Sex and Death: Looking at the link between Horror movies, arousal and our attraction to fear

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Let’s jump back in time to 1980. I’ll shout us all tickets to see the original Friday the 13th, a horror film that would spawn endless sequels, a tonne of copycats and get the ball rolling on the slasher film sub genre. The premise of said nasty thriller? Attractive teens get picked off one by one by a mysterious killer. Meanwhile they fuck and then they die. The film was pretty average, received pretty average reviews and yet was somehow rather successful. Why?

Horror films get a lot of shit for being depraved and messed up and yeah, guilty as charged – but those detractors are either missing the point or refusing to acknowledge it – there’s something there, something within the brain of the viewers, that is attracted to the carnage. I mean, why do the producers mix nudity with death? Why is there a now infamous link between sex and death? Why do we enjoy seeing naked ladies when we know they are going to die? What does that all mean exactly?

Now, I am not saying I sit in my room and get off on torture films. No. No no no. I am a psychological horror person while we are on that subject. No, what I am saying is there is sexuality in these films and then there is the brutality mixed in between. What I am saying is, it stirs something within me. Sharing the experience with my pet, while we passionately talk about the subject and analyse the entertainment, it gets me aroused. It wakes up the beast. I don’t think this is just the nudity portion, maybe its the danger, maybe its the darkness. Maybe there is savage darkness in me and it is watered down by my vanilla side. That’s possibly why I need a balance.

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So we have character archetypes in these slasher films that fit into the sexuality of maybe the members in the audience – the jock, the slut, the virgin. Maybe the arousal lies in these gratuitous features exploring that? Maybe MY arousal lies in the fact that this innocent teenager, this innocent sensual teenager that film producers are using to exploit, is being chased by a figure – a figure who, for the most part of the film, is faceless, thus allowing me to connect with my own imagery and turn that nightmare into something a little lighter and…well, more consensual.

The Danger is key, I believe. Maybe that speaks to our animals. There’s a build up of cortisol there within us that needs an outlet, which leads to adrenaline, which leads to arousal. I do not know as I am no scientist – but horror films do something to me. I generally tend to watch them and enjoy a good savage fuck. It makes me want to tie her up, to gag her, to brutalise her, to ravage her till she’s weeping. And then the cortisol that the horror has built up is unleashed upon her unprepared body. Even talking about, my body aches with desire.

Maybe horror films are a way for film producers to get out their darkness without confronting it? Maybe the actresses want to be in danger, maybe some of them even want to be exposed and ridiculed on set. Maybe I am delusional in that thinking – but what reason would there be for people to make horror films? And why throw sex and nudity into the mix? I’d like to think there’s something far more greater at work than just desire for money.

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7 thoughts on “Sex and Death: Looking at the link between Horror movies, arousal and our attraction to fear

  1. I think you’ve touched on very real emotional and physical responses to the genre – they were never my cup of tea, but the friends and family I know who love them are definitely connected to the film on a primal level while it’s playing. Good post!

    Liked by 1 person

  2. I have never loved slasher films, but give me a good psychological thriller and I am hooked. Throw in the idea of mayhem I am yours forever. ‘When a Stranger Calls’ remains one of my favorite all time hold me to the edge of the sofa thrillers (the original), I wept with fear.

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Excellent subject. Excellent post.

    After watching these types of films, putting myself in a character’s shoes, there is a true rush of……something beyond mere energy, that makes me feel almost God-like.

    Particularly with psychological horror, it seems that, internally, we’ve navigated something dark and treacherous and come out the other side either having escaped it with our wits intact (self-affirming), vanquishing it (energizing), or having incorporated some aspect of it into our psyche (empowering). Whether for better or for worse, I can not say. For me though, I simply feel like I am MORE after a viewing, which then makes me sensual. And experimental.

    Liked by 1 person

  4. I’m so glad you opened the doors to this subject. I myself have always wondered about the fascination with horror flicks and ever present nudity, the innocent being brutalized. It strikes a slightly different cord with me, being female and truthfully more into submission than dominance…

    I am with you on the idea that there is more at work here, more depth to our darkest desires than we might be willing to admit, but a subject worth exploring undoubtably. An interesting link to books as well, as I am currently reading Anne Rice’s version of Sleeping Beauty, a dark and twisted tale of BDSM. No murder, but plenty of brutality, and the psychology behind it all is what fascinates me the most. The enjoyment of the pain… the desire for that inevitable release, but the pleasure in both… very intriguing.

    Also, I am very curious about fascination the rape scenes and other fetishes of this nature, being someone newly exploring my darkest desires I wonder what our fascination is with these scenes. It’s interesting that we enjoy the safety of consent and trust, but are looking for a fully materialize and as realistic as possible play of rape and abuse reaching our physical limits.

    All in all, I am fascinated with your choice of subject in this post. More to come, I hope. I will dig into this one myself, soon enough.

    E

    Like

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