Why We Watch Horror Movies

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Horror movies are popular for a reason. They engage our brains in a way other genres don’t, and dopamine is partly to thank. This neurotransmitter is associated with pleasure and reward, so it’s not surprising that horror movies are often so addictive. 

But what exactly is it about these films that keep us coming back for more? Let’s take a closer look at dopamine and how it affects our viewing habits.

Why We Watch Horror Movies

Dopamine And Horror Movies

Dopamine has a big part in the brain’s reward system. It is released when we accomplish something or experience something pleasurable, and it helps to motivate us to continue seeking out those activities. 

In the reward system, dopamine serves as the primary neurotransmitter and the dominating power source. Many of us have felt a satisfying buzz while watching a good horror movie after figuring out what’s going on, no matter how grim your conclusions are.

Think about when you visit sites like The sports geek, bet and win. Our brains experience a surge of dopamine, which can drive us to keep betting in search of that feeling of euphoria. Even when you lose, your body still experiences this neurological reaction, which defies your expectation that it only happens when you win.

Dopamine Effect

Dopamine is the most frequent chemical released into our bodies while playing video games and watching scary movies. When the protagonist reacts to a threat, we empathize with them and get a dopamine rush. It’s interesting to note that paranoia is one type of fear that can release dopamine. 

This produces an exhilarating but fleeting high that motivates us to take action, like protecting our life or picking up a new skill. It can be achieved by winning in games, when flashing lights and music increase the “buzz”.

The Benefits Of Watching Horror Movies

Most people think that there are no benefits to watching horror movies, but contrary to that, there are a few benefits one can get from watching horror movies, and they are:


Horror movies are designed to scare us and do a good job of it. But what is it about them that keeps us coming back for more? This dopamine rush can be addictive, which helps explain why we keep watching even though we know it’s not good for us. 

So next time you’re feeling brave (or just curious), give a horror movie a try, but be prepared for that dopamine high!

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