How The Horror Genre Made Me Who I Am

Raphael Alegbeleye/PantherNOW

Valenti Govantes/Staff Writer

Of all of the genres in fiction, horror is arguably my favorite, with science fiction at a close second. Taking away the corn syrup blood and obnoxious jump scares associated with it, there is something about the genre that makes it more intertwined with basic human nature compared to others.

What’s more instinctive to us than the act of being scared? It is something that is not abnormal but rather comes across as completely natural. I feel the genre allows us to use our fears to air out our anxieties and keep us healthy mentally.  

Growing up, like many other children, I was afraid of horror movies. I remember walking around Party City in October and just imagining how each of these costume characters were like, because I did not watch the movies. I thought Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers had become serial killers because their masks were haunted, like something out of a Goosebumps book. Everything changed when I was ten years old, and began watching horror movies during late night blocks on television channels such as G4 and IFC.

What most encouraged me to embrace the genre was how it correlated to how I started to mature mentally, thus steadily expanding my interests. These feelings were most intensified in 2013, when I began eighth grade. That year saw the release of the “Evil Dead” remake, which provided me with a great motivation to achieve good grades.

I remember clearly in that school year, when a project I worked on and won awards for in a technology class was featured in the Miami-Dade Youth Fair. Coincidentally, nearby my project, a fake poster made by a student from another school for the film, was displayed. 

It may seem strange to suggest that a gruesome, hard R-rated horror film would motivate me to be better in my education. In my point of view, it all simplifies to one idea: what keeps one in good spirits keeps them motivated.

It is especially relevant in these times to rely on the things that provide us with the most comfort.

Even now as I am a student in the university working towards completing my bachelor’s, my love for the genre has allowed me to form bonds with my fellow peers and professors, which keep me moving forward. 

In the Geek Culture Club, I had an event during the Fall 2019 semester where I gave a PowerPoint presentation on horror films. In the same semester on Halloween, I had an entire conversation with one of my professors on films such as “Halloween II,” “Halloween III: Season of the Witch” and “Scream.” 

The horror genre is often stigmatized by people who feel that if one watches a film like A “Nightmare on Elm Street,” they will be compelled to be a murderer like Freddy Krueger. And although there have been a couple of occasions where even I felt singled out for my love of the genre, it never bothered me. 

It can be said that one’s love for anything, at least on a healthy level, can have beneficial effects on their lives. I have read of many instances where one’s love for the genre actually allowed fans to improve their well-being, whether it be to give up using drugs or fixing their career path. My experiences should show that liking the genre isn’t a bad thing. 

If the genre can have such a positive effect on someone, then indeed, it is not mentally degrading to like it. It is especially relevant in these times to rely on the things that provide us with the most comfort.  

As I continue to progress academically and into my career path, I know the horror genre will continue to motivate and inspire me. 

DISCLAIMER:

The opinions presented within this page do not represent the views of PantherNOW Editorial Board. These views are separate from editorials and reflect individual perspectives of contributing writers and/or members of the University community.

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