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How to Watch a Horror Movie


While horror movies can be scary to watch, the adrenaline rush can be fun and even exciting. Preparing the right mindset and environment beforehand can help you enjoy the movie more. And, if you’re feeling scared, you can always take steps to calm down and enjoy yourself as needed. By taking steps to feel mentally and emotionally comfortable, you can make watching a horror movie an exhilarating and fun experience.

EditSteps

EditPreparing Mentally for a Horror Movie

  1. Read the movie synopsis beforehand, if you’re nervous. Knowing the major plot points beforehand can make the movie less scary and prepare you for the intense parts. Find the synopsis online and read it thoroughly, checking for any frightening moments.[1]
    Watch a Horror Movie Step 1 Version 4.jpg
    • You can also check the rating or parental guidance section on most film websites to prepare you for particularly scary scenes.
    • If you enjoy the thrill of not knowing what comes next, avoid reading the full synopsis beforehand. Instead, check the rating or parental guides to decide whether you can handle the scary moments.
  2. Remember that, no matter what, the movie is fictional. When preparing to watch a scary movie, separating reality from fiction can help you feel less nervous. Remember that scary stories are just that—stories—and that, no matter what, you’ll be safe.[2]
    Watch a Horror Movie Step 2 Version 4.jpg
    • If this method helps you cope best, avoid movies that claim they are “based on a true story.”
    • Try reading movie reviews or a “Behind the Scenes” video of the movie to remind yourself that it’s fictional.
  3. Avoid movies with overly triggering material. If you’re sensitive to certain themes or scenes in horror movies, you may want to choose a horror movie that avoids these topics. After checking the parental guides, choose a horror movie that doesn’t contain any themes you find disturbing.[3]
    Watch a Horror Movie Step 3 Version 4.jpg
    • Most horror movies contain frightening scenes, but avoid movies that you think could negatively affect you for more than a few hours.
  4. Talk about your concerns with your friends. If you’ve been preparing for the movie and are still a little nervous, voicing your concerns can help you feel less anxious. They may validate your emotions or suggest things that can help you cope when you’re worried.[4]
    Watch a Horror Movie Step 4 Version 4.jpg
    • Try to talk to a friend who is comfortable with, or even enjoys, horror movies. Expressing your fears to someone who also is afraid of scary movies might worsen your concerns.
    • Talking with a friend who loves horror movies can also help you see what makes watching scary movies enjoyable.

EditChoosing the Right Environment

  1. Watch the movie at home, not in a theater. Although the theater atmosphere can be fun, you’ll have more control over the movie at home. Pick a movie that’s already been released so you can pause, fast forward, or skip scenes as needed.[5]
    Watch a Horror Movie Step 5 Version 4.jpg
    • If you have to watch the movie in a theater, choose a seat near the exit so you can sneak out if you feel overwhelmed.
    • Watching the movie in a theater, however, can be fun if you want to immerse yourself in the horror movie experience if you don’t typically get scared.
  2. Watch the movie during the day, if possible. Horror movies are scariest at night, when any shadow or unexplained noise might make you jump. If you can, watch the movie while the sun’s still out so that afterward, you can distract your mind with other things before nighttime.[6]
    Watch a Horror Movie Step 6 Version 4.jpg
    • If you’re watching a horror movie at night, turn on a few lights in a nearby room to make the atmosphere feel less scary. Avoid watching scary movies before you go to bed, as you may be more likely to have nightmares or struggle with insomnia.[7]
    • Watching a horror movie at night, however, can be fun if you enjoy feeling frightened while watching scary movies.[8]
  3. Keep a few pillows or squeezable objects on hand. During scary scenes, having something soft to hold can help calm you down. Set a few pillows, stuffed animals, therapy balls, or other soft objects near wherever you’re watching the movie just in case you’re feeling nervous.[9]
    Watch a Horror Movie Step 7 Version 3.jpg
    • If you’re watching the movie with a friend, ask beforehand if you can hold their hand during the scary parts as reassurance.
  4. Invite some friends over to watch the movie. Watching a horror movie alone can make everything seem scary. If you want, ask a friend to watch the movie with you or invite several friends and host a scary movie party.[10]
    Watch a Horror Movie Step 8 Version 3.jpg
    • If you have to watch the movie by yourself, try to watch it when others will be home. Having other people nearby can help you feel less afraid.
    • Invite friends who enjoy scary movies to create a light, fun atmosphere and help you feel more excited to watch it.
  5. Get some snacks to eat during the movie. Sweet or salty snacks can help distract your mind and remind you that you’re watching a movie. Before you watch the movie, pop some popcorn or buy some candy to have on hand during the film.
    Watch a Horror Movie Step 9 Version 3.jpg
    • Crunchy foods, like veggies, chips, or cookies, are especially useful for calming your nerves because they can prevent you from being mentally absorbed in the movie.

EditDealing with Frightening Scenes

  1. Make fun of the movie, if you feel scared. Humor can help put the movie into perspective and remind you that you’re not in danger. Think about an aspect of the film that scares you and try to reimagine it in a hilarious light.[11]
    Watch a Horror Movie Step 10 Version 3.jpg
    • If the movie has an evil clown, for example, try to picture the clown slipping on a banana peel.
    • Share your humorous thoughts with your friends if all of you are scared to keep the atmosphere light and comfortable.
  2. Remind yourself that nothing you’re seeing is real. If you feel overwhelmed by the movie, reassure yourself that you’re watching actors and that the movie is fiction. Being scared is okay, but remember that watching the movie does not make it real.[12]
    Watch a Horror Movie Step 11 Version 3.jpg
    • Try looking for small details that shows you the movie is fake, like a supposedly “dead” body breathing or the shadow of a microphone.
    • Let your friend know if you’re scared so they can give you reassurance or remind you that it’s fake.[13]
  3. Mute the movie during especially scary scenes. Part of what makes horror movies so frightening is the sound effects and unsettling music. Muting the movie should put the film into perspective and make it significantly less frightening.[14]
    Watch a Horror Movie Step 12 Version 3.jpg
    • If you still want to know what’s going on but feel afraid, try lowering the volume instead of muting it.
  4. Distract your mind with something else, if nothing else seems to help. If you feel overwhelmed by the horror movie, try distracting yourself with snacks or a calming activity. Something that distracts your mind and your body, like knitting or playing with a puzzle, can be especially effective for calming you down.[15]
    Watch a Horror Movie Step 13.jpg
    • You could also leave the room for a few minutes and take a breather, then come back when you’re ready to watch it again.
    • If you don’t want to watch the movie anymore, there’s no shame in turning it off or leaving the room until it’s over.[16]

EditTips

  • Don’t worry if watching the horror movie is frightening at first. Once you’ve found ways to cope with your fear, the adrenaline rush can be fun and exciting![17]
  • After the horror movie’s over, take time to relax and distract yourself with something peaceful. Meditation, calming music, and journal writing are all great ways to wind down and deal with any remaining worries you have.[18]

EditWarnings

  • Watching a horror movie should always be your choice, and they aren’t everyone’s favorite genre. If you don’t want to watch it anymore, don’t feel ashamed to turn the movie off or leave the film showing.[19]

EditRelated wikiHows

EditSources and Citations

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