A vengeful spirit or an axe murderer – which is more scary? Although some might say that the 30% increase in water prices might be the scariest of all (and they’re right), most people would consider a vengeful spirit a scarier opponent to face. That’s because you can’t call 999 if you encounter a vengeful spirit – those police cardboard standees aren’t going to stop a hungry ghost from stealing some, erm, spirits from 7-11.

Although he's quite a yandao police officer, admittedly. Credit: Gim Goh's Facebook Profile

Although he’s quite a yandao police officer, admittedly. Credit: Gim Goh’s Facebook Profile

Which leads us to horror films. Psychological horror movies are all about mind games, but it’s not going to cause you to have post-traumatic stress disorder, since all you need are a few cynical friends to explain how the scary movie plot isn’t feasible.

Supernatural horror films, on the other hand, are a whole different kettle of fish. Scary, undead fish. They can scar you for life. They’re more terrifying than psychological horror films. And you’ll probably never be truly comfortable about the safety of your own home after that. Here’s why.

1. They prey on our fear of the unknown

Samara (Bonnie Morgan) is so impossibly slim that she crawls out of a TV in "Rings". Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Samara (Bonnie Morgan) is so impossibly slim that she crawls out of a TV in “Rings”. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

The biggest issue with supernatural horror films is that they deal with forces beyond our mortal ken. In other words, they play by a completely different set of rules, and as humans we are often ill equipped to play by those same rules. I mean, how do you hope to defeat a monster that can walk through walls? Attempting that will probably give you a concussion.

It’s even worse when you face a ghost that can crawl out of television sets. Most of us aren’t even slim enough to fit into one – it’ll require a lot of dieting before you can do what Samara (Sadako) from Rings can.

2. The antagonist is usually impervious to conventional methods of defeat

Samara (Bonnie Morgan) is invincible in "Rings". Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Samara (Bonnie Morgan) is invincible in “Rings”. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

The bad guys (or girls) are also impossible to defeat in supernatural horror films. You could drop a nuclear warhead on them and they would still keep coming. Compare that to say, an insane person in an asylum, like Eloise. All you really need is a really sharp object or, again, dialling 999. In fact, they never actually defeat Samara (Sadako) in Rings – they just pass the buck by making her curse someone else.

Similarly, this means that there’s no form of protection agains the supernatural. Want to throw away all the TVs in your house? Sure thing, but remember that Sadako also climbed out of a computer in one of the later instalments of Ring. Plus, she literally rings you up when you’re cursed. You can’t throw away your computers and mobile devices. How would you read articles like this otherwise?

3. Special effects can make monsters terrifying

The Staypuft Marshmallow Man returns in Ghostbusters! Credit: Staypuft Twitter

OK sometimes, CGI just makes them cute like the Stay Puft Marshmallow Man in “Ghostbusters”. Credit: Staypuft Twitter

As frightening as a very angry person might be, it can’t beat the CGI recreation of a creature that’s vaguely humanoid but distinctly otherworldly. Make-up can only distort the look of a human so far. But with the wonders of digital effects, we can recreate the creatures that lurk in the dredges of our subconscious. Those that have way too many eyes, teeth, and mouths.

4. We’ll never look at innocuous things the same way again

Toshio from Ju-On 4: The Final Curse. Credit: Yahoo

Toshio from Ju-On 4: The Final Curse. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Supernatural horrors often possess everyday objects and come out of the last thing we’d expect. Like the aforementioned TV in Rings. Sure, nobody watches television anymore, and that’s true to an extent. But Samara (Sadako) also inhabits other digital devices. All the best in purging those.

Or to take another example, look at Ju-On 4. The mere shriek of a cat will set you on edge and conjure up images of Toshio staring at you from the corner of the room.

I bet you turned around just then to check if he was really there.

5. The curse often spreads

The curse spreads in "Rings". Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

The curse spreads in “Rings”. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

The worst part about the hauntings in supernatural horror is that they spread. Like a virus. It isn’t bad enough that they claim one victim, the ghosts are often out to claim as many victims as possible. If the protagonists can’t defeat the monster, then their next best solution is usually to end the curse.

Of course, if the curse can spread, it means it can target you.

Rings. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Rings. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Eloise. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Eloise. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

If you’re still not convinced that supernatural horror films are scarier than psychological horror films (you cynic, you), then check it out for yourself! Rings and Eloise hit cinemas this week, giving you an excellent opportunity to compare both films.

Hopefully you won't be as terrified as the victims of "Eloise". Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Hopefully you won’t be as terrified as the victims of “Eloise”. Credit: Golden Village Cinemas

Rings sees yet another hapless soul fall prey to a cursed video tape which will kill the viewer within a week, while Eloise sees a quartet of good-looking teens enter an abandoned asylum, with predictably terrifying results.

Watch the trailers here.

Catch them both and then tell us which you think is scarier – supernatural horror or psychological horror!

 

Credits: Gim Goh’s Facebook Profile, Stay Puft Twitter, Golden Village Cinemas