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Psychology of Horror

John M. Powell, M.F.A, B.S.
Average rating:5.0Number of reviews:(41)
Explore the psychological effects of fear through the horror genre.

Class experience

Students learn why we experience fear, how film makers utilize the understanding of our fear instincts, and how we can deal with these emotions by better understanding why we experience these things. We also learn a bit about how to manipulate these reactions to craft a quality tale of suspense. We end the course by exploring methods of self calming so we can reach a restful state.
Working in the haunt industry, I'm experienced with gauging which levels of fright are generally tolerable for specific age ranges. I've also been teaching haunt acting to kids on outschool for the last year and helping kids to understand that the horror genre is all a well crafted illusion. Many horror films take extreme measures to disturb viewers. I will never recommend content that would be inappropriate or risk exposure to sensitive topics. I will ask that parents take time choosing movies with their children that will challenge them on a personal level. We want to view and discuss films that rattle our nerves a bit. 
Students will need either a streaming service, old copies of scary films, and another place where their favorite films can be obtained.
In addition to the Outschool classroom, this class uses:
This class requires students to watch movies they deem to be "scary". This doesn't necessarily mean adult horror. I recommend Disney Halloween specials for anyone who is timid or wants to avoid over indulgent gore and violence. I leave the decision to the parent. We simply want to face material that has had the effect of scaring us so we might explore that. For many, the Large Marge scene in Pee Wee's Big Adventure had a powerful impact.
Youtube videos may be shared to watch interviews if the outschool platform has issues.

Meet the teacher

Average rating:5.0Number of reviews:(41)
Hi. I'm John and I'm a creative. 
I teach classes in sequential art (comic book style), brand development, and haunt performance! I have a bachelors of science in computer animation, a Master of fine arts in multimedia, and I've worked in the... 
Group Class


for 4 classes
1x per week, 4 weeks
55 min

Average rating:5.0Number of reviews:(15)
Completed by 52 learners
Live video meetings
Ages 13-18
3-6 learners per class

This class is no longer offered
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