Stephen King’S “Why We Crave Horror Movies”

A Critique of Stephen King’s “Why We Crave Horror Movies”

Elliot Potter

In Stephen King’s essay “Why We Crave Horror Movies” he suggested that

we are all mentally ill, demonstrated by those who talk to themselves on

occasion, make grimacing faces or have hysterical fears of snakes, the dark,

or tight places. King also stated that he believed that a horror movie

appealed to all that is worst in us, allowing us to experience morbidity,

basic instincts and fantasies in the darkness of the theater. We all know

someone who talks to himself on occasion or someone who fears something. We

all know someone who loves horror films.

I agree with Stephen King’s statement that we are all mentally ill,

because mental health or mental illness is conditional to whether our

actions interfere with daily task and are acceptable responses to demands

and opportunities. We are all capable of crossing the line between

acceptable and unacceptable actions that determine being classified as sane

or insane. Horror movies allow us to view and emotionally experience the

consequences of insane actions.

I agree that horror movies appeal to all that is worse in us. Horror

movies allow us to experience extreme emotional excitement through

unacceptable actions acted out in the films. People crave the thrill they

receive from experiencing extreme nervousness, disgust, panic and fear.

Horror films cause these sudden, temporary emotions and reactions, but will

not interfere with our daily lives once we leave the theater.

Packed theaters showing horror films and best selling horror novels are

proof that people crave the thrill derived from viewing or imagining insane

actions and their consequences.


Word Count: 273

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