OPINION: Is Watching Horror Movies Good for You?


My favorite horror movie is “Carrie”

I like watching horror movies with friends.

— Maddison Jackson, junior

Whether you’re a hardcore horror fan or the complete opposite, your brain would appreciate a scary movie every once in a while. I believe that watching horror movies is good for your brain. 


Why horror? Why not a thriller movie instead? Studies show that scary scenes in movies are likely to boost your levels of adrenaline, which releases neurotransmitters to your brain. This all leads to faster reactions, better alertness, improved concentration, and other benefits. You can get all these advantages just from watching one horror movie, and these benefits are great for school. Extra alertness and concentration never hurt anyone. I myself am not the biggest horror fan, but the adrenaline from a jumpscare is addicting.


The chemicals from watching a horror scene mainly consist of dopamine. Dopamine is a chemical that your brain releases that causes a short-lived rush that can motivate us into action. Dopamine can be used as a reward for defending ourselves. This can jump into action when a jumpscare occurs. I believe that scary movies are also a great opportunity to bond with the people you surround yourself with. Horror movies are a hundred times better when you can laugh and have fun with your friends and family while watching. 


To tie this back to our brain chemistry, it’s healthy for your brain for you to be laughing. That laughter mixed with the chemicals, such as dopamine, from a scary scene will make you feel even better, with stronger benefits. Another advantage to this has to do with paranoia. When you are with other people, you are less likely to become paranoid from a scary scene or jump scare. As well as being suitable for your brain chemistry, horror movies are a crucial part of pop culture and media. From 1995 to 2022, horror was listed as number six among the most popular movie genres in the United States and Canada, with around $13 billion in box office revenue. There are many horror fanatics and horror authors out there. Without them, movie media would be mainly comedy and action movies, which are still brain stimulating, just differently. 


Horror movies go way back to the 1700s. One popular author is Edgar Allen Poe, who wrote his first horror story in 1835, called “Berenice.” This just goes to show that the horror genre has been in our culture for so long, and yet, it still continues to grow in popularity. All in all, horror is an important piece of history. Without it, famous authors wouldn’t be able to shine. 


In the end, the evidence goes to show how horror movies are a great stimulant for your brain. With enhanced thinking and focus, it’s easier to concentrate and complete tasks. Bonding with people in your environment is also a vital piece of living as a human. Next time you want to have a friend over, watch a horror movie with them and see how you feel after.