Whenever I tell someone that I love horror movies often they will say something along the lines of "Really? Personally I don't like horror movies." Yet if we end up really discussing it, they usually reveal that the blanket statement they made is not all that true. I only started noticing this trend as recently as this summer when my mother visited and she agreed to come to The Conjuring with me when she realized it wasn't a gory movie, but a ghosty movie. Apparently all this time that I had thought she hated all horror, it was just the blood and guts she wasn't a fan of, ghosts and demonic possession were a-okay for her. Heck she even enjoyed the movie.
More and more my friends, who I thought were just chickens, have been revealing to me that they don't like horror movies that are all about torture or slashers or things that could really happen. For others it's ghosts or aliens. Each of them seems to have let a sub-genre paint the entire horror spectrum for them in a negative light. It is a tragically common occurrence that can keep people from watching some genuinely amazing movies that are completely unrelated to whatever triggers their distaste.
If you are reading this as someone who "doesn't like horror movies" I'm happy to tell you that not all horror movies are about torture & rape, not all horror movies are filled with jump scares, not all horror movies are filled with gratuitous nudity and not all horror movies throw buckets of blood and dismembered body parts at the camera. I also want you to know that some horror movies are wonderfully written, some horror movies are beautifully shot, some horror movies have an exquiste style & vision to them, some horror movies have AMAZING performances by the actors involved and MANY horror movies will make you laugh.
If you have written off the entire genre because of a handful of unsavoury films I urge you to go to your nearest horror buff and let them help you to rediscover horror. Tell them why you don't like horror movies and what aspects of other movies you do like. They will be able to make recommendations that avoid your aversions and might even play to your interests. I personally like to start people off with 80s horror movies which frequently mix funny in with the frights.
Horror buffs can often be found at video rental stores, yes they do still exist and horror fans are one of the few groups of people who still rent movies. Another good place to look for them is at movie theatres during the opening weekend of a horror movie, you don't have to buy a ticket for the horror movie, just see what's showing next door or across the hall and you can bump in to them as they are leaving the theatre. Ask around as well, it might turn out one of your friends was a horror buff and you didn't even know it. Any social media connection to Bloody-Disgusting, Rue Morgue, Fangoria, Horrormovies.ca or Dread Central are good indicators of a horror buff.
With this advice I hope that you will be able to discover that not all scary movies are the same.