When you watch a horror movie, you get a certain feeling, don’t you? Moreover, they are completely different than when watching a comedy or melodrama. It turns out that our body gives out very real reactions to horror movies. In this article, we will tell you what exactly happens to your body when you watch this genre.

How Body Reacts To Horror Movies?

Not many people know, but what we watch, hear, and see also impacts our health and mood significantly. Here are some major changes that occur in your body when you watch a thriller or horror movie.

1- Calories Burn

Scientists measured oxygen consumption, carbon dioxide output, and heart rate to see an overall picture of how much energy people were using. On average, they burned about 113 calories, which is the equivalent of a half-hour walk. 

By the way, movies must be super-scary so that the adrenaline rush makes your heart beat faster. For example, the movie “The Shining” made viewers burn 184 calories. Next in the top three horror films are Jaws and The Exorcist.

2- Change In Heart Rate

The researchers found that viewers experienced certain changes in blood pressure, heart rate, and even heart muscles while watching horror movies. Heart rate increased by an average of 25.3%, which is comparable to medium intensity exercises. This means when you watch such a movie; your body goes through the same changes that occur when you are doing some exercises.

3- Psychological Effect

According to researchers, watching movies affect a person psychologically. Some people have ruined their lives just by watching movies. They tend to adopt everything they see their favorite celebrity doing, not realizing that it is just an act. 

If they see their favorite actor abusing alcohol, they will copy him. There are even cases where people copied crimes in real-life. People tend to adopt both good and bad habits from their favorite celebrities.  

Some celebrities don’t drink alcohol, and their fans copied them and refrained from drinking from it. This means apart from copying what actors do in their movies, people take impact from their lifestyle.

4- Provokes A Fight-Or-Flight Reaction

Screaming furiously at the stupid heroine to run away triggers your own fight-or-flight response. You are so angry at the screen idiots because your body also turns on survival mode. 

This happens due to change in mind cells. The amygdala, which is part of the brain responsible for evaluating emotions, activates the feeling of fear. Due to which you get scared as you watch a horror scene.

5- Fear Makes You Feel Good

Fear and pleasure usually don’t “work” together unless you’re a sociopath. However, scientists discovered that there are still people who adore horror movies and other fearful things. 

It is likely that this fear tolerance once played an important role in our ancient survival. We are better equipped to deal with all the dangers that arise. Therefore, some people feel refreshed after watching horror movies.

6- It Triggers A Genetic Response

Horror movies affect you and your body at a genetic level. The COMT gene, which directs the transmission of signals from one nerve to another, is to blame for everything. Some people feel real fear when watching horror movies; this is because they have two copies of the COMT gene. 

Their genetics stimulate anxiety levels and tell them that they have every reason to be afraid. People with two different versions of this gene enjoy the movie and even laugh at some of the scary scenes.

7- Your Senses Get Heightened

Viewers experience accelerated eye movement, increased heart rate, and breathing. People making such movies also know this and use it to their own benefit. When there are dark scenes in the movie, your eyes tend to move faster. 

In the same way, a specific sound series (music that keeps you in suspense) affects. And some directors use low-frequency sounds. This means you would feel them, even if you won’t hear them.

8- Immune System Gets Boosted

The immune system is our savior, but watching horror movies set off an alarm for it. The researchers compared the white blood cell levels of a control group with a group that first watched a horror movie. 

The latter had more leukocytes, as well as high blood pressure and hemoglobin concentration. Watching a horror movie is stressful, and the immune system has tried to fix it.

9- Children React Differently Than Adults

A child’s brain can very easily become obsessed with something in order to create the so-called flash memory. It means it can cause psychological trauma for a long time. Besides, children’s reactions to horror can manifest themselves in the form of sweating, chills, and fever, up to nausea, stomach pain, dizziness, and shortness of breath. Therefore, it is better that you do not watch such movies in the presence of kids around.

10- Helps To Free Your Mind

Watching horror movies help to take your mind off your life problems. People suffering from addictions and stress should watch such movies. A thrilling movie will help to avoid craving for alcohol or drugs as it will keep your mind distracted. If you do not want to select any alcoholism treatment for yourself, you can opt for other therapies. 

These therapies will help to distract similar thought patterns and help you become better. It includes; exercises, meditation, watching relaxing movies, and swimming.

Bottom Line

Why do we like to be afraid? This is due to a number of biological reactions we experience when watching a horror movie. Consider also the fact that we sense this fear in a safe environment. When we watch a scary movie, we think we are faced with something scary, overcome it, and come out victorious. It helps to make us feel good and also fight our fears.