When people watch horrific images, their heartbeat increases as much as 15 beats per minute, heir palms sweat, their skin temperature drops several degrees, their muscles tense, and their blood pressure spikes. The brain hasn't really adapted to the new technology of movies. We can tell ourselves the images on the screen are not real, but emotionally our brain reacts as if they are ... our 'old brain' still governs our reactions. The gorier the movie, the more justified the young man feels in boasting that he endured it. Other examples of modern tribal rites include roller coasters and even frat-house hazing.
Our society seems to be too obsessed with horror films. These films are especially bad for children that watch them. Many of these films can create scary thoughts for children - causing nightmares and other fears. Furthermore, some can become sadistic by watching violent horror films. People should use more common sense before watching a movie.
Personally, I don't get it. I don't believe in ghosts and I think it is a fun idea, but - eh - I am not going to waste 20 bucks on a silly film. I get that we are supposed to suspend reality and reach down into some primal well to enjoy this. I pass.
No, it's fine to watch horror films. The reason why people seek out movies in the first place is to temporarily escape to another world and live vicariously through the experiences of someone else. Horror films help people forget their daily troubles for awhile and find release through the thrills and chills of scary scenes.