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Why do people like horror films? 人们为什么爱看恐怖片?

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虽然不是人人都爱看恐怖片,但却有不少人对这类电影情有独钟。除了享受被吓得 “魂飞魄散” 的感觉,还有没有其它的因素?本期 “随身英语” 节目讨论这些人爱看恐怖片的原因。

词汇:horror 恐怖

What’s your favourite genre of film? For many people who love being petrified, or scared out of their wits, by jump scares that answer will be horror. Whether it’s splatter films, wastelands in the apocalypse, monsters like demons, zombies, vampires, werewolves or phantoms, there’s something to suit everyone’s taste. But just why do people enjoy watching these terrifying films?

First off, being scared can give us a rush of adrenaline. The heart starts pumping, making these films exhilarating. But the fact you’re actually at home safe on the sofa makes the experience of being frightened all the more enjoyable because what’s happening to the characters on the screen is far removed from your experience of being in your living room eating popcorn. It feels more thrilling.

Coltan Scrivner, a PhD candidate in the Department of Comparative Human Development at The University of Chicago, argues that people who watch horror films learn how to regulate their anxiety. A study that he co-authored found that horror fans exhibited greater resilience during the early stages on the Covid-19 pandemic than those who didn’t.

Also, some horror fans think they could survive the events on screen. That gives those viewers a sense of superiority. We often mock the typical tropes of horror films. Why do they try to escape the masked killer by running upstairs and confining themselves? The characters often make terrible decisions that lead to their deaths – decisions we as viewers believe we wouldn’t make.

So, whether it’s to help people regulate their anxiety, be thrilled by getting scared, or to feel superior mocking the decisions of the characters, there are many reasons people love watching horror films – and if they really scare you, maybe it’s best to watch them with the lights on.

词汇表

petrified 吓呆了
scared out of one’s wits 吓得 “魂飞魄散”
jump scare (影视、电子游戏中的)猛然一吓,吓一大跳
wasteland 不毛之地,荒地
apocalypse 世界末日
monster 怪物
demon 魔鬼
zombie 僵尸
vampire 吸血鬼
werewolf 狼人
phantom 幽灵
terrifying 吓人的
rush of adrenaline 肾上腺素激增
exhilarating 令人兴致高涨的,激动人心的
frightened 害怕的
thrilling 惊心动魄的
trope (艺术作品中的)典型形象、主题
masked 蒙面的

测验与练习

1.  阅读课文并回答问题。

1. True or false? According to the article, many people who like horror enjoy being scared.

2. What happens to our bodies when we are scared?

3. Why is it so enjoyable to watch horror films on your sofa?

4. What did people who like horror films exhibit during the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic?

5. Why can horror films make us feel superior?

2.  选择意思恰当的单词或词组来完成下列句子。

1. A fictional person who transforms into a wolf on a full moon is called a _______.

werewolf                          vampire                      lone wolf                  phantom

2. I don’t like _______ scares. I prefer a building of tension over a quick fright.

leap                                 jump                            hop                          skip

3. I’m so scared, I can’t move. I’m _______.

exhilarating                     petrified                       trope                         wasteland   

4. As she left the bunker, she walked out into barren _______.

wasteland                        petrified                      zombie                      masked

5. They say this film is really _______. Do you think it could be that exciting?

rush of adrenaline           exhilarating                 petrified                     trope

答案

1.  阅读课文并回答问题。

1. True or false? According to the article, many people who like horror enjoy being scared.
True. Many people who love being petrified or scared out of their wits by jump scares will say they like horror.

2. What happens to our bodies when we are scared?
We get a rush of adrenaline when we are scared.

3. Why is it so enjoyable to watch horror films on your sofa?
Because you’re safe, and what’s happening to the characters isn’t happening to you.

4. What did people who like horror films exhibit during the early stages of the Covid-19 pandemic?
A study found that horror fans exhibited greater resilience during the early stages on the Covid-19 pandemic than those who didn’t.

5. Why can horror films make us feel superior?
The characters make bad decisions, which often lead to their deaths. We feel we wouldn’t have made those decisions.

2.  选择意思恰当的单词或词组来完成下列句子。

1. A fictional person who transforms into a wolf on a full moon is called a werewolf.

2. I don’t like jump scares. I prefer a building of tension over a quick fright.

3. I’m so scared, I can’t move. I’m petrified.

4. As she left the bunker, she walked out into barren wasteland.

5. They say this film is really exhilarating. Do you think it could be that exciting?

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