A Very Nervous Person's Guide to Horror Movies

ISBN : 9780197535905

Mathias Clasen
208 ページ
140 x 210 mm

Why your worst nightmares about watching horror movies are unfounded Films about chainsaw killers, demonic possession, and ghostly intruders make some of us scream with joy. But while horror fans are attracted to movies designed to scare us, others shudder already at the thought of the sweat-drenched nightmares that terrifying movies often trigger. The fear of sleepless nights and the widespread beliefs that horror movies can have negative psychological effects and display immorality make some of us very, very nervous about them. But should we be concerned? In this book, horror-expert Mathias Clasen delves into the psychological science of horror cinema to bust some of the worst myths and correct the biggest misunderstandings surrounding the genre. In short and highly readable chapters peppered with vivid anecdotes and examples, he addresses the nervous person's most pressing questions: What are the effects of horror films on our mental and physical health? Why do they often cause nightmares? Aren't horror movies immoral and a bad influence on children and adolescents? Shouldn't we be concerned about what the current popularity of horror movies says about society and its values? While media psychologists have demonstrated that horror films indeed have the potential to harm us, Clasen reveals that the scientific evidence also contains a second story that is often overlooked: horror movies can also help us confront and manage fear and often foster prosocial values.


Preface: A Nervous Horror Researcher's Confessions
Chapter 1: Introduction--What's the Big Deal about Horror Cinema?
Chapter 2: I'm Nervous about the Jump Scares
Chapter 3: I'm Nervous about Horror Films and Nightmares
Chapter 4: I'm Nervous about Horror Films and My Mental Health
Chapter 5: I'm Nervous about Horror Films and My Physical Health
Chapter 6: I'm Nervous that Horror Films Are Immoral
Chapter 7: I'm Nervous that Watching Horror Makes Me Look Stupid
Chapter 8: I'm Nervous about Kids Watching Horror
Chapter 9: I'm Nervous about What the Popularity of Horror Says about Society
Chapter 10: So. . . I Shouldn't Be Nervous at All?
Chapter 11: Okay, I'm about Ready to Watch a Horror Film. What Now?
Works Cited


Mathias Clasen is Associate Professor of Literature and Media Studies at Aarhus University. He is interested in the paradox of horror and researches the psychological underpinnings of horror from an evolutionary perspective. He has also conducted empirical studies on the psychology and physiology of haunted house visitors. Clasen is the author of Why Horror Seduces (OUP, 2017) and associate editor of the journal Evolutionary Studies in Imaginative Culture.