When we become the spectators of a film, we enter the sphere of trauma and dissociation. These psychological features are not only present in severe psychopathological instances, but in everyday life experiences, as well. This is implicit in the cinema especially high-tech postmodern cinema. This paper explores the traumatic-dissociative effects that emerge through the representation of traumatic situations and events in the most popular kinds of films (horror, SF, action, and thriller movies). It points out how the spectator both looks for and suffers those catastrophical experiences, and why they are so powerful and last so long. It also leads to a more general research on the basic personality of our times, where dissociation arises more and more as a normal way of life, both in the social and in the cultural sphere. Keywords: trauma, dissociation, cinema.