Why people like action movies: Some science to it

Action movie have been always a safe bet for movie producers, though the budget involved in making a perfect one is too high keeping in mind they have to burn several trucks and collapse many buildings. Action films is all about larger than life visions. When we watch action movies, we expect a spectacular display of events. Filmmakers have developed an armory of cinematic devices  like slow-motion, continuity editing, close-up to direct viewers minds to the screen during movie watching.

Though people say they watch movie to relax, the real fact is brain is very alert and active throughout the entire three hours. The truth is our brain processes most of the stimuli from a movie the way it would process it in real life.

“You know there is nothing up there on the screen that can touch you or hurt you or pull you out of your chair but we react as if they can,” Washington University psychology professor Jeff Zacks

According to Dr Zacks an area of the brain called prefrontal cortex helps in imagining or connecting with reel images. This region could be controlled, because of which we are able to stop from acting or behaving the same way the hero or other characters does. But patients with damage to this area are more likely to respond to movies as if they are real, and jump and scream. Kids also face similar problem, since their prefrontal cortex is still developing. That’s why kids sometimes talk back to movies or jump over their seats and hide during scary scenes. One could get a copy of book Flicker, by Dr Zacks to know more on this.

Whenever a person watches a movie he feels that he is travelling with the hero

Also the action movie is able to create a scenario of stress, but this stress happens in complete control and is short lived – this is something which people enjoy. So the entire movie gives the person a short term excitement or short term stress.

Whenever a person watches a movie he feels that he is travelling with the hero, the same pain, same happiness, same excitement and he becomes one with him in his imagination. Action movie will definitely have a bad guy, some impossible tasks, a beautiful heroine and at the end hero will win over all the obstacles and even win his lady love. So at the end the person who watched the movie goes out with a sense of accomplishment and confidence (as if he is the one who did the fights and stunts….).

It’s not all good watching an Action movie

The team from UCL, King’s College London and Guy’s and St. Thomas’ Hospital found that watching an emotionally charged film clip caused a disturbance to the normal heartbeat and a significant increase in blood pressure, although the changes were small, and not likely to be risky for normal healthy individuals.

Also its been proven by scientists at Cornell University that people who watch action movies are much more likely to eat more than their counterparts who watch other movies. According to research team those watching an action movie eat twice as much as someone watching a slow-paced talk show instead.

Action movie packed with violence have always been made responsible for increase in violence and crimes in society. A study carried out by Mount Sinai hospital, New York confirms that violence in a movie can impact a person’s behavior, but to what extend will depend on whether the person has aggressive trait or not. While watching violence the aggressive group had less activity in the orbito-frontal cortex, which controls emotion-related decision making and self-control. These people said they felt more inspired and determined and less upset or nervous than their non-aggressive counterparts when watching violent instead of only emotional scenes.

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