If seems that horror movies becomes more and more popular our days. Basically they are meant to provide distraction and entertainment, do they always have only this effect ? And why people have so much appetite for this kind of movies ? "Freddy Krueger", "I Know What You Did Last Summer", "Shining", "Nightmare of Elm Street", "Event Horizon" are only some blockbusters from a countless number of 'scary movies' that emerged in last years on our screens. More flesh and blood, more shocking images, more disturbing pictures means guaranteed success, and therefore more profit for producers.
But with what price ? If adult mind is (almost) stable and in more cases there is no effect, the influence, the aggression over a children's mind is devastating. The most vulnerable victims are boys around the age of 8 years, because of their need of models of behavior, easy victims to erroneous interpretations of power and heroism.
Bad heroes, slaughtering and killing people, strange rituals, sexuality degrading behaviors, death allover all these could lead to serious reality distortion in one children's mind.
Studies revealed that subjects of a continuous viewing of violent movies tend to have less empathy for victims, innocent killed people, raped females, developing an odd affinity for the offender. So, what can be the explanation for children trauma by horror films ? Maybe the most plausible is that a child does not have a system of values stable and clear. The limit between good and evil becomes so thin, especially if the environment (parents, family, friends) allows this. Sometimes a child has no choice but to watch a violent movie only because his parents does.
Consequences ? Later symptoms like trembling, crying, shaking, nausea, fear of loosing control, fear of dying, emotional instability, even mental disorder in severe cases. Horror movies can have a long lasting effect on child personality, sometimes carrying inside trauma for life. And the only answer is parental control and limited access at this kind of entertainment.