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Why Psychological Thriller Movies are the Best?

Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time

Psychological thrillers dig into the thoughts and motivations of their characters, allowing us to understand how their decisions advance the plot into areas of human ethics and morality. The genre encourages us to think about the darkness we see in others and ourselves. Why, therefore, do readers find psychological thrillers so appealing, given the disturbing concerns they raise?

Here are four significant aspects that might explain why we humans enjoy this genre of film. For reference, here’s a mind-bending movie collection that covers a wide range.

Theory of Excitation Transfer

The idea, which Zillman first proposed in the early 1970s, states that residual excitation from one stimulus can be transferred to impact behavior in response to another stimulus.

“Any aroused emotional reaction can amplify any other exciting, emotional reaction due to residual excitation from any enthusiastic emotional reaction.”

What does this Signify for Thriller Readers and Viewers?

Take, for example, a scenario in which the protagonist gradually realizes she’s been standing in a psychopath’s lair rather than a basement: a drop of blood begins to flow, and the equipment on the table. These subtle feelings that the author evokes add to our delight, and by the end of the book, all of these thrills will have piled up.

When we eventually put that book down and go to bed, the lingering emotional reaction kicks in, enhancing other feelings and giving the impression that what we just read was more stunning and vivid.

Environmental Control

How often have you heard someone mention that they enjoy watching serial murderers and psychopathic shows? It happens far too frequently. This is because we experience fear and suspense through a medium that we can turn off at any time, close the book, or even know isn’t fully happening to us right now. But, if given the opportunity, I’m sure no one would want to be in the same room with the characters. In reality, this controlled setting helps us break out from our everyday peaceful routine and inject some excitement into it.

Twists in the Plot

Typical in psychological thrillers, they frequently end nicely with a narrative surprise. The sense of wonder is one thing, but the intellectual challenge is fulfilling. It helps us understand we’ve been duped by the author and admire their setup. We value their subtlety and quality.

Thoughts that are Prohibited

There is a dark aspect to everyone. We’re having thoughts we’d prefer not to be having. You already know what they are so we won’t go into detail. Those prohibited ideas elicit a sense of wonder and awe for the unknown—the what-ifs of a situation where societal conventions and regulations no longer bind us. Watching crime shows or reading about taboo things allows us to unleash those inner urges that keep us from acting on our ideas.

Cheers to the present popularity of this fascinating genre, which provides a therapeutic experience for individuals in a world where we are constantly driven to question what is true and what is untrue.


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