Ever decided to sit back and relax in front of a good mystery movie or TV drama? You’re not alone. Most of us have done it; and there’s something exhilarating about it which keeps us all gripped. There’s an element of crossover, too, with many horror and psychological thrillers also coming into this category and making up some of the best examples. But why do we care about them so much?
Unlike some films which can be really predictable (rom-coms, anyone?), mystery and thriller movies and shows are supposed to be full of twists and turns – that is indeed their premise. That means that anyone watching can shout at their TV to their heart’s content, play detective, and whether they’ve been right or wrong, they’ve been gripped at every part of the action.
(Seriously, look how predictable other kinds of movies really are…)
This element of surprise continues well into spinoffs of such types of drama. It’s much easier to get involved as a fan when something has that level of interactivity; people really feel a part of it.
They fancy themselves as the protagonist, and will take any opportunity to prove it. That’s probably why games based on mysteries work so well; they give viewers a chance to put their money where their mouth is!
Such games rely on the same element of suspense and high stakes which keep us interested. For example, you can win money in the mFortune casino game called Sherlock: Murdered To Death, and the use of prominent motifs from the franchise as well as opportunities to play mini-games increase that level of risk as mimicked from the dramas themselves.
There’s a Psychology Behind It
Our emotional responses to fiction – especially in this context – relies on our love of suspense. This in itself inherently relies on uncertainty and the unknown, something that we as humans actually shouldn’t strictly speaking enjoy at all. However, psychologists point out that the ability to enjoy them underlies our ability to separate from the action. We can live vicariously through what’s happening on our screens, safe in the knowledge that in reality, these things don’t really affect us.
We like scenes that make us tense and nervous, because after all the nail-biting is over, we can feel relief!
Interestingly, some shows are starting to play on this feeling of assumed safety. For example, Black Mirror highlights a dystopian reality. It also features puzzles we have to solve, but adds a layer of discomfort. Many of the situations are actually not that far removed from real life. So, when we solve the mysteries each episode holds, yes, we feel good – but we also feel a bit weird, because the show manages to push our comfort zones.
There’s no denying it – the acting that goes into these types of performance is among the best. Let’s face it, often the characters have to deceive everyone, from the audience to those around them in the show.
Overall, mysteries are among the most fun things to watch. We either feel completely smug that we called it before it was shown on the TV – leading to immense satisfaction – or we end up reeling at the absolute shock we feel at the events which unfolded. If anything, mysteries are TV and film done right, and that’s probably why they continue to be so successful!