The Psychology of Scary Movies

The Psychology of Scary Movies

Make sure you check out our lesson on the History of Horror:

Let’s go deep in the human mind and dissect our fascination with fright – exploring 8 theories on way we are attracted to the dark.

Full Lesson write up here with links to more information: ‎

This lesson is proudly sponsored by:
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50 Responses to The Psychology of Scary Movies

  1. gelato benne says:

    "whore film" kek

  2. shomolya says:

    … or in the words of Homer Simpson: "to face up to the unfaceuptoable". Hope all those ScarJo dreams were helpful for working through the angst and fear. 🙂

  3. Aris Dynamedion says:

    Nice explanation and cross-referencing of studies, but I really hoped you would have mentioned something about ghosts and apparitions – how they represent death. You touched the topic a bit, but not in its entirety. Additionally, there are horror movies my friends and I enjoy (horror-psychological with ghosts), but not other horror movies such as splatter. It would be interesting if you accumulated some information on that (or scratch that, if I have these questions, I should be the one to look it up :)).
    Good job, by the way.

  4. WINDAR MEDIA says:

    This is the BEST video I´ve seen in years. It´s so clear and useful, impressive. The final phrase is unbeatable!

  5. Adam Azri says:

    I laughed out loud when that twilight fag showed up! lol! he’s not even horror for god sake, haha!

  6. pepe barbas says:

    The Thing from John Carpenter and The Fly from David Cronenberg, both reflects the paranoia about AIDS. thats even said by Carpenter himself. Remember the blood test scene in The Thing, and the transformation of the Fly.

  7. Drew Havelick says:

    This guy is good at explaining things!

  8. Sund Jeffrey says:

    yeah the horror!! to all horror lovers out there!

  9. ZombiEater Reviews says:

    The love for scarlette is showing

  10. john guhn says:

    Where can I find more info about or where did yours come from about Vietnam and the 60’s zombies? Never heard that before. Great vid

  11. Shortstack McGee says:

    Thanks! Making a scary video, going to use this advice.

  12. Mistermaarten150 says:

    That look and intonation at ‘erotica’ is just priceless.

  13. Eliut Bernal says:

    Fascinating stuff! Thank you. I have the theory that it is way easier to scare people (or make them cry) than to make them laugh.

  14. nirozen thavarajah says:

    Well, I’m delighted to see you’ve made a video on the psychology of horror. If you can spare to waste 7 mins, please watch my short Psychosis and give me your thoughts? 🙂

  15. Frank Christian Marx says:

    wow I love this guy. really amazing how he explains things. This is gold for other filmmakers. Thank you very much.

  16. Sternenkatze says:

    Your videos and lessons help me a lot with my current school project about the genre horror. You deserve a very big "Thank You!" and – ’cause filmmaking is very interesting anyway – my subscription. 😀

  17. ガブリエル Gabriel 応じます Carter says:

    I love how this video explains why we fear what we as humans tend to well fear basically but no one makes videos about why most people I’m one of them fear the supernatural or paranormal?? come on YouTube you gotta have a scientific education video on fear of the unknown. as they say people fear what they do not understand

  18. Lookie! says:

    +Filmmaker IQ (@FilmmakerIQ) – We (@LookieShow) can think of a few horror channel hosts who might enjoy this episode, will let them know about it. Engaging episode on the topic and sure they’ll appreciate the discussion.

    While we’re dropping by, anyway – if visitors happen to be looking for channels featuring horror movie reviews, these are a few folks who chill out at our Twitter channel, and their content might perhaps be of interest to horror-movie lovers:

    @SciFiNight (sci-fi horror, themed episodes) [Some strong content]

    @Count_Jackula (extreme and cult) [Some strong content]

    @HorrorShow666 (team reviewers, some interviews)

    @TheJaySwick (movie nights, some indie title reviews)

    @Trepacer (weekend posts on horror titles)

    @SpookyMovies (community)

    Possibly also of interest…

    Podcasters: @TheTwoGayGeeks (occasional horror titles), @_TheBloodlust_

    Game-lovers who occasionally review horror game titles: @Joost_Kivits, @WoahItsAGirl, @ADA_Horror, @OddPodRetro, @JoeGroRetro, @GameOnAileen, @ZalzarYouTube, @TheJerejoe

  19. Luke R says:

    There’s a lot of gaps (or more accurately: jumps) in the logic when the films are attempted to be linked to it’s relevancy. I’m not disagreeing with them, but it just feels like a "fact" with an unlinked source. The earlier mix-up of correlation vs causation is worth noting as well. Many studies on the connection of violence to aggression not only disagree, but lack sufficient sample sizes considering 95% of kids play video games and (reasonably) 99.999999% ingest media of some kind. Sales statistics will also indicate the success rate of violent video games (at least in the US). And furthermore, among males over 90% of them play violent video games. I’m not disagreeing with what’s posited in this video, I just think the implication is confusing causation vs correlation.

  20. George R Dunham says:

    I love this guy!

  21. Diana Shih says:

    Came here after the conjuring 2

  22. Graeme Patrick says:

    Can you give me a citation on studies (peer reviewed if poss) that violent films make people more violent please? I’m pretty sure this was the thought during the 80s 90s video nasty era and was dismissed as media hype. Any info on this would be interesting although i honestly think there isn’t any evidence of it.

  23. Netpobny says:

    smoothly put together, nice flow on effect and educational

  24. Euan Sinclair says:

    Great video. I’ve just come up with an idea for a horror and am hoping to start working on my 1st film within the year. Keep ’em coming.

  25. Robin Glader says:

    Says "Dracula". Shows Edward Cullen. LOL!

  26. Morgan Wesley Hart says:

    So unrealism doesn’t make it more scary, it just makes the audience enjoy it more because it gives them some relief that what they are watching is not real, correct? So my question is, does that actually mean the audience enjoys it more and therefore makes it a better movie?  Because if unrealism takes away the real-feel to it and therefore makes it less scary, doesn’t it make the horror film not as good?  The best horror films, for me at least, are the ones that are truly scary.  And this reminds me of The Fourth-Kind, which although I know a lot didn’t like, I loved because it felt real to me.  And because I loved it, I saw it as a really good movie.  Am I just getting something mixed up or do others not think the same as me here?

  27. Lily Rehab says:

    Thx I’m 11 and I understand all of this ur vids are amazing

  28. nd4spd says:

    Jason Voorhees is not slow, where do people get this theory?

  29. RatchetandSly says:

    Way he said "erotica" made me very uncomfortable. lol

  30. Wedge Wizard says:

    I recently tried to explain why watching horror movies were a good thing. I wish I watched this before I tried to do that. All I had was good horror movies are exciting, and that they help explore fight or flight response, like what would you do in this situation that you’ve never been in? Here’s how they handled it, how would you have done it?

  31. Fernanda Naomi says:

    please comeback!!!!

  32. pilanceboil says:

    Nice, thought provoking summation. I’ll be watching this one again. Nice work!

  33. hepsabaptron00 says:

    This guy really is a terrific presenter and has some great ideas (assuming he wrote and researched the content too!). Definitely would go if he did a lecture tour

  34. Bruce Houdini says:

    This is some seriously good stuff.

    It’s videos/channels like these that I come across by happenstance which remind me how incredible it is that I live in a time where not only is quality, entertaining, and educational material readily available for my consumption but that same material costs hardly more than the time used to watch it.

  35. geekgroupie42 says:

    Ahhhh! i just wanted to find something to watch before bed – now i have a million studies to look up!

  36. rulez284 says:

    why Scarlett Johansson ?? 😛

  37. TheECAproductions says:

    This video is actually pretty encouraging

  38. Jack Torrance says:

    I love you’re channel! Do you mind if I use some of the information from your horror videos for my speech class?

  39. Dainius Obcarskas says:

    I understand and appreciate when you say that film is the ultimate art form as it combines many others and almost resembles dreaming, but what about video games? They are the same but also an interactive experience, which makes them resemble dreaming even more

  40. Steven Davies says:

    I came when he said that.

  41. Gua says:

    Don’t look left. Look me in the eyes!

  42. Will Get Carried For Nudes says:

    I love horror movies and games because I love the rush I get of being scared.

  43. Random Playlist w Joel Osteen says:

    fear of the dark
    high levels of tension greatest of horrors appeal

    purge their negative emotions
    violent scnenes
    scary stories

    horror exist outside – normal behavior
    neon carroll

  44. Deborah Meltrozo says:

    11:41 that’s videogames, everything a film has + control

  45. Tatenda Mbudzi Channel says:

    Tension, Relevance, Unrealism = TRU – I would add an E on the end for EVIL
    Horror = Tension, Relevance, Unrealism, Evil = True.

  46. Market Forces says:

    Entertaining and informative!

  47. Adrian Ziebura says:

    Well i prefere 2 hours with a good book like "crime and punnishement", yale open course, or philosophy article. I think if i have to choose were tu put my money : experimenting with taste in fast foods or restaurants i choose restaurants. Nevertheless i liked the video. Thumbs up.

  48. ciam ryan says:

    You sure do love your scarlet john

  49. Justus Moritz says:

    I lost it when you started showing Scarlett Johanson.

  50. Steven Tai says:

    Yep, you got a bad case of Scarlett fever… 🙂

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