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Nowadays everywhere you look, there’s a brand new and madly successful movie, book, podcast, or show on crime.
Even the all-time top-rated movie on IMDb is “The Godfather”- a crime movie.
The increasing popularity of the crime genre had even resulted in Netflix making a mockumentary true-crime series, American Vandal.
For many, the thrill of experiencing a genuine psychological crime thriller is nothing less than a high.
This fascinated me to think what’s the reason for our obsession with thrillers? Why do we have this infatuation to know about such heinous crimes and sadistic murderers — mothers killing or torturing babies, men leading shady dual lives, children corrupted thus growing up to be emotionless cold-blooded serial killers?
So why are we so fixated on true crime?
It’s normal, only to an extent
Crime is something which is very much prevalent around us. Robbery, murders, assault, kidnappings etc. are something which we hear about nearly every day but hardly ever get involved in the investigation process. These crime thrillers make the viewers feel part of such wicked crimes at the most minute level possible.
Evil is fascinating
Since childhood, most people have always been taught to differentiate between good and evil through many folk songs, children’s stories etc.
True crime is like nostalgia for adults. It takes us back to our childhood stories.
Exploring the psyche of such sinful and morally obscure characters is an adventure. It is interesting to discover the depths of human personality that we might never be exposed to in our actual life.
True crime helps us to understand the reason behind the action of such wicked humans because, in reality, we would (hopefully) never actually commit any murder.
True crime prepares us
True crime shows us the extent of crimes humans are capable of committing. This makes us more alert and helps us focus on our safety and wellbeing. We are made conscious of such situations which we may have been oblivious to before.
As said by psychologist Dr. Meg Arroll, “The fear of crime is more prevalent than the crime itself”, understanding the reason and the circumstances of the crime, makes us believe that we have some control of our lives.
Also, it makes us feel glad that we’re not the “victim”
It is relieving for us to know at least this crime did not happen to us. We apparently learn and draw enjoyment from the painful experience of other people- this is known as the schadenfreude effect.
In the end, we can say that most people like crime stories because it represents things which are forbidden for us, all the darkest and most frightful traps of our imagination that one should morally never reveal. It helps us to live out our hypotheticals, without actually putting ourselves in danger.
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This post is tagged under: Obsessed, True Crime, IMDb, The Godfather, Netflix, mockumentary, American Vandal, psychological crime thriller, evil, nostalgia, murder, psychologist, crime, victim, the schadenfreude effect, forbidden