Why we Crave Horror Movies Stephen King Essay

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Updated: Apr 30, 2024
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Why we Crave Horror Movies Stephen King Essay

Stephen King’s essay “Why We Crave Horror Movies” is a compelling exploration of the human fascination with the macabre. This overview examines King’s argument that horror movies serve as a catharsis for our primal, more violent instincts. It discusses how King suggests these films allow us to experience fear and aggression in a controlled environment, serving as a release valve for societal pressures. The piece also considers King’s views on the psychological reasons behind the universal appeal of horror and how it connects to the human psyche’s darker aspects. Moreover, at PapersOwl, there are additional free essay samples connected to Movies.

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Stephen King, known as the “King of Horror,” has established himself as the most successful and well-liked horror author of all time. For years, his novels and film adaptations have enthralled audiences, defining our fears and influencing the horror genre. King’s thorough engagement in the genre is obvious in his huge body of work, which includes over 60 television and film adaptations of his works. In 1981, King released an essay in Playboy magazine titled “Why We Crave Horror Movies” that delves into the psychological fascination of terror.

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This paper delves into the primary issues and ideas raised by King in his thought-provoking study.

Section 1: The Insanity Within

King boldly begins his essay by declaring that “we’re all mentally ill” to some level, emphasizing the pervasive prevalence of irrational concerns and strange actions in society. He contends that people willingly pay to watch horror films to display our ability to confront and overcome fear, blurring the line between normalcy and insanity. We embrace the darker sides of our brains and question conventional standards by watching horror films. King’s kinship with horror fans is evident when he admits to appreciating horror films for the pleasure and excitement they provide.

Section 2: Horror as a Catharsis

According to King, watching horror films provides a cathartic release for our inner lunacy. These films allow us to experience our worst dreams and confront our deepest fears vicariously, providing an outlet for our suppressed emotions. In normal life, societal restraints limit our ability to express our feelings fully, while horror films provide a platform for unfettered emotional reactions. Viewers can reflect on their own reactions to dramatic situations on television and consider their identification with the victims or culprits. King challenges traditional morality by raising the intriguing question of whether it is wrong to sympathise with the villains.

Section 3: Alligator Feeding

In the final paragraph of his article, King uses the image of “feeding the alligators.” He explains that alligators reflect the deepest and most twisted aspects of our human nature, our macabre imaginations. We unleash these fantasies by watching the most gruesome horror films, which keeps them from engulfing us in real life. The reference to the Beatles’ famous slogan, “all you need is love,” by King argues that acknowledging and loving our dark side is necessary for mental stability. The existence of horror films feeds and controls our inner alligators.

Section 4: Psychological and Scientific Points of View

Building on King’s observations, it’s worth investigating the psychological and scientific explanations behind our enjoyment of horror films. According to research, people who desire terror have a stronger sensation-seeking tendency and less empathy. The adrenaline rush, endorphin, and dopamine release elicited by horror films add to viewers’ feelings of accomplishment and optimism. Although correlation does not indicate causation, these findings support King’s claim that horror films provide a type of catharsis and a way to experience extreme emotions in a safe setting.

Section 5

Despite the fact that King’s article was written over 40 years ago, the issues he gives are still pertinent today. Some opponents contend that King’s assertion of mental illness is exaggerated and that horror fans seek intense stimuli rather than displaying true psychiatric difficulties. Horror films, on the other hand, give a distinct form of enjoyment and emotional release. They enable us to question cultural conventions, confront our concerns, and enjoy an exhilarating escape from the everyday. Finally, our desire for horror films reflects our innate interest in our thoughts’ unknown and unexplored corners.

Finally, Stephen King’s essay “Why We Crave Horror Movies” explores the genre’s psychological fascination. By embracing our fears and confronting our darkest impulses, horror movies offer a cathartic release and a thrilling escape from the mundane. Our craving for horror speaks to our fascination with the unknown and the enigmatic depths of our minds. It invites us to explore the shadows and unravel the profound connections between fiction and our innermost fears.

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Why We Crave Horror Movies Stephen King Essay. (2023, Aug 08). Retrieved from https://papersowl.com/examples/why-we-crave-horror-movies-stephen-king-essay/