I was talking with a friend and they asked what type of movie I would prefer to see, a sad movie or a scary one? I thought about this for a bit - neither is exactly my favourite genre of cinema but I reckoned that 2 out of 3 times I'd choose the scary one.
I think the dilemma lies in that most sad movies are usually better than scary ones. In order to be sad, there's usually got to be a better script, acting and characters to make you connect with the film and actually feel something. But, if I want to watch a movie, I don't generally want to be sad for the next hour and a half.
Scary movies on the other hand can achieve their goals without being stellar material. I mean, all you need is climactic music and close-ups of door knobs turning, then a sudden jump and you're gonna scare someone. (That and not revealing the nasty evil thing until the latest moment, nothing can be as scary as the thing created inside the viewers mind). And when it comes down to it, it can be fun to be scared; it feels good to have your heart pounding and your senses alert, it makes you feel alive.
So then we started talking about saddest and scariest films - she came up with Bambi and Signs whereas I had Philadelphia and Child's Play. These were films off the top of our heads and obviously, it makes a big difference at what age you watched these things, but CP terrified me when I was 10!