James Gunn's blog is one of the best ever! He is the guy who wrote Tromeo and Juliet, and Slither, and some other stuff you probably haven't heard of. He's also married to the chick who plays Pam on The Office, which I am sure you have heard of.
In his latest blog entry, he quotes Scott Adams (Dilbert guy) writing about horror movies:
"There are only two kinds of characters in a horror flick: the victims who are dying horrible deaths, and the psychopaths that are doing the killing. My problem with those movies is that I automatically empathize with the victims, and I can feel their pain... So I steer clear of horror movies. Yet millions of people enjoy that type of entertainment... Who are horror movie fans empathizing with?
By process of elimination, I assume fans of horror flicks are imagining themselves as the killer, thinking how cool it would be to disembowel attractive teenagers. Jeezus-frickin-christ!...
I wonder how many times in my life I'm at a store, for example, swiping my debit card, and the cashier is looking at me and thinking "It sure would be fun to drive a spike through his forehead and make a vest from his skin." It probably happens more often than I'd like.
Do you enjoy horror movies? If so, what the f*ck is wrong with you?"
And James Gunn's response:
"People generally go to horror films to be FRIGHTENED. That would mean they empathize with the victims... Through horror films, our reptilian under-brains are provided with the thrills and chills a life of relative safety denies us. Our ids are able to experience true fear in a place where our superegos are able to tell us, "Ha ha. This isn't really dangerous at all" – until something hops out from the side of the screen and our ids, egos, and superegos cry out "HOLY SHIT!" in unison, along with a theater of two hundred other ids, egos, and superegos. For just a moment, we are one in our fear and Darwinian vulnerability. And what's more fun than that?
So that is why most of us go to see horror movies, Mr. Guy Who Created Dilbert. But thank you for your perfect blend of elitism and dumbfuckness which reminds me why I care about horror films."
Ha! I love him. Seriously.