Horror Theories in Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2

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Horror movies are based on humanity’s disturbing, inner thoughts that are kept hidden by sophisticated and civilized facades. The fact that people pay money to go watch their own race be slaughtered shows that civilization has two sides. There are many theories as to why humans act the way they do, such as Steven King’s “beast within” and “potential lyncher” theories and Stanley Solomon’s “exploration” and “romantic isolationism” theories. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2 does a fantastic job of displaying these theories about the horror genre if one knows what they are looking for. Learning about why humans react the way they do to horror films based on the theories of well-known psychologists and horror writers can teach humans a lot about themselves. Stephen King, a well known horror writer, has dedicated his life to the study of horror and human psychology. King is the person that came up with the “beast within” theory. His theory states that everyone is insane, but some people are better than others at hiding it (784). The people that don’t hide it well end up in a psych ward, while others that can hide their dark sides’ remain in society, which is indeed a scary thought in itself (784). King thinks that people watch horror movies in order to keep the gators at bay. The gators King speaks of would be the vicious, dark side of people that he says has to be “fed” in order to maintain sanity (784). He believes that people have two sides, one civilized, and the other blood thirsty and on the brink of snapping. Watching horror movies provides relief for the blood thirsty side, keeping the gators at bay (786). Carl Jung, a psychoanalyst, calls this the “shadow archetype” and believed that shadow is “the dark side of our nat... ... middle of paper ... ...ark sides in horror films. The viewers pay money to watch their own race be butchered in order to “feed” or tame their inner beasts. In all, studying the horror genre and why humans react the way we do teaches humans things about themselves. It teaches people why they feel the way they do when they watch horror movies. The Texas Chainsaw Massacre Part 2 is a great example to show Steven King’s and Stanley Solomon’s theories on horror flicks. It displayed various theories through various characters and showed how people can have multiple facades. Works Cited The Texas Chainsaw Massacre 2. Dir. Tobe Hooper. Prod. Tobe Hooper and L. M. Kit Carson. By Tobe Hooper and L. M. Kit Carson. Perf. Dennis Hopper. Cannon Group,1986. DVD. King, Stephen. “Why We Crave Horror Movies.” 784-86. Solomon, Stanley J. “The Nightmare World.” 793-800.
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