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'Understanding Horror' series at Normal Theater unpacks the psychology of horror movies

Night Of The Living Dead
Pictorial Parade/Getty Images
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NPR
A line of undead "zombies" walk through a field in the night in a still from the 1968 film "Night Of The Living Dead," directed by George Romero.

The real world – the kinds of things you hear on the news – can be dark and even disturbing. You don't need to make things up if you want to be scared.

But humans still do that. In fact, horror movies are a cornerstone of the entertainment industry, creating some of the most popular characters and franchises in film history.

Why do we do this to ourselves? That's a question that Illinois State University psychology professor Eric Wesselmann has asked himself many times. He'll be leading a series of horror-movie screenings this fall at the Normal Theater, starting Aug. 25, as part of the course he's teaching at ISU.

The first film in the “Understanding Horror” series is “Night of the Living Dead.” Find tickets and more on the series.

Learn more by listening to the interview above.

Ryan Denham is the digital content director for WGLT.
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