How-to

Advice On Watching Horror Movies

I have had a negative experience with a horror movie when I was younger. However, now that I am older, I have learned to control my phantom fears better, rather than meeting with a psychiatrist and taking anxiety pills. Every now and then, the old fears will pop up in my mind but I can quickly shove them away and think of more positive imaginings. I have read some of R.L. Stine’s “Goosebumps” books prior to this incident and am currently enjoying reading Stephen King novels, in particular, “Carrie” and “The Shining,” including others such as “Let The Right One In” and “The Nutcracker Bleeds.” I have also come to like watching certain horror movies and television shows: “The Ring,” “Dark Water,” the remake of “Carrie,” the remake of “The Shining,” “Are You Afraid of The Dark?” and “The Haunting Hour.” I will not mention the title of the horror film that scared me when I was little—but—will offer advice on how to watch horror movies and or television shows, without almost having anxiety attacks!

Reading a horror novel is different from watching a horror film. You get to picture what’s happening on the page as you read the words, whereas the visuals in a film are already there for you. You might feel comfortable reading a horror novel during the day and at night. You should watch a horror movie during the day, especially if it is one you’ve never seen before. If you have already seen it, you can watch it at night as long as you’re comfortable doing so.

If this horror movie you find intense or extremely scary, turn off the volume. Music can be used as a warning for when a scary moment occurs. The reason why you should turn off the sound is because you most likely do not want to hear all of the villain’s—a creature or person—dialogue, or see violent and sometimes bloody/gory action scenes. Muted volume can allow you to watch the movie without always jumping or always feeling the need to cover your eyes. You can cover your eyes if something instantly frightens you (something that jumps out at you), of course!

Try even to close your eyes and listen to the music, dialogues and sounds in the film. Let your imagination do the work. Imagine what’s happening in the movie in your mind’s eye instead of seeing the actual visual sequences. Try meditating too, either during or after the movie, with or without volume, with or without eyes closed. Think of an inspiring song in your head while watching and or listening to the film—a song that lifts your spirits or makes you feel good about life. For example: hear the songs, “No Day But Today” and “Seasons of Love” from the hit Broadway show, “Rent” and get them stuck in your head!

Imagine the following scenario with partial song lyrics:
You’re watching the first episode and last episode of “The Haunting Hour.” These are considered the show’s two scariest episodes. You watch them back-to-back. You hear the eerie music, spoken dialogue and creepy sounds while at the same time you hear a “Rent” song in your head, or any song that suits you for that matter.

Five-hundred twenty-five thousand, six-hundred minutes!
Five-hundred twenty-five thousand moments so dear!
How do you measure—measure a year?
Seasons of love! Seasons of love!
Five-hundred twenty-five thousand, six-hundred minutes!
Five-hundred twenty-five thousand journeys to plan!
Five-hundred twenty-five thousand, six hundred minutes!
How do you measure the life of a woman or a man?

Besides hearing a song in your head, if you have Itunes on your computer, you could also slide in a CD and listen to it on the program while watching these two episodes, if preferable. After reading the lyrics above and hearing them in your head, how does watching horror movies make you feel now? Do you feel a little better? Remember, you make the choice of whether or not you want to watch a horror movie or television show. You do not have to watch something that perturbs you if you do not want to. Do not force yourself!

After watching scarier films or episodes, watch ones that you find less scary. Watch ones that interest you or that you find more enjoyable. For example, once you’re done watching “The Return of Lily D.” (final episode of “The Haunting Hour”), watch a suspenseful episode titled: “Wrong Number” or a fantasy episode titled: “The Most Evil Sorcerer.” These ones you may find entertaining and can calm you down. You can do some analytical thinking about the movie or episode while watching it as well.

If you have a problem with watching scary movies and shows, all of these exercises can help you relieve anxiety. Hopefully, this advice will make you feel less terrified with watching horror in general.

The following is a step-by-step checklist:
• During the daytime, go on Youtube and type “The Haunting Hour” in the search engine.
• Choose an episode. For example, click on Part 1 video of the episode titled: “Really You.”
• Watch the episode. If certain scenes become too frightening or intense, turn off the volume. Watch the scenes muted.
• Try watching the episode again (or at least on another day) while meditating. Inhale and exhale; practice breathing exercises. Relax.
• Try watching it again but with eyes closed. Listen to the music, sounds and dialogue. Maybe meditate and practice breathing in and out too.
• Try one more exercise with this episode. Listen to a CD with instrumental music that makes you feel happy while at the same watch the episode. Or, hear a song you enjoy listening to while watching the episode at the same time.
• Once you’ve finished with that episode, calm yourself down by watching another episode of “The Haunting Hour that you’ll find more enjoyable or entertaining. For example, search and click on “The Red Dress” Part 1 video.
• If this episode or another episode in the series interests you enough, you should conduct analytical thinking. This means to think about plot points, characters and ideology of the episode.
• Most importantly, do not force yourself to watch a horror movie or television show episode you dislike or will find uncomfortable watching. If this is the case, see something you like or will feel more comfortable viewing. You have choices. Therefore, you can make your own choice of what to watch!

Brent Watching "Scary Mary" Episode of "The Haunting Hour"

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