Pandemic Prepared: Horror Fans

By RodneyHatfieldJr for Into The Mind

For those of us who watch Horror films, this isn’t such a tremendous surprise. While we sit away hours on the couch watching society crumble in the face of zombies, aliens, monsters, and diseases. Apparently it is our time to shine gloriously. Like we didn't already know we were awsome.

A study from the University of Chicago has discovered evidence that fans of apocalyptic movies, where the world is in turmoil; we may be more resilient and better prepared to deal with the coronavirus pandemic than the rest of humanity. Apparently the apocalyptic scenarios in films have hardened our resilience to realistic pandemic conditions. Be it from panic buying and isolation to fear of others and deaths, appeared to help viewers undergo the outbreak in their stride and work out how best to handle the crisis.


Contributing factors in the study showed when told there would be a stay at home orders; horror fans comprehended what to buy and how many to buy for the duration. The same goes for isolation; fans possessed the ideas of how to occupy extended periods of time without going outside. The researchers questioned volunteers on their movie preferences and viewing histories before asking them how prepared they felt going into the pandemic.  They asked what levels of anxiety, depression, irritability, and sleeplessness they had experienced.


The results showed horror movie fans appeared less distressed by the crisis than most, but those favorite was prepper movies or where society collapses. Those fans ranked as more resilient and better prepared, both mentally and practically. Apparently, when you’ve seen it a hundred times in the movies, it doesn’t catch you off-guard so much. The movies are an opportunity too, for people to practice pulling themselves together when bad times come along.


One reason people are drawn to apocalyptic movies, the study says is that they give viewers a secure way to experience the chaos of social breakdown. Horror movies can assist people to prepare for terrifying situations in the same way that our imagination allows us to rehearse for dates and confrontations.


The final census of the study was this: If you’ve watched numerous horror films especially what we call prepper or apocalyptic movies, you will have imagined living through massive social upheavals, states of martial law, people responding in both prosocial and dangerously selfish ways to a sudden catastrophic event. Compared to somebody who has never simulated the end of the world, you’ll be in a better place because you have that vicarious experience. 


Well, most horror fans knew this. We knew what was needed, and could think more clearly than a huge chunk of the population. For instance, my family, when the lockdown was announced, we only purchased an extra party bag of chips from our normal grocery list(I knew I would be watching more movies). I finally opened the pack of TP we purchased in March(Because I always keep 3 packs at all times). Every year we have a couple of snowstorms and weird thunderstorms here that knocks out electric and makes the roads impassable. Hence the whole prepper idea doesn't represent anything special. I maintain a supply of most everything. My hillbilly heritage makes me more of a Bert from Tremors kind of prepper.  Except with 99% fewer firearms.

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