I am a scaredy-cat.  Under normal circumstances, there would be nothing wrong with this. However, I am married to a lover of the horror genre and co-founder of ModernHorrors.com. This means a couple of things: 1) he loves to scare the living daylights out of me, and 2) I am forced to watch a lot of movies that make me want to cry.  As a result, I have learned more about the genre than I ever thought I would.  Here, I have broken down the four major qualities that all horror movies have in common from a scaredy-cat’s point of view:

Some are more obvious than others: A Nightmare on Elm Street. The Texas Chain Saw Massacre. The Evil Dead. I understand from the beginning what I am getting myself into. Others have taken totally normal words and made me scared of them: The Birds. The Fog. The Orphanage.  My reviews? No, NO, and NO <BLEEPING> WAY.
There are many common qualities that can be found in the story lines of horror movies. There might be a serial killer, creepy clown, possessed child, demented doll, or haunted house… whatever the star of the story is, I will be irrationally terrified by it beyond the viewing of said movie.  I will make you walk with me through the house to check behind every door or we will need to take out a loan to pay the electricity bill because every light in the house will be turned on.
Unlike my husband, I do not see the shocks coming. It does not matter how many of these godforsaken films I have seen, my heart always feels like it is about to explode out of my chest. I am one jump scare away from needing a beta-blocker.
There are a few movie music qualities that up the fear factor:  minor keys, diminished chords, and eerie-sounding instruments.  However, if a children’s song is used in the soundtrack, I will get into the fetal position and remain there for the duration of the movie.  I find this type of musical choice to be particularly unpleasant.  Not only am I infinitely horrified as a grown adult, my childhood has now been ruined.

As the self-proclaimed spokesperson of the scaredy-cats, it all boils down to these qualities for me and many others. For lovers of the genre, there is a lot more to it and I’m starting to catch on.  Will I ever not be scared of these movies? Doubtful. However, I’m learning to appreciate them a little bit more. But just a little bit.