The Types Of Fear In Horror Films


Fear is a negative emotional response precipitated by an actual or perceived danger.  It often manifests as anxiety or an  increased awareness of harm.

It is an primal survival mechanism designed to remove us from an imminent threat.  On a deeper level, it helps us tackle the negative situations we experience in life. It is the counter balance we experience in the absence of pleasure and happiness.

The exploration of human fear is an integral component of horror films which has excited audiences world wide.

There are different categories of fears depicted in horror films:

EXTINCTION – This refers to a loss of all familiar people, places and things and we are forced to rebuild our lives. It refers to the fear of the unknown and being alone, left to fend for ourselves.

MUTILATION – This is a fear of extreme physical  harm or prolonged torture. The physical damage is often permanent leading to death or life long scars. This refers to our innate propensity for self-preservation.

LOSS OF AUTONOMY – This relates to entrapment, restriction, loss of freedom and choices. Part of the evolution of humans demands we explore new ideas, places and people to grow.

SEPARATION – This relates to being apart from loved ones, family, friends, spouses. It is also related to our fear of abandonment from our parents or those we are emotionally connected to.

EGO DEATH – This is a spiritual term used to define the passage of a person into a higher spiritual form. In its simplest form it refers to a detachment from the physical form into a state of enlightenment.

In horror films, ego death refers to a loss of self, loss of individuality. It is an undesirable, forced change.

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