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Meet the Interns: Marie Søndergaard

The Recreational Fear Lab is delighted to host two research interns in the fall of 2020. In this post, lab intern Marie Søndergaard tells us about herself and her interest in the lab.

Hi! My name is Marie, I’m on my 9th semester at Aarhus University, and I study English, Film and Media. This semester I’m research intern at the Recreational Fear Lab, and after that, I will be writing my MA thesis about horror films, and how they are designed to achieve their effect. My research will be based on studies that suggest that humans are predisposed to be afraid of certain things because of our evolutionary past, and I want to examine this in practice, in relation to horror movies.

I decided to do my internship at Recreational Fear Lab because of my academic interests in horror and the human fear system. These interests have been nourished throughout my years at AU, where I have volunteered as a research assistant in one of Recreational Fear Lab’s former research projects at Dystopia Entertainment, as well as through different courses on horror films and film theory. I also wanted to learn more about empirical research, data collection and data analysis, but ultimately, I just wanted my internship to be fun!

I’ve always been a bit of a film nerd, but I would usually avoid those of the horror genre, because I scare rather easily – I mean, the werewolf in Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban kept me up most nights throughout 5th grade. I’ve come to learn how to endure horror movies, but mostly because they fascinate me, and because I feel like I can use theory to produce my own psychological and physical coping strategies.