrupt, yet empowering sense of freedom and control. In a lot of ways, darkness has been linked to power. There’s something satisfying about seeing an individual with no remorse conquer the life (or lives) they have before them – It’s terrifying and invigorating to watch all at the same time, just as it’s rewarding to watch the victim prevail against the killer and have balance reinstated.
I typically write my fiction stories within the horror genre, but I always write as the protagonist (or, the victim), because for me, I adore seeing someone rise up against the impossible, the dangerous, the evil. I always want good to win. And when I see an individual outmatch someone who has completely dismissed social norms for power, I feel just a little bit better about the things I conquer in my own life. This experience encompasses my love for horror and darkness, because for me, it brings light in so many ways.
Horror fans aren’t crazy, I swear.
Let me ask you a question, especially to those who think us horror fans are just closet psychopaths ready to burst. Have you ever driven past a really bad car accident and found yourself staring to see what happened? Did someone die? Woah, look at how bad the damage is. Oh God, they’re putting someone in an ambulance on a stretcher. Is that blood? I hope everyone is okay…
That is a prime example of a rooted interest in the dark and morbid. You stared at a car accident, a tragic event where someone could be seriously hurt, just to sate your everlasting curiosity. And that curiosity was in something quite horrific.
We’re all just a ‘little bit’ curious…
Again, I believe all people have an innate interest in things that are seen as wrong, or taboo, or dark, or horrific. That interest could be as small as thinking what it would be like to steal a piece of gum from a store. Stealing is wrong, but I’m sure that’s a thought we’ve all had before. Of course, thinking about stealing candy is much different than wondering what it would be like to be a murder victim/murderer, but it’s a parallel idea to how our curiosity as humans drive us. It’s just on varying levels depending on the individual.
So let the blood rain, the murder commence, and embrace your darkest human curiosities.
Oh, and remember to bring popcorn.
What are some dark/horror related things you have an interest in? Do you have any favorite horror films/TV shows? Do you believe humans have an innate curiosity in dark or horrific things? Let me know in the comments below!
Here’s some of my favorite horror/thriller related media:
Video Games: Resident Evil, Bloodborne, Dark Souls, Until Dawn, Silent Hill, Amnesia: The Dark Descent, Outlast, Bioshock, and The Last of Us.
TV Shows/Movies: Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Helix, The Uninvited, The Vampire Diaries, The Lizzie Borden Chronicles, American Horror Story, Van Helsing, Underworld, The Conjuring, Neon Demons, True Blood, Black Mirror, Lost Girl, and plenty more.
Don’t forget to share with your fellow horror fans!
Side Note: My Spotify discovery playlist added a song called “Humans Are Such Easy Prey” by Perturbator to my playlist this week… Let’s just say this song was inspiration for this post, as well as reinforcement that I’m a terrible human being (that’s a compliment to myself, by the way).