Analysis of Why We Crave Horror Movies by Stephen King

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Not only is Stephen King’s essay, “Why We Crave Horror Movies”, a biased

sample, but it also appeals to population and emotion. To further explain why we crave

horror movies, King argues that “we are all mentally ill” (345). He expresses that we all

make an independent decision to buy a movie ticket and sit in a theatre. King goes on the

to explain our mental insanity through examples, such as, “sick jokes” (347). According

to King, these “sick jokes” prove our insanity and our need to release that insanity

through watching horror films.

Although King does offer valid points and relative evidence that support his

arguments, the points only pertain to a certain portion of the population. What about the

people who don’t crave horror movies, or the ones who do not fit into the, we, of Why We

Crave Horror Movies? There are many individuals who would object to the insanity of

watching a movie that could possibly keep them from sleeping at night. Such individuals

may be quite disturbed reading this essay, wondering how they got dragged into this

stereotype of these human beings. King states, “The potential lyncher is in all of us”

(346). Is it really though? The mention of everyone having that same personality trait

embedded somewhere in their personality makes one question their identity. King is

appealing to emotion here, failing to realize that there are many people who would rather

be somewhere else, rather than in a huge, dark room watching a movie they will be

scared to walk out of, because of the things that they‘ve just witnessed.

While appealing to population King also appeals to the emotions of his readers. In

doing so King suggests that the movies that we watch suit the way ...

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...vely to lack attention given to them. King lures his readers in by using an

issue that is relative. By doing this, it automatically makes that reader think into the

possibilities of all humans’ sanity, or lack thereof.

“Why We Crave Horror Movies” includes valuable evidence that backs up its

argument that “We are all mentally ill”. However, its argument would not be subject to

opposition if it were specifically directed towards horror film viewers. King’s failure to

specify his audience, falsely accuses some of his readers. While his argument of human

insanity is justifiable, his argument generalizes, appeals to emotions, appeals to

populations, and his are opinions are biased because Stephen King, himself, enjoys horror


Works Cited

King, Stephen. “Why We Crave Horror Movies.” One Hundred Great Essays. Ed. Robert

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