Why do people like horror? As one of the most misunderstood genres, horror fans often find themselves stigmatized by society, who assume that there must be something wrong with them. As a very hardcore horror fan, Rue Morgue magazine journalist Tal Zimerman sets out to explore why horror is so appealing to people. Featuring interviews with horror filmmakers and experts, including John Carpenter, George A. Romero, Eli Roth, and Don Coscarelli, the documentary Why Horror? follows Tal Zimerman as he travels the world to see how the horror genre is reflected in different cultures and understand why we love to be scared.
One result of watching Why Horror? is that the documentary caused me to reflect on my own horror fandom, which has gone from a secret curiosity as a teenager to something I’m more or less open with. I still wouldn’t call myself a hardcore horror fan, even though I do enjoy watching the films. Indeed, as stated in Why Horror?, everybody likes the horror genre for different reasons. This documentary ended up being a very objective look into horror fandom, with there not really being a single answer to the question asked in the title.
While heavily focused on horror films, Why Horror? also delves into the genre’s portrayal in art, literature, and video games. The documentary also tries to debunk many of the stigmas against horror films, which includes the comment that news reports are often more horrific than anything seen in the movies. Why Horror? could serve as an educational tool to help non-horror fans understand the genre, though they might ended up being turned off by the many gory horror film clips in the documentary. When it is all said and done, Why Horror? is a very non-biased look into why horror is so appealing to people.8 | LIKED IT