Here in Utah, Halloween is huge. People go all out, and it's easily the most decorated and celebrated holiday outside of Christmas. They have corn mazes and haunted houses galore. There's even a paranormal investigative team that will take you to haunted locations for a fee so you can experience "real" ghosts.
And you can't dispute the profitability of what I'm starting to call really bad movies. These are "found footage" type movies. You know the kind..."Blair Witch Project" created a demand when they made a movie for $50,000 and turned it into $150,000,000. People took notice of that in the movies looking for a way to make huge bucks off of essentially nothing. Why does this work? Because people like to be scared.
Scientifically, fear has a reason. We experience fear as a survival mechanism. In other words, something threatens us and then we connect with an adrenaline rush and hopefully, survive the experience. But I'm kind of baffled as to why we seek this kind of thing out (myself included). Why do I pay to see a scary movie knowing that I'll probably watch it through my fingers?
Check out this account of a person that paid $50.00 to be scared in a haunted house (copied from io9):
Each TV was on, and showing video footage of me walking down the hallway. On the floor of said hallway: condoms, just crap loads of condoms. They were wet. I followed the TVs into the biggest mind fuck room of all. I pulled back a curtain and someone screamed "STAND ON THE X!"
I spied the 'X' and stood there. Behind the curtain was a room covered in condoms and shoes. There's a dirty mattress on the floor, and a dead naked woman lay on her back. In the corner a skinny man stood with his back to me. He turned around, and revealed that he was really not wearing any clothes at all. None. Full dong. Out. It's something. He started walking right towards me. My brain started rattling, I could actually hear my own insides rattling around inside my skull at the sheer confusion of the condom parade naked basement man. He started walking towards me, and horror set in as I realized: He has my shoe.
The Naked Man got closer and pointed to the bed. "Nope!" I said, turning around.
Naked Man said, "get on the bed." I sat on it. He grabbed my feet and pulled them up, so I'm now laying on the bed. He sat at the foot of the bed, holding my shoe while staring down at me. It was dead silent. Then the Dead Naked Girl woke up, and flipped over on top of me. She started screaming, "HELP ME HELP ME HELP ME HELP ME HELP ME!" I screamed back, "IM SORRY, IM SORRY, IM SORRY, IM SORRY, IM SORRY!" The naked man was rubbing his face on my exposed foot the whole time. Finally, after an eternity of nakedness, the Naked Man thrust my shoe onto my chest and yelled "GET OUT." And I got the f*ck out.Why the hell would someone put themselves through this? But this haunted house is really popular according to the article. Do you like to experience fear? How much would you pay to be scared as long as you knew that it was "safe" or that you could have a "safe word" that you could use if it got to be too much? And do you think that fear evolves over time? I've noticed that what scared my mother when she was still a young woman would scare no one today. These days, people seem to want in your face sexuality or the impending threat of being sexually violated as a means to channel fear.
And why do you suppose fear is such a big business?
All you have to do is look at the incredible monetary haul of Resident Evil and Paranormal Activity.
Here's the trailer for Sinister (a horror movie that's getting rave reviews). I think I may be too chicken to go and see it, but I may try really hard! Have a great weekend. I'll be taking Monday off from blogging (it's Columbus Day).