Why Do I Get Scared After Watching a Scary Movie?

Have you ever watched a scary movie and then found yourself feeling scared or anxious long after the movie is over? If so, you’re not alone.

Many people experience this phenomenon, and it can be both confusing and unsettling. In this article, we’ll explore why we get scared after watching a scary movie.

The Science of Fear

To understand why we get scared after watching a scary movie, it’s important to understand how fear works in the brain. When we encounter something that we perceive as a threat, our brains activate the amygdala, which is responsible for processing emotions like fear and anxiety. The amygdala sends signals to other parts of the brain that trigger the release of stress hormones like cortisol and adrenaline.

The Power of Suggestion

One reason why scary movies can be so effective at triggering fear is that they rely on suggestion rather than explicit depictions of violence or gore. Our brains are wired to fill in gaps in information, so when we see something frightening but don’t see all the details, our imaginations can run wild.


scary movies often use music and sound effects to create a sense of tension and anticipation. These cues can trigger our fight-or-flight response even if there isn’t anything explicitly threatening happening on screen.

Identification with Characters

Another reason why we might get scared after watching a scary movie is that we identify with the characters on screen. When we see someone in danger or being threatened, our brains react as if it’s happening to us. This sense of empathy can intensify our emotional response to what’s happening on screen.

The Aftermath

After the movie is over, it’s common to feel residual anxiety or fear for some time afterward. This is because our brains are still processing the events from the movie and trying to determine whether or not we’re still in danger. It can take some time for our brains to return to a state of calm.


In conclusion, we get scared after watching scary movies because they activate the amygdala and trigger the release of stress hormones. They also rely on suggestion and identification with characters to create a sense of fear and anxiety.

While it’s normal to feel scared or anxious after watching a scary movie, it’s important to remember that these emotions are temporary and will eventually subside. So if you’re feeling jumpy after watching a horror flick, take a deep breath, remind yourself that you’re safe, and wait for your brain to catch up.