Research suggests that horror flick fans are better at coping with the coronavirus pandemic

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We buy horror collectibles online and watch films about dangerous viral outbreaks to live a vicariously thrilling experience. Whether it’s because we enjoy morbid entertainment, or simply as a form of escapism, scientists believe that horror fans are better equipped to handle the current state of the world. According to a recent study, when death and disaster come knocking at our doors, we possess the special inhibition of morbid curiosity which has left us more prepared to deal with the intensities, mentally and physically, of the COVID-19 pandemic. Let’s dive into this interesting avenue of research!   

The study

Horror fans rejoice, an inquiry conducted by the University of Chicago entitled, “An Infectious Curiosity: Morbid Curiosity and Media Preferences During a Pandemic” found that those who adorned movies and TV that featured flesh-eating zombies, attacks by aliens, and infectious diseases that change the ways of humanity, are far better at coping in times of crisis, such as the COVID-19 pandemic. 

The participants of the study were gathered through the use of Prolific, an online recruitment tool that provides a diverse sample pool, high-quality data, and fair pay compared to other data collection platforms. Of the 126 participants, 62 were women, 64 were men, and their ages ranged between 18 and 73 years, with most falling between 18 and 50. The data was collected on March 22, 2020. 

The test subjects were asked to complete two questionnaires, the Morbid Curiosity Scale and a Disgust Scale-Revised, where they answered questions about their interest in coronavirus, how threatened they felt by coronavirus, and reported their current interest (compared to usual) in six different genres of film and TV shows: scary/supernatural, mystery/thriller, pandemic/virus, romance, adventure/action, and comedy. 

What was the result?

After a state of emergency was declared in mid-March by most countries worldwide, apocalyptic-type films surged in popularity as a response to the impact coronavirus has had on daily life. In that same time, borders shut down, flights ceased operations, and globally, citizens were told to stay home, unless there was a necessity to leave. However, while many people were panic buying and fearmongering, horror fans (who had previously spent time placing themselves into the perspectives of their favorite characters) were more prepared to deal with real-life emergencies and were also considered to be more resilient to in dealing with preparations and lock-down protocols. 

Participants who were more likely to buy horror collectibles online because they’re partial to the horror genre appeared less upset by the crisis than the majority, and the ones who enjoyed films and TV shows where society collapses were ranked as more resilient and able to plan in terms of mental and practical preparation because they’ve seen it done a hundred times in movies, feeling less caught off-guard. 

What are your thoughts on the above study? Drop a comment below before perusing to buy horror collectibles online and start a conversation. 

 

What Are the Most Frightening Elements that Make a Great Horror Movie?

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One of the best components of so many well-loved horror movies is their alarming ability to play into our inner-most fears by using familiar phobias, devilish elements such as jump-scares and chilling tunes as well as lots of blood, gore, and suspenseful periods that contribute to the overall built-up tension. Horror fans like yourself adore the rush you get from watching horror flicks and appreciate every minute that leads up to those moments of terror. So, since your brain operates out of pure instinct and love for the genre, you’ll enjoy reading this creep-tastic number to uncover why scary films delight your inner darkness — likely just as much as the grim horror movies action figures we sell. 

Fear of death

The idea of death is a haunting fear for many living beings. In fact, Thanatophobia is a word that can be used to describe this problematic woe, which embodies the fear of death or the fear of the dying process. While it’s natural for someone to worry about their health and mortality as they age, feelings of anxiety, distress, and dread begin to pile up the closer the older you get. So, for those who’re overwhelmed with the idea of death being just around the corner, horror movies provide the perfect pairing to trigger minor panic attacks, dizziness, sweating, and heart palpitations. Don’t those symptoms sound like the extremities you crave when watching your favorite flick? After all, is it really a horror movie if people don’t get killed…or at least come close? 

Fear of the dark

Nyctophobia is a fear that’s deeply rooted in our childhoods and is often triggered because of a lack of visual stimuli. While some people fear nightfall, others simply fear the shadowy darkness that capes their surroundings, disallowing them to see the scope of their environments. So, whether you’re scared of the dark itself, or what lurks within it, there’s a reason that the scariest horror movies of all time are best enjoyed in a darkened theatre or from under a blanket in your living room. 

Fear of creepy crawlies 

Creatures like snakes, rats, spiders, and other crawling things can be scary to look at, but it’s likely when they touch the skin, especially in the dark, where the fear becomes amplified. Entomophobia, or the fear of insects, causes many people to experience cold sweats or have their body hair stand on edge when they cross paths with creepy crawlies. This phobia is even believed to stems from our indifferences, or because we aren’t accustomed to such creatures — extra legs, a long tail, and even additional eyes. That being said, can you think of a famous horror film that uses this fear to their advantage? We can name a couple, including Aliens and Gremlins.  

Fear of scary places

Now, this type of fear is something that’s taught rather than instinctual, which means that depending on your culture, world views, and religion, it’s open to several varied interpretations. Typically places such as graveyards, old houses, overgrown forests, dungeons, attics, and basements exhibit a hint of eeriness, especially since these dark locations are the perfect places for evil things to hide and manifest. A few of our favorite films about scary places including The Amityville Horror, Stephen King’s IT, and the entire Friday the 13th franchise. We love these adaptations so much that we even carry many horror movie action figures and their thrilling accessories to allow fans to reenact some of the most spooktacular moments in the comforts of their own homes. 

Fear of disfigurement or dismemberment 

Whether you relish a film that features a killer grotesquely disfiguring his victims (Leatherface in The Texas Chainsaw Massacre) or you prefer to see frightened characters dismember themselves as a way to escape death (any of the films from the Saw franchise), evidently many of the best horror movies tap into this fearful suspense, creating anticipation during some of the most shockingly violent scenes… paired with spooky music and spine-tingling camera angles, of course. 

Are there any other elements or fears that contribute to the essence of your favorite horror films? Drop a comment below to share with our readers. 

Do you know any insiders about the Alien franchise?

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Whether you’re an avid fan of the original pre-21st-century installments or you enjoy the technological advancements of computer graphics and artistry, there’s no arguing that the Alien franchise is notably one of the goriest science-fiction horror series of all time. Well, there has been some recent discussion about Ridley Scott directing a prequel to the 2017 installment, Alien: Covenant, that being said, the new proposed chapter, Alien: Awakening, has not yet been given the green light following the merger between 20th Century Fox and Disney. So, as a way to keep you composed while you await any news of a premiere date, we’ve gathered some riveting facts about the classic installments that you might find rather fascinating.  

There are seven years between Alien and Aliens

Usually, when a movie does incredibly well in the box office a sequel often follows shortly after in order to keep up the hype. Needless to say, when it comes to the Alien franchise that simply wasn’t the case as it took seven years — 1979 to 1986 — before another installment was seen on the big screen. Why is that, you ask? Well, while there were talks of the sequel shortly after the first movie premiered, it was heavily delayed because the film’s producers and 20th Century Fox were arguing over the distribution of the profits.

Sigourney Weaver was paid a lot more for her role in the sequels

The first film in the franchise, Alien (1979), was Weaver’s second blockbuster film, having starred in Annie Hall (1977) a couple of years prior. She was paid $35,000 playing the lead role of Warrant Officer / Lieutenant Ripley in the 79’ film and after strict negotiations carried out by her directors, she continued throughout the franchise making $1 million for Aliens (1986), $4 million for Aliens 3 (1992) and a whopping $11 million for Alien: Resurrection (1997).

There was an awful lot of lubricant on the set

As an avid fan, you’ve probably always wondered how they made the Alien’s slime and drool looks so realistic and lifelike…well, it was made possible with the help of KY lubricant. Yeah, we were pretty shocked ourselves!

The novel and the film have some key differences

Alan Dean Foster wrote the first three Alien installments in paperback form (not to mention some titles in Star Wars, Star Trek, The Terminator and Transformers franchises). As a notable name in fantasy and science fiction, Foster stuck closer to what Cameron had written, but there were still a few differences between the two:

  • The character, Newt, is 12-years-old in the movie, but only six-years-old in the book.
  • Ripley immediately realizes that Bishop is an android and the famous knife trick scene isn’t part of the book.
  • There are more colonists alive on the alien planet in the book, not just a single woman.
  • Foster writes in Ripley open firing on the Queen as soon as she presents herself, she doesn’t negotiate like in the film.

Do you know any other fun facts about the Aliens franchise? Please share them with our other readers in the comments section below.

You wouldn’t want to SPRING into these 4 horror movie icons

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What is it that’s so absolutely chilling and alarming about the dark facade behind our favorite horror movie icons? Is it their damaging upbringing that makes us feel a connection to them? Is it the menacing terror that’s bestowed upon their victims that hooks us? Or is it this shrill element of fear that gets our hearts pumping? Regardless of how we choose to analyze the horror genre, horror movies and their dreadful villains are incredibly terrifying and lovable for so many reasons and best of all, they come in different ghoulish forms — disturbed people, demonic entities, grueling monsters or something utterly unexplainable. Needless to say, these iconic killers, despite their eerie-sistable performances in horror movies, are not the dark souls that you would want to be bumping into while out on the streets. Since the days of darkness are dwindling leading up to the Spring equinox (March 21), let’s take the last few precious days of darkness that we have left to pay our respects to the darkest horror movie icons in the business.

Michael Myers, Halloween  

No one quite knows what makes this psychopathic killer tick, but with a hit list that’s surely miles long, we simply wouldn’t feel comfortable asking him. Horror fans know Michael Myers as one of the most cold-blooded, faceless, motivation-less killers in the genre, so they probably wouldn’t want to run him unexpectedly. After all, he is the essence of pure evil and once he becomes fixated on a victim, he will stop at nothing until they’re in his clutches.

Pinhead, Hellraiser

Now, a run-in with this ruthless villain would result in the bloodthirsty harvest of your soul, so it would probably be best to avoid the leader of the Cenobites. Though Pinhead appears to be a quiet 80s horror movie villain, don’t let his presence fool you, this demonic entity is swift, ruthless and has several supernatural abilities. Needless to say, if you manage to spring yourself from the clutches of Pinhead, it’ll be short-lived escape before his unearthly attack methods will have you hanging by a hook and chains prior to mutilation.

Jason Voorhees, Friday the 13th

If you were to combine the emotionless evil of Michael Myers with the cutthroat, superhuman strength of Pinhead, you would get the machete-wielding killer Jason Voorhees. Needless to say, have you ever noticed the compassion that envelops Jason’s character? While he has no problem slaying adults or teenagers who he comes into contact with at Crystal Lake, Voorhees is never seen carving an animal or a child. Perhaps this evil villain is only concerned with teaching a lesson to those who enjoy breaking the rules. So, you better hope that he doesn’t discover your deepest, darkest secrets if you cross each other’s path one day.

Xenomorphs, Alien

Probably not one of the horror movie icons that you were expecting, but a shout out to the Xenomorphs, better known as the aliens from the Alien franchise, for their ferocious, otherworldly nature that’s so unrelenting when they come across any human form. How do they torture their victims? Well, they attach themselves to their victim’s face, embed an egg into the person’s stomach and once the supernatural life form is finished growing, it bursts out of the chest of the casualty while they’re still breathing. Yeah, there’s no witchcraft that’s going to get you out of their malevolent encounter!

Out of all the horror movies out there, which bloodthirsty villain are you most afraid of? Tell us in the comments section below.