Hedonic Ambivalence: The Paradox Of Horror Film

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The movie industry is a main factor of each society in the new world; no country around the globe lacks movie theatres, TV channels specialized in broadcasting movies, or, naturally, the Internet where you can access any movie in the history of cinema. Various studies have been done on the emotional and behavioral effects movies from all genres can cause to their audiences who differ in age, interests, social stance and other significant variations. However a specific genre has predominantly gained most of the attention in researches and it is that kind of movies that show unpleasant events and how they attract a large base of audiences. Keisner (2008) discusses a specific subgenre which is called slasher, a category of horror cinema typically…show more content…
Despite the fact that pain is a feeling that we as humans naturally loathe, when put in specific contexts, we tend to be attracted to it. "Hedonic ambivalence" is the name of the phenomenon of finding pleasure in something one perceives as painful. There are two types of ambivalence, weak ambivalence and strong ambivalence; weak ambivalence refers to the enjoyment experienced of something that includes painful portions while strong ambivalence refers to the enjoyment that is essentially based on the painful portions. Weak ambivalence is not hard to grasp as for example you can enjoy a fast and energetic action movie even though it might cause you a headache. But it is different with strong ambivalence, as when you enjoy any food filled with spices or take a ride on a terrifying roller coaster while screaming madly, the enjoyment is boosted by the fact that you experience pain. There is a similarity between how masochists experience pain as they welcome the feeling mainly because they enjoy the thought of pain infliction on them and the previously mentioned example. And it is the same with horror; sometimes when taking a painful feeling and putting it in a certain context, it becomes welcomed. We might not enjoy the spices if we are not eating that particular type of food and we might not enjoy the feeling of falling from a building even though it is the same idea of a roller coaster because we feel safe and assured on it, hence the context is essential for this concept to be applied and for pain to be
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