Intention

Stephen King’s essay “Why We Crave Horror Movies” explores two topics: why people love watching horror movies and people’s need to release their inner insanity.

The writer’s overall intention is to prove his idea that people watch horror movies to express their own insanity.

Watching horror movies to relieve negative emotions

King begins his essay by stating: “I think that we’re all mentally ill”. To illustrate his point that we are all mentally ill, he gives examples: “everybody knows somebody who talks to themselves, who have hysterical fears and, most of all, who fears death”. Since almost everyone is afraid of death, King gives his statement a universal quality.

To explain why people watch horror movies, he enumerates a few of the most common reasons: “we are daring the nightmare. (…) To show that we can, that we are not afraid, that we can ride this roller coaster.”; “We also go to re-establish our feelings of essential normality”; “And we go to have fun.”. To show that the idea of having fun when watching horror movies is strange, King references an analogy made by an unnamed critic: “the horror film has become the modern version of the public lynching.” In this way, King proposes that horr...

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