Is it really "just" a scary movie?
My project conlcuded of three things; I made a blog of my experience watching scary movies, art pieces about my worst fear, and a slideshow of horror movies based on true events.
I would tell my mom all the time growing up that it was just a scary movie. I could watch Paranormal Activity or Chuckie without getting scared or having nightmares. I told her Scream, Freddy, and Michael Myers weren't real and that at the age of six or so, I could watch those movies. No harm done right?
For English I made a blog that spanned for about two weeks. Every night I would watch a horror film and document my emotions beforehand and afterwards. I wrote down what happened that day and if I had a dream afterwards it was then added to the blog in the morning. I intended to show through this that scary movies are very effective-- especially for dreams. I had a theory based on past experience that horror movies can cause severe nightmares.
But in this study I found that the movies weren't effective long term, it was scary in the moment but never a few minutes afterwards. I slept fine- great even. The dreams I did have had nothing to do with the movies I watched before going to sleep but about my thoughts that week and TV shows I was binge watching. I noticed I was dreaming of shows that were exciting to me and really pulled me. I would constantly thing about the Scream series or Body paint wars thus dreaming about it, none of the dreams were bad and scary either. I woke feeling good every morning.
My outcome was nothing like I expected. Doing some digging and thinking in my past I realized the biggest variable in attempting to replicate a past situation was my mindset and emotion. Unlike a number of months ago when I had continuous nightmares for years, I'm a lot more happy and calm now. My are completely different then from now. I went from very negative and a highly positive but neutral person and that's what was stopping me from experiencing the negative effects of horror movies.
Next I did research on horror movies based on true events. Taking a look at ten movies that either used a real, house, event, or person to make a movie. The movies used were Nightmare on Elm Street, Child's Play, Amityville Horror, Fire in the Sky, Dahmer, Psycho, The Girl Next Door, Borderland, The Possession, and Annabelle.
Next for art I curated pieces that showed elements of horror, taking note of six artists and their pieces. Focusing on the aspects of horror I chose art that showed gore, morbid images, severed body parts,graphic scenes, religious images, monsters, body abnormality and ones that explore the unknown.
I then further did a painting of what my worst fear was, further pushing it to then paint it on my body. To see what I fear most come to life.
I admit any scary movie could make you paranoid about your dark closet or basement, or make little kids think the boogey man is real but these are fairly harmless effects. I learned the health effects it can have on your body. Watching a scary movie can cause anxiety, paranoia, stress, you could even have a heart attack. It however can't cause you to be more violent serious chronic issues. No, those things are in your head. We cause those effects on us. What I learned is that it depends on a person's mindset and past experience to know how a horror movie will effect you.