Why We Crave Horror Movies Summary Essay

In Stephen Kings essay "Why We Crave Horror Movies" he claims that we are all
mentally ill. According to King, peoples little quirks are proof of this. He says that we
watch horror movies to "re-establish our feelings of essential normality"(King 3). King
also says that we watch them to satisfy the bad in us. We all do crazy things sometimes in
our lives. Once in awhile we all want to thrash out on someone. Stephen king is right, we
are all mentally ill to a point.
Stephen King claims that "we are all mentally ill". He is correct, everyone in the world is mentally ill in some way. No one is completely perfect, as King points out we all do odd things. Some people tend to talk to themselves, have to have everything just right everyday or they go crazy, and just do odd things from day to day without giving it a second thought. We do things that are life threatening just to say that we could do it and do things that make us scared just to say that we were able to. We watch movies that freak us out, do crazy stunts, and do things that could end with us giving our lives for it just for the thrill. No one is perfectly normal or perfect in any sense we all do something crazy at some point of our lives, some do everyday. Everyone does it and everyone is insane to a point so that makes it normal. We do not call ourselves insane or think of ourselves as insane because everyone has some insanity in there lives so we just think of it as the way of life. Not thinking of how insane we are by doing it. To a point everyone is mentally ill, there is a little insanity in all of us.

We all have a little insanity in us no matter how normal we think we are. Are sanity
is calculated by how we show are insanity. "If we are all insane, then sanity becomes a matter of degree"(King 8). So we are all a little insane at least. The question is on what level of insanity we are in, and what we do about it. Some actually go out and do the killing or act completely crazy and we send them to asylums or prisons. So some people are a little more sane then others but that does not make us perfectly sane. Our sanity is based on how we act throughout our lives and how we control our level of insanity. Everyone has some form of frustrations and everyone gets overwhelmed at some point in our lives. Society does not let us act upon them or let our frustrations out by hurting someone our being completely crazy. So we have to have some other form of escape so we to will not be sent to a asylum. For some horror movies are there escape. They are a way for us to let out our anger and frustration by watching someone else get hurt without actually doing it ourselves.

Steven King explains that horror movies are the way for people to feed there
gators. Meaning we watch the movies to satisfy the "potential lyncher" in us. It gives us
the feeling of hurting someone without actually doing it. We can watch the movies or play
the games and when we are done turn it off. Then we can go on with our lives and be the
way our society wants us to be. The movies, games, and books we read and watch that are
full of horror and killings is our way to vent without actually doing anything. We can let
out all of our frustrations we have without getting into any trouble.
There is killing or some form of someone getting hurt in everything these days. There are books, movies, and TV shows packed full of people getting killed or hurt. Even the sweet little Disney movies are full of it. Looneytoons characters are always getting flattened by something, or there faces turned around. In Disney movies the witch or bad guy always is getting killed. We have grown up watching and hearing about people getting hurt or injured. We have grown accustomed to it. So we do not even think about what it does to us and how much we start to crave it. We do find it fun as Stephen King says because it is just the way of our lives so we are used to it.

From the days that we were little till know everyone has been taught right from
wrong. We have been told what to do and what not to do. A lot of the times we want to
do what we are told not to do. But like King said "if we deliberately slam the rotten little
puke of a sister's fingers in the door, sanctions follow - angry remonstrance from parents,
aunts and uncles; instead of a chocolate-covered graham cracker, a spanking."(King 4) So
we need a form of venting before we to end up in a asylum. Horror movies and the other
crazy things we do are ways of letting all that out without actually doing anything our-
selves. It is a way for us all to vent. It keeps us from going insane and reacting.
King said "horror movies appeal to the worst in us". He is correct. We can not go out a kill someone like killers have. We would be sent to prisons or even killed like them. Society has taught us that it is wrong. So instead we get our thrill from watching people get killed or hurt in a movie. It lets us vent and then we go on with our lives.

As humans we all seem to crave being scared sometimes. We ride roller coasters and watch movies that tend to freak us out. When we are done with it we want to do it all over again. We crave the thrill and the feeling of not knowing what is going to happen next. That is a little insane because although we are freaked out by it we do it over and over again. People would think that if something scared us we would stop watching it or doing it. But as humans we do not. We crave it more and more. For some people the more something scares them the more they crave it.

Stephen King is right, we all are a little mentally ill, but everyone is so it makes it normal for us. It makes us not think about our insanity and just live our lives. We are just human fighting with the right and the wrong inside of us. We have to let it out somehow. We watch people getting killed and do not even think about it afterwards.

Why We Crave Horror Movies

This essay discusses why people love watching horror movies. Stephen King, the author, gives a few different reasons why people go to see horror movies. People want to show that they are not scared; people want to have fun; but the main reason that he suggests is that we are insane and we need to watch horror movies to keep that insanity locked up in society. He uses a variety of argumentative strategies and literary decides to prove his thesis.

Type of Essay:

This essay is an informal essay. There are several clues that point out that it is an informal essay. First person is used throughout this essay. Contractions are another reason for this being an informal essay. The inexplicitly stated thesis also doesn't appear until the end of the essay. The everyday, common language used in the essay also proves that it is an informal piece. It is a persuasive essay because Stephen King is trying to convince people that they are insane and horror movies are required to keep that insanity under control. It is not argumentative because he does not use statistics to prove his point; it is a more personal opinion/knowledge based essay.


The thesis of this essay is "Man is insane and his insanity has to be exercised by watching horror movies". In paragraph 11, King states that "If we share the brotherhood of man, we also share the insanity of man." At the beginning of the essay, he says that he thinks that "we are all mentally ill". This confirms that he is trying to show the negative side of humans. In paragraph 11 he also says that "anticivilization emotions don't go away and the demand periodic exercise". The thesis becomes clearer as the essay progresses and by the end of the essay the thesis is unmistakable.


The tone of this essay is cynical. Stephen King is trying to say that humans have these crazy tendencies, motives and emotions. King points out that "We have such sick jokes as: What's the difference between a truckload of bowling balls and a truckload of dead babies? (You can't unload a truckload of bowling balls with a pitchfork)". This shows that we do have a cynical side. This essay is giving a dark view on humans. It is pointing out that we do have all these negative emotions like anger, hatred, etc that need to be exercised by watching horror movies.

Argumentative Strategies:

There are quite a few argumentative strategies that are used in this essay. One of the strategies used in the essay is Argument by Example. King gives and example of how we have a sick nature. "We have such sick jokes as..." (P.11) Appeal to common belief is also used in the essay. It says that ever since we have been born, we have


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