“Why We Crave Horror Movies” by Stephen King Paper
In the essay “Why We Crave Horror Movies”, Stephen King provided reasons why people want to watch horror movies. He said that some people go to horror movies to re-establish some sense of normality; some people watch them because they like to have fun and some just simply to prove to others that they can (1).
I agree with his view that going to movies re-establishes some sense of normality in some people. In everyday living, people encounter certain problems and situations which would lead them to believe that they are separated from the norms of reality and that they needed to reconnect, they needed some sense of validation that they are still normal. Horror movies provide that validation. Clearly, everybody knows that horror movies are nothing but a figment of one’s imagination which came to life in the screen. Upon seeing the bizarre scenes which wreck havoc to the actors, the viewers may think and feel that the particular story is so ‘abnormal’ and by feeling so they themselves feel normal.
King, on the other hand, finds it somewhat unusual for other people to crave horror movies because they think that it is fun. He finds it odd that a person can have fun by seeing someone being killed by a serial killer or a monster, even if it is inside the screen. I disagree with the author. Fun is relative. What may be fun and exciting to one person might not be to another and besides, wanting to see horror movies does not make the person as twisted as the onscreen killer. Some people are just looking for ways to satisfy a certain monstrous feeling inside and some are merely craving for excitement in their lives; they might just be looking for a reason to scream from the top of their lungs and that does not make them odd, if anything it even makes them even more normal, they are humans.
It is King’s position that all people are mentally ill and that those people outside the asylum only hide it much better and maybe not much better after all (1). I also agree with the author in this statement. The standards of what normal is have been defined by numerous people claiming that they are normal. In a topsy-turvy world, if countless of people from mental institutions say that they are normal would that reverse the standards of normality?
Insanity and sanity is just a hairline way, anybody can crossover anytime. In some ways people are mentally ill and those who are not are exposed to the danger of being a mentally-ill person himself. Horror movies allow people to release that insanity in people because by watching, they experience certain things beyond the norms that can only be experienced in horror movies and they can feel what they want to feel without any repercussions reflecting in their real life. In order to release certain amount of inhibitions and maybe perhaps that little bit of insanity in people, the gators must always be fed otherwise it is going to get out. King in his essay compared feeding the gators to watching horror movies. People watch horror movies to maintain the norms of reality outside the screen thus leaving the insanity inside together with the movie.
The author said that horror movies, like the sick joke, appeals to all that is worst in us and I agree to that as well (2). A horror movie in a way releases our fears and allows us to experience the extreme. I think that one of the reasons why some individuals want to watch horror movies is that no matter what danger, fear and excitement they experience, they have the element of control unlike the poor victim dumped inside the alley. They can stop whenever they want and that is the beauty of it. Horror movies will not bother them outside the screen. The horror stops when they want it to stop.
King, Stephen. “Why We Crave Horror Movies”. 10 April 2009. <http://iws.ccccd.edu/jdoleh/English%201301/Why%20We%20Crave%20Horror%20Movies.pdf>