I heard today that a new ride at Alton Towers is going to have a 12A rating on it (like the movies), so that children under twelve have to have an adult with them. Apparently the ride, called the Nemesis Sub-Terra will be subterranean and completely dark, except for sections where the riders will see an evil alien being born. It’s supposed to be so frightening that park officials asked the BBFC (British Board of Film Classification) to view it and advise on whether any classification was necessary – hence the 12A.
The scenes are alleged to be as scary as scenes from a horror or science fiction film carrying the same classification. Which brings me, not so neatly, to my point – why do we like being scared?
I mean it’s obvious that we do otherwise theme parks around the world would be empty, rather than packed to the gates as they are. Why do we pay loads of money to go to a cinema and be scared out of our lives with a horror movie?
I remember a friend of mine watching a dvd of ‘[Rec]’ (Spanish version; far superior, and more frightening, to the American remake) and told me she had to sleep with the light on, it had scared her so much – needless to say her husband wasn’t delighted. However she told me she couldn’t wait to see ‘[Rec]2’ and hoped it was as scary; so she obviously enjoyed being nearly frightened out of her mind.
Returning to the rollercoasters, I’ve also noted that the more a ride is hyped as terrifying the more people want to ride it. Alton Towers most recent ride, ‘Thirteen’, was majorly hyped a few years ago when it was the latest ride to go on – and it was fairly scary; I certainly won’t go on it again. Even though we went in October that year, thanks to a very cheap special offer, there was still an hour and a half queue for the ride.
I personally think we like it to be frightened because it gets the adrenalin going and, at some small level, we’re all adrenalin junkies in a way. Added to which those lovely ‘feel happy’ serotonin levels go up as the movie ends/ride finishes and we leave and realise we’re still okay. Basically it’s natural high that’s also legal; no wonder people queue for hours.
Of course people who used to love such rides, like me, and who have now morphed into cowards, stay on the good old log flume, runaway train and various water rides. I mean I hate going on the cable cars I’m such a wuss when it comes to heights.
Movies don’t scare me much; don’t know why as they used to – I think the world’s so scary these days that the movieverse has to work extra hard to keep up; so far, for me anyway, it’s failing.
This is Simi, thanks for reading......