People love horror movies because they're frightening and they make us feel something. Horror movies keep our imaginations going, but also give us a sense of safety because we are in control of what happens.
We know that the protagonist will make it at the end, that they will finish the fight with some type of positive outcome (even if it is death). The psychological impact on our brains makes horror movies popular because they can help people cope with anxieties. We never know when we might have to face something scary and confronting in life, and horror movies help prepare us for these moments.
Our top 5 horror movies are outlined below, showing that when it comes to movies, people still love to see things that are scary!
5. Silence of the Lambs
Silence of the Lambs is about two FBI agents who work together to catch a serial killer, known as Buffalo Bill. The movie is based on a novel by Thomas Harris, and was directed by Jonathan Demme. It starred Anthony Hopkins as Dr. Hannibal Lecter, Jodie Foster as Clarice Starling, Ted Levine as Buffalo Bill, Scott Glenn as Jack Crawford and Anthony Heald as Barney Matthews.
Silence of the Lambs has won 5 Oscars, including Best Picture of 1991 from the Academy Awards. It was also ranked number 68 on Empire's 2008 list of "The 100 Best Films Of World Cinema.
Jaws is a 1975 movie about a great white shark who terrorizes the inhabitants of Amity Island. The director was Steven Spielberg and the film starred Roy Scheider as police chief Martin Brody, Richard Dreyfuss as Steve Martin, Robert Shaw as Quint and Murray Hamilton as Mayor Larry Vaughn. Jaws has been ranked number 60 on Empire's 2008 list of "The 100 Best Movies". Prior to its release in 1975, many believed that the number 64-ranked movie Teen Wolf (1985) would be more popular than Jaws.
3. The Exorcist
The Exorcist was released in 1973 and directed by William Friedkin. It starred Linda Blair as a girl named Regan and Max von Sydow as the priest, Father Merrin. The movie was based on a novel by William Peter Blatty. The main antagonist is the demon, Pazuzu, who appears to possess Regan.
The Exorcist was ranked number 7 on Empire's 2008 list of "The 100 Best Movies". The movie is also credited with popularizing the modern genre of possession, which has become an important theme in horror movies ever since. It is also considered one of the best horror movies of all time.
2. The Shining
The Shining is a 1980 release by Stanley Kubrick and the film was adapted from a novel by Stephen King. It is about a man named Jack Torrance who takes a job as an off-season caretaker at the isolated Overlook Hotel, which turns out to have an evil presence inside it. Jack ends up trying to kill his family, and the movie stars Jack Nicholson and Shelley Duvall as Jack and Wendy Torrance.
1. Psycho (1960)
Psycho is another movie by Hitchcock, this time released in 1960. It is about a psychopath named Norman Bates who is the manager of a motel, and who has a split personality. His mother committed suicide in the hotel's bathroom, and he keeps her body preserved there. Pyscho is perhaps one of the most influential horror movies ever made, with scenes that have become iconic.