This essay discusses the reasons why people crave horror movies in respect to the observations of Stephen King. It also presents a critique of horror movies as observed by Jason Zinoman. Stephen King wrote an essay “Why We Crave Horror Movie” in which he explains that people love horror movies because they charm the worst aspects that are embodied inside them. This is why he claims that most people have a mental problem and it is only that a better reason has not arisen in order to take them to the asylum. He compares this situation to situations that drive people to talk to themselves believing that other people are not watching at all only to realize later on that they have been caught in their self-talk. In his observation, King (39) observes that it is mostly the young people who like watching horror movies as compared to adults above the age of 40 years. King (39) uses the term ‘crave’ to mean being in need of something very much. This can be compared to the desire to drink cold quenching water when one is feeling thirsty.
According to King (40), people desire to re-establish their feelings of vital normality, and watching horror movies enables them to achieve this desire. On page 40 of the English course reader, King compares the experience derived from watching horror movies to an extremely peculiar kind of fun that people do not find common. “The fun comes from seeing others menaced – sometimes killed” (King 40). People crave horror films because of the allegorical “fairy-tale” that such films can provide relief of the shades of grey. This implies that watching them makes people feel young again and see things the way they should be seen. To some extent, horror movies become a source of psychological relief because they encourage people to fall back into outright madness, irrationality and simplicity in a unique manner. For instance, people cannot live like saints all their lives, at one point they have to be let loose, shade off their emotions and then get composed and move ahead. In other words, they have to display their insanity. It is therefore the desire to behave this way that makes them connect with the joy derived from watching horror movies. In other words, every civilized person harbors some ant-civilization emotions that never depart from them. Therefore, once in a while such emotions demand episodic exercise. King (40) likens the experience of going to horror movies to the experience of riding a roller coaster because of the similarities that exist in the way people respond to both situations. Watching a horror film makes some one scream at some point just like he/she may do when a roller coaster twists. In this case King thinks that both experiences bring to manifestation the deepest emotions of fear and surprise that is rooted in people.
Other writers, also, have similar views in regards to why people crave horror movies. For instance, Rehberg (29) claims that horror films have overtaken the traditional western genre because it is the kind of genre that is advanced by genre critics. People crave horror movies because they interestingly subversive and marginal statuses that represent infamous form of common culture. Watching horror movies gives people an opportunity to dare the worst fears within them. Such movies make people feel that the scenes that appear on the screen are worse than the reality contained in them (Rehberg 59). People, also, crave horror movies because they feel they are the reality of all the fairy tales they tell their children before going to bed. They make people realize the nastiest fantasies and fundamental instincts that exist in them. The most interesting thing is that the society reinforces the emotions that people exhibit as a result of watching these kinds of movies.
It is significant to note that not all people crave horror movies; there are a few others who do not like them at all. As asserted by Jason Zinoman in his “The Critique of Pure Horror,” watching horror movies is an equivalent of being terrified and disgusted and not all people can enjoy such an experience. In his observations, Zinoman (41) claims horror movies have a lot to reveal about scary experiences that ensued at the place or time when they were developed. Horror movies manifest transgressive elements such as family dysfunction, repressed homosexuality, and many others that happen in the society. They also encourage young male viewers to develop illicit behavior of reveling in their feminine aspects. In other words they encourage the development of an aggressive male gaze. In most of such movies there are regular scenes in which female characters are killed. Horror movies are, also, criticized for provoking male audiences to take note of a female protagonist that is triumphant (Zinoman 41). This encourages young boys to involve in gender-compromising fantasy, which even male adults do not have approval for. Citing Cynthia Freeland in her “The Naked and the Undead,” JASON observes that horror movies have certain skillfully theatrical graphic violent episodes that can arouse a perverse sublime.
Many people, also, criticize horror films for being scary genre. Kaay (91) observes that horror films display frightening experiences that most people do not like. Most people do not like watching scenes full of bloodshed because this diminishes the human decency of life. Most people who watch horror films usually display negative symptoms and they end up dealing with them without realizing it. This is because, instead of such films, provoking positive effects in the long-run, they result into anxiety related behavior (Summer 63). From a religious perspective, horror movies manifest and promote the evils that happen in the society. They display the experience of threat, doom, terror and terrible agony all of which portray negative feelings. Horror movies suppress the fundamental reality in regards to the existence of God and the entire universe (Summer 77). They are a revelation of how some people deserve to be killed while others continue living. In conclusion, “Why We Crave Horror Movie” explains that people love horror movies because they charm the worst aspects that are embodied inside them. People crave horror films because of the allegorical “fairy-tale” that such films can provide relief of the shades of grey. Watching horror movies gives people an opportunity to dare the worst fears within them. Other people criticize horror movies because they manifest transgressive elements such as family dysfunction, repressed homosexuality, and many others that happen in the society. Besides, they encourage young male viewers to develop illicit behavior of reveling in their feminine aspects. Finally, horror movies display the experience of threat, doom, terror and terrible agony all of which portray negative feelings.
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