Surely we've all wondered!
In reality, I don't like to hurt people, and I am often outraged at the violence committed against people by other people. And yet, I watch horror film after horror film in which innocent people get butchered one by one by some raving lunatic.
It is, of course, pure fiction, and I have no problems separating reality from fiction. Nor can I say that I really enjoy watching people get hurt, not in the way that I enjoy watching something like porn. There is no sensory stimulation associated with pleasure in the viewing of horror films. Nor do I like gore in particular. In movies I can tolerate it, but for example, in the kitchen I won't even touch raw meat if I can help it.
And I can't say that it is the thrill of being scared. Horror movies don't scare me at all, nothing does really, though sometimes I do find them suspenseful.
So why is it that I'd rather watch a slasher film over a Disneyesqe feel-good family film? What are your opinions and experiences?