Why Are Teens so Afraid?

The months of fall are easily the spookiest of the year. Days become shorter, the weather begins to turn cold, and haunted houses appear all across North America. Our culture has formed an addiction to things that are of the supernatural, suspense filled, and other thrills around this time of year to satisfy our adrenaline addictions.

Those who don’t like to bear the elements of fall are more often than not seen at the cinema to enjoy the latest in scary movies. Some people are banned from watching these films until they reach a certain age. Others are pressured into watching them for the first time, and end up just naturally loving them.scared_kids

“I started watching [scary movies] because I didn’t want to seem like a wimp in front of my cousins,” said senior Max Matson.

“I still enjoy watching them because I think they are in the most entertaining movie genre and it seems like directors have more artistic freedom,” Matson added.

It turns out the reason people keep going back to watch these movies, ends up actually being psychological. According to a study at Purdue University the reason that many people enjoy this form of entertainment is for the enhanced sense of excitement after the movie. Whether or not you actually enjoy the movie fully depends on what happens once it’s over. If the post movie experience is positive, you’re more likely to see one again. If it’s negative, however, you are more likely not to see one again, especially if it’s your first time seeing one.

Most people tend to have different ideas of what a scary movie actually is.

“A scary movie has to have a suspicious character and an understandable plot,” said senior Jada McCrone.

Plots typically make the entire movie, scary movies follow along with this logic. If the story makes no sense a viewer may be more confused or questioning why they wasted their time watching it, rather than actually enjoying a movie that makes no sense.

“When something that acts inhumanely is in the movie, or things that typically won’t happen in real life occur, that makes it scary,” said freshman Megan Hasson.

Many scary movies, that aren’t loosely based on a true story, involve things that can’t really happen. This false sense of danger allows one to forget their current environment and be fully involved with the one on the screen. The thought of giant spiders taking over the world or a masked killer terrorizing a town are highly unlikely, but just thinking “what if” gives audiences a big scare.

There is much more to fall than just the scares and cold weather. The eerie tone, however,still remains. It affects us all in different ways. If ghost stories aren’t your thing, or you aren’t easily scared,spring is only a few months away. Those who typically enjoy scary movies in the fall and winter also enjoy roller coasters in the spring and summer. They both give off a similar adrenaline rush and the exact same false sense of danger, but in a different way.

The fall months are easily the scariest of the year. Scary movies, haunted houses, and cold weather ease the public into winter. Princeton students tend to prefer horror movies rather than the other subgenres (gore, suspense, etc.).


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