The appeal of horror to a filmgoer is that feeling they get at the end of a film. Whether it be of shock, terror, sadness, or even joy. When the credits roll that feeling in your gut harkens all the way back to the ancient Greek tragedies. Aristotle spoke about the impact a play can have as an emotional catharsis or “cleansing” in the viewer. He believed this was an essential element of excellent writing and was ultimately one of the best gifts a story can give its audience. A good horror film is attempting to achieve the same goals.
This catharsis also plays into the physical effects that watching a horror film can have. There have been multiple studies that have shown watching a scary movie can reduce anxiety, make your immune system stronger, and even burn calories.
Contributor: Geoffrey Calhoun from wefixyourscript.com