Question: did you find that once you became an atheist, your enjoyment of horror or fantasy diminished? This is assuming that you have rejected all forms of supernatural belief, and not just the belief in gods.
I found that while my enjoyment of them hasn't (I was really creeped out by Paranormal Activity and the Woman in Black, e.g.), I find myself more critical of them regarding their suspension of disbelief.
Guess I should have been clearer. I was aiming this question at atheists, agnostics and skeptics.
I've never believed in vampires, werewolves, ghosts, etc., so my suspension of disbelief didn't change.
Great question, though.
Actually I would say quite the opposite. Becoming an atheist and skeptic has allowed me to better define reality versus fiction and thus when I sit down to watch fiction I can shut off that part in my brain that is skeptical because I know what I'm watching is fiction.
My love for fantasy, horror and science fiction have never been stronger. By the way I'd like to know what part of Paranormal Activity you found creepy, I can barely stay awake during those movies, nothing ever happens until the very end.
I've only seen the first one, and don't plan on seeing any of the three sequels. What I found creepy was how the rate of activity grew over time, and how you don't really see much happening, except for a door opening or something like that. It was all atmosphere. I was really disappointed by the ending, though. It was like they thought they needed a Hollywood horror ending, and I thought it ruined the rest of the movie.
Yeah, it wasn't fast-paced, but I like atmosphere to my horror, not action. Making the audience jump is not the same as scaring them.
I didn't like Paranormal Activity, I also didn't notice any building atmosphere either. I mean sure the activity escalates slowly but that itself does not make anything creepy. Plus the characters were unlikable and just argued the ENTIRE film, which made me consider the ghost/demon as the hero of the film who was going to kill off the human antagonists.
I agree that jump scares are cheap but they're also the oldest horror trick in the book, virtually every horror film has them. Honestly though my favorite type of horror is usually horror-comedies, stuff like Tremors, Shaun of the Dead, Tucker and Dale Versus Evil, the Evil Dead series, etc. As far as legit horror films I'd say John Carpenters The Thing and the Fog are two of my favorites, as well as The Mist.
I've seen the second Paranormal Activity, just to check if they improved, the really didn't improve upon the first. It's pretty much boring for the first hour, a few pots and pans move and the pool cleaner mysteriously wanders it's way out of the pool on its own. The only really creepy parts are at the end, and even then the movie gives you very little to look at or actually be frightened of.
why assume so much? I am no atheist and would nightmare to dare decide what goes on in their mind and judge them....
I'm not sure I'm quite the target audience for this question, as I'm an agnostic that leans atheist rather than a true atheist. Also, I've never been a horror fan. However, I do love fantasy and can tell you that I get really impatient with mystical and religious elements in fantasy and sci-fi for much the same reasons I get impatient with them in real life. I'm interested in the effect of religion on human behavior, but stuff like prophecies and Chosen Ones generally bore me, unless played for laughs.
To name a specific example, Battlestar Galactica had a lot of fascinating stuff to say about religion in its early seasons, but when God(s?) actually started meddling in things, the show started falling apart. Kara Thrace and her Special Destiny, puh-leese.
A more successful example, imho, is A Song of Ice and Fire, where you see the population gradually turn more and more to religious beliefs thanks to a brutal and devastating war and the fact that some of the beliefs are actually real (like the crazy preacher running around bringing the dead back to life) still affects the plot more because of its effect on the psychology and actions of the humans who believe it than because the Drowned God is actually getting himself involved in the war.
I'm sure that it would depend on the type of atheist or agnostic involved, but for the most part, anybody who strips all forms of creativity and imagination from their thought patterns and tries to replace it with mechanical thoughts, all while trying to train their brain to mimic a robot/machine, would have those particular problems of finding enjoyment from fantasy/science-fiction flicks.
I find that to be quite amusing, considering how many times that ideas from science-fiction and fantasy have become reality, over time.
I'm not sure how horror relates to this, unless you just mean, well, I don't know what you mean by that, actually...
I'd have to go with insane mundane on this one. Movies aren't meant to mimic real life. Without imagination, I guess one would be able to be nothing but critical.
The worst movie date would be one who sits there and logically justifies or disses everything on the screen.
True, but I guess maybe what I was thinking was that at least for horror, some of the fright comes from the idea that what is on screen might actually happen. If something seems entirely implausible I think it loses much of its impact. Or perhaps it's more of a testament to the filmmakers that they can successfully take something implausible and make it scary.
I have never enjoyed horror flicks much, and don't care for most of the fantasy out there either. Although later fantasy films have become more interesting with better graphics, illustrating the film makers ideas of what is there.
Sci-fi I have always enjoyed far more, and do to this day. Becoming agnostic has, if anything, enhanced that genre for me.
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