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Essay on “Why We Crave Horror Movies”
Horror movies are something that nearly all humans have seen at least once in their lifetime, though there are many different opinions on the scary and transcendent films. For some, watching a horror movie is an excellent way to release their anticivilization emotions, to let loose of their inner beast. Others object strongly to the horrible actions in the movies due to a fear for subsequent nightmares. However, the interesting question is: “Why are some people attracted to watching those terrifying horror movies?”, which is discussed in the essay “Why We Crave Horror Movies” written by Stephen King.
The essay, non-fiction, was published in Playboy, 1982, which is an American men’s lifestyle and entertainment magazine, mostly known for soft porn and semi nude models. In the text, the author, Stephen King, discusses, what it is that makes people seek to the horror movies. Stephen King himself is an American author, who’s especially known for his horror novels. On top of that, these novels are among some of the best selling books ever. Due to the fact that he has successfully engaged in the horror genre, he seems quite trustworthy when discussing the subject in this essay, and his ethos is established already before the readers start reading.
The intended audience was, of course, the readers of Playboy – American men or older teenagers. King probably didn’t write the essay to start a huge debate, because Playboy contains a lot of other, for some more interesting, things, than just a listing of reasons why people would want to watch horror movies. The text appears a bit provocative, already at the first line stating that “I think that we’re all mentally ill; those of us outside the asylums only hide it a little better …” which could definitely offend some readers, but he undoubtedly wrote the essay to provoke his audience. He mainly explains himself; his thoughts about why we go seek for horror.
The essay is build up with an intention catching introduction, an explaining and discussing middle and a summarizing conclusion. The sentence structure is not that difficult after all, though some sentences are quite long. But some words used in the essay may appear challenging for some readers.
When stating: “When we pay our four or five bucks and seat ourselves at tenth-row center in a theater showing a horror movie …”, King appeals to logos. He claims everyone enjoys horror movies, and though that may not be true, he kind of proves a point by reminding us that the directors wouldn’t keep making the movies if no one wanted to see them. For example, he also mentions Jack the Ripper and the Cleveland Torso Murderer, who are both former killers, which increases his logos. He appeals to pathos, when mentioning that we want to show that we are not afraid, because no one wants to be left out; to be considered the coward. With both a fair amount of logos, pathos and ethos, his argumentation seems persuasive. Despite this, King’s overall statement is that everyone has a desire to watch these horrifying movies once in a while, which some people probably will not agree on; do every living person really feel the need to watching people get killed, just to release their anticivilization emotions?
“… that all you need is love, and I would agree with that. As long as you keep the gators fed”, is the last sentence in the essay. King claims that individuals need to exercise the violence and insanity once in a while so that they won’t do horrible things to others themselves. Could this be a way of justifying most men’s needs, sometimes addictions, to watch porn or similar? Is it a way of saying: ” Of course it is okay to watch porn: to keep your dirty thoughts away”? The essay was, after all, published in Playboy.
Why do we crave horror movies? Stephen King claims that it’s a way to keep the alligators inside our heads. Some people do, indeed, need them to be fed. But others are terrified of the nasty movies. It is probably quite individual whether or not you “crave” horror movies. But one thing is for sure. The movies are tremendously popular and they’ll most likely continue being that.

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