There are few things more popular in the multiplex world of entertainment, than the experience of being scared witless!
(For those less profane oriented, note how I cleaned that expression up a bit for you! We writers are quite talented that way...)
It seems both irrational and counter intuitive, but people seem to love feeling their hearts beat like pounding hooves around the race track at the Kentucky Derby! They seem delighted with the sound of screams pelting their ears when a chain saw commences to slice and dice an annoying cheerleader. And nothing, pleases more than the flesh-tearing, bone gnashing, mindless rampaging of Zombies!
While I enjoy the escapism found in movies, I have always found the writer's pen far more appealing to my overall experience of the dark side of imagination.
Take for instance, Victor Hugo's timeless work "The Hunchback of Notre Dame". Filled with every human behavior, from violence and lust, to superstition and bigotry, this book, set during the Great Inquisition of medieval times, opens the reader to a world that is still relevant today.
I can't make a reference to the macabre without giving a big nod to Poe and of course, Stephen King, a modern dreamer of frightful imaginings!
My theory of our desire to be mentally pushed out of our comfort zones, is simple; we enjoy the stimulation to our whole mental and physical system, while we know...it isn't real!
We are going to put down our box of popcorn when they begin to run the movie credits and leave the horror behind. We can shut the book on the last page and never have to read it again. When the ride ends on Thunder Mountain, we can stand on our shaky legs and breath in the safety of Terra firma!
Life can be restored to us in a seamless fashion, but I for one can't forget the swing of pendulum in Poe's "Pit and the Pendulum". The swoosh I heard as a young reader stays with me to this day.
I think I need a Disney movie right about now!