After the last blog, I was asked why I care so much about the horror genre. The general consensus was, horror movies are coming up with more unique ways - and sometimes not - to scare people, because they can draw in a lot of money. And if you're a guy with a girlie, there's no better way to be held close.
Fair. I like when I become a teddy bear because some paranormal thingamajig is scaring the Bejeezus out of the lady. The most frightening aspect of said experience is paying $20 for stale popcorn and an iced-down drink.
To tell the truth, though, it is equally important to read something that scares you; it allows the imagination to explore dangerous situations.
If something scares you as a child, you go crying to Mommy, Daddy, Grandmama, Grandpapa, or whoever. They assure you it's okay, and you learn how to analyze a situation for its true level of danger. Fear is an instinctive reaction to warn us of possible harm.
As adults, sometimes something makes us scream, but then it's followed by a laugh, when we realize we're simply let our imaginations get the best of us. We laugh because the fear was an enjoyable experience and know there was no real harm. Of course, there are some people out there who would still rather ride the plane than jump out of it.
Maybe some of us just enjoy being scared - or being the skydivers. Some of us want to let our imaginations roam wild every time we can't see into a spooky old house.
It's good practice. It helps train us to determine whether or not a true-life situation is truly risky. Or with extreme practice, we learn how to handle each alarming moment in life.
For some people, it's about remedy. It's about overcoming our worst nightmares or exposing ourselves to our own phobias in hope they will vanish over time.
"When people get scared, their bodies automatically triggers the "fight or flight" response—their heart rates increase, they breathe faster, their muscles tense, and their attention focuses for quick and effective responses to threats.
"It's nature's way of protecting us," said clinical psychologist David Rudd at Texas Tech University."
By far the coolest thing about fear and overcoming it, is the ability to adapt, evolve, and survive. On a larger scale, we can tease ourselves with fear, jump out of planes, cast our doubts to the wind, and plunge into new lands.
We can find new food, new ways to live, and possibly, new cultures. If we don't experience fear, the world remains small. I mean, think about it: We are learning more about the universe every day.
Without all the things fear brings, could we have ever convinced someone to ride a rocket into a thick black oddity, only to have them crash onto the moon? (That's assuming you believe we ever made it to the moon.)
See, good horror fiction forces our minds to explore and become more creative. If you're locked in a box, you might have to find a new way out. Once free, you know how to think "outside of the box" for almost any situation.
Fear, focus, and the future. C.M. Humphries talks about writing, horror, and whatever.