New UC Berkeley Study Reveals Horror Films Secrets
BERKELEY, Calif. Oct. 11, 2007 (KGO) -- You know it's getting close to Halloween when the trailers for creepy movies coming out-- hit the air. Some people love horror films-- others, not so much. What does that say about us? Why the difference?
"The more scary they are, the more fun they are. It's kind of irrational," said horror movie fan Iran Gallagher.
UC Berkeley's Eduardo Andrade is trying to make sense of why some consumers love horror films.
An associate professor at the Haas School of Business, Andrade and his colleague, Joel Cohen, compiled their research in a study called: "on the consumption of negative feelings."
Two groups of students -- horror movie fans and foes -- reported their feelings. The Exorcist -- predictably is the first experiment that found both groups felt fear at the same time.
"Now we ask them to report how much pleasure, how much happiness, excitement they're having during the scenes and now guess, what? We find a huge difference," said Asst. Professor Eduardo Andrade from UC Berkeley Haas School of Business.
Horror fans loved being scared. They experienced the most pleasure when they were most frightened.
"I want to close my eyes but I also want to see it at the same time. It's kind of like a rollercoaster I guess," said horror movie fan David Nguyen.
Horror foes hated it.
"Non-horror movie watchers don't have what we call this protective frame, which means they cannot distance themselves from the actors, the scenes of the movie so they cannot derive any pleasure, they just have the fear," said Andrade.
So how do marketing professionals funnel this information into sales? For film producers, Andrade recommends trailers showing the actors, how the movie was created. He says similar strategies could get people to try other scary things like "extreme sports."
"I don't think for me it'd have that much to do with it because it's the more of the things jumping out and startling you that scares me the most," said Sarah Price.
And that's the trick -- not to scare too much out of the film so it's no longer.
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