I hate it when people read or recount tragic stories IN DETAIL -- out loud. Why do they think everyone in earshot wants to hear that? I don't. I have a very vivid imagination and can visualize things in color and detail and only cringe and feel awful when I hear those stories told or shown. (This morning at work a woman felt compelled to read, out loud, in full voice, a newspaper story about a child who was run over by a school bus!)
On the other hand, I haven't been able to explain why I love a well made horror film that really scares me and shows the main characters overcoming evil and despair. Some of my favorites: Rosemary's Baby, 30 Days of Night, 28 Days Later, The Exorcist, Zombieland, and The Little Girl Who Lives Down the Lane.
These stories are especially appealing to me when I'm going through my own personal traumatic experiences. I'm sure this attraction can be explained by some Psychologist somewhere.