|10-03-2009, 09:49 PM||#1 (permalink)|
Join Date: Aug 2009
Mystery thrillers - why do they make my heart beat?
For several years, I have been sharing with people my PD insights on feelings. That other people can't make your feelings, but that you make them yourself, that they have their roots in your needs etc.
This is why I got curious tonight:
I just watched a mystery thriller and observed my body reactions. Also, at times I only focused on the background music to get more clarity what they were doing. I am really curious why my heart would start beating just from a bit of creepy music (tones that are very close together; synthesizer sounds that remind of voices, which my mind immideately associates with the voices of dead people), some mild suspense (a protagonist searching for the truth) and from a dog barking.
Heck, how do they do that? Or: What produces those feelings of "mystery fear"? Ok, the reason for latter two probably is very good acting and that my brain picks up the feelings seen on the actor's faces and reproduces their feelings in my body, some sorth of sympathy. However, what about the music? A friend of mine once saw a movie once with and once without the music and said it made all the difference, and that he was shocked how much music would influence him. But why? Where did my body learn to be afraid of creepy music? If it is natural - why? If a kid grew up in a "perfect" environment, would it have the same reactions?
I remember various experiences I had with mystery stories around the age of 8. Most were creepy bedtime stories read to us in camps (about vampires and dead people). One was a kid's mystery movie ("Come back Lucy"). Both after the vampire story and the mystery movie, I was scared of looking onto mirrors for months.
Is all of this related to basic fear of death (since in mystery stories, there is often suspense around some kind of unclear threat, which might be around life and death)? Is it fear of unpredictability of reality? (which would also go back to some basic need for safety) Or something totally different? Obviously, those authors and moviemakers know what they are doing when they create suspense (music, light that makes people look pale, sudden twists coming in a surprising, shocking way). But what is it in me that reacts, and to what exactly?
I would especially appreciate answers by people who have some in-depth knowledge about neurobiology.
|10-05-2009, 06:19 AM||#2 (permalink)|
Join Date: Feb 2008
Location: Monterey California
Have you ever heard of PseudoPsyesis? It's more commonly known as "sympothy" pains. The human brain is well adapted at functioning vicariously through imagery.
Personally, when I see a scene on Television showing a view from a cliff, my acrophobic self tells my stomach muscle to tighten up in an almost involuntary motion. But as with any fear, repitition can eventually lead to "desensitization". The best way to conquer a fear is to face it. Oddly enough, the older you get, the more you come to accept the finite aspect of life. It's 100%. All humans die. But at some point, you see death not as an end, but as a birth of something new.
Just as your life in the womb was terminated and your cord was cut, so will your life in your "meat jacket" and your silver cord will be severed. Many NDErs comment on how great it feels to be out of the constrictions of the human body.
But when you come to terms with death, you also come to terms with Life. You realize that each day is a gift. 100 years from now you're not going to be worried about that fuel pump that needs to be fixed. Or even better, you'll never have to worry about another root canal. It's funny, but at a certain age, when things go wrong with your body, you start wondering if you're going to take that condition to your grave. You know, a chipped tooth, a knee that should be scoped, etc....
I don't know if I answered your question. Probably not. But your body is just reacting on autopilot to a percieved threat.
The opposite is true also. Why do some people run into burning houses to save the sleeping baby with absolutely no concern for the flames and apparently no fear (at the time). I'm a Vietnam vet. In a battle situation, you are scared. But it's not your focus. "You've got plenty of time to be scared when you're not being shot at". I can tell you stories about PTSD.
It's far worse than fantasy fear.
|10-09-2009, 05:24 PM||#4 (permalink)|
Join Date: Jan 2009
I don't know if this will help a lot, but as a writer of fiction, I spend a lot of time thinking about the ways that readers "suspend their disbelief" in order to enter into the world of a story.
When you read a book, you willingly suspend the disbelief that tells you, "Hey! You're not James Bond (or Harry Potter, or whoever)! You're just you, sitting in a chair." You put yourself into the position of the protagonist because you want to experience the thrill of the ride.
As you read, you are moving through the story along with the character, interpreting the events and imagining how you would feel in those same situations. Same thing with a movie, or listening to a story.
Movies have a different way of appealing to your senses and allowing you to respond. In a book, I could write, "fear, like an icy finger, touched the back of her neck," and you would understand that the protagonist is supposed to be afraid. But in a movie, that fear and creepiness is usually represented in the scary-sounding music.
And it probably is a circle--you grow up hearing creepy music when a scary image is on TV, so when you hear that kind of minor-key, dissonant music it sounds creepy. You've been trained, and there are a lot of similar movie conventions that we accept on the same basis.
There are also things that people are reliably afraid of--death, pain, etc. Those are built-in, and only have to be suggested to get a reaction. Other stuff will reliably turn people on--fit, healthy, youthful people who seem happy and smart, for instance. We're biologically programmed to be attracted to those qualities.
You might find Desmond Morris's books fun to explore. and for Neuropsychology, you could look into "Mind Hacks" by Stafford and Webb.
Hope this helps!
|10-11-2009, 05:18 PM||#5 (permalink)|
Join Date: Oct 2009
Think of hate, prejudice and bigotry. Children are not born with these feelings unless it is a hold over from a past life. Children learn these things from their parents or others they grow up around.
It's the same with movie music. And it started back in the days of silent movies. Music was the only sound the audience heard so movie makers learned what music elicited what response and they still use that formula today. Music is magical in a sense. It has the capacity to touch us deeply in our minds and trigger certain responses. A talented musician can bring an audience to the depths of despair and then to total joy just by the music he/she plays.
Because the music formula is still used today in movies we learn to associate certain types of music with danger, horror, something's going to happen in the movie. We hear the music and not only see what's happening in the movie, but we see how other people around us are reacting to it. Maybe as a child you saw dad leaning forward or mom clutching a pillow tightly or sis/ bro had their hands over their face when this type of music played.
So in part how you react to movie music is a learned response and in part is just the power and magic of music.
|fear, feelings, mystery, suspense, thriller|
|Thread||Thread Starter||Forum||Replies||Last Post|
|Murder Mystery Parties||Parthon||Social & Relationships||4||10-07-2008 12:40 AM|
|Mystery illness?||dulaney0330||Health & Fitness||2||08-31-2008 03:52 PM|
|he beat me up||MrNotebook||Emotional Mastery||12||05-14-2008 02:00 AM|
|Darkworker at heart. Lightworker at heart.||Akashic_Librarian||Spirituality, Consciousness, & Awareness||6||09-24-2007 01:02 AM|
|I won't let it beat me||Tuumble||Emotional Mastery||2||08-13-2007 04:41 PM|
All times are GMT. The time now is 08:16 AM.