Horror movie Annabelle is set to be released in Australia on October 3 and fans are preparing to be so scared they may poop their pants.
Although, while the release of bodily fluids may occur, going to see the movie may actually benefit your health.
YouBeauty Co-founder Michael Roizen once said when we watch horror movies our brains release the feel-good chemical dopamine, the exact same chemical we release when we’re infatuated with another person. “Your heart races and you can become addicted to that feeling – as the euphoric serotonin hormone also shoots up,” said Mr Roizen.
These chemicals, dopamine and serotonin, are also activated when we fall in love with someone. Being scared has the same effect, although arousal from being scared can often be mistaken for sexual attraction. For example, in one study an attractive woman stood at the end of either a safe looking bridge or a scary looking bridge. Men walked across one of the bridges and afterwards, took a survey with the woman, she then gave out her number to all of them. Results showed the guys crossing the scarier bridge were more likely to call her. The theory says men mistook their anxiety for sexual attraction toward the woman.
In their paper, Method Analysis of our Attraction to Horror Movies, Tom Robinson, Clark Callahan and Keith Evans take a look at why we keep going back to our love/hate relationship with horror movies. “Horror movies for adrenaline junkies are similar to an extreme sport that is played for excitement and to increase the heart rate,” the paper states.
These thrill seekers watch horror movies because they thrive on the feeling of horror. They feel pleasure and they also feel somewhat satisfied during the movie, dealing with stress, anxiety and fear. In the same paper, it is suggested individuals go to see these type of movies so they can deal with anxiety and stress of their day-to-day life, while confronting actual fears in a controlled setting. They can then “appreciate the sensation of regaining control of their lives afterward.”
The University of Westminster study tested the total energy usage of 10 different people as they watched a selection of scary movies. Scientists recorded their heart rate, oxygen intake and carbon dioxide output and discovered the number of calories used increased, on average, a third during the films. The research also revealed films featuring moments designed to make viewers jump in terror are the best calorie-burners as they cause heart rates to soar. The Shining was listed as the top calorie burning movie at 184 calories.
Boosts your immunity
A 2003 study found people who watched the original Texas Chainsaw Massacre had increased white blood cell counts compared to those who missed the screening. White blood cells are responsible for keeping diseases away. During the study, 32 men and women watched the movie for the first time which led to an increased immunity for some time. – Alana Scott
Top screenshot taken from Nightmare On Elm Street.