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A Response To Stephen King’s Essay

1064 words - 4 pages

A Response to Stephen King's Why We Crave Horror Movies When I was a child I had three friends that lived in my neighborhood and an infinite amount of trouble and fun to get into. We used to have the most beaten, broken, dump of a yellow wagon covered in mold and pollen that we would pull at break-neck speeds behind our bikes with playing cards in the spokes. I have at least two visible scars on my now grown body from these endeavors. There used to be a fort in the back of one of these three friends' houses where we would light fires, play king of the mountain, and shoot bottle-rockets. One day, after a grueling dodge-ball game, I fell off the fort and broke my left arm. This happened the next year as well, only this time with my right arm. Why am I telling you all of these instances in a response letter about horror films? I am telling you these things because nowhere have I mentioned a horror film being a part of my past. I do not agree with Stephen King when he claims that we "crave" horror films. If Stephen King insists that we are all mentally ill, then I am mentally ill as well. I, therefore, feel some responsibility to try and justify my own mental illness to the public. King said that people watch horror films to balance out their natural urges to kill, destroy, and be a part of the "Dark Side". He believes that the horror film takes us back to our most childlike state and says that, "It urges us to put away our more civilized and adult penchant for analysis and to become children again, seeing things in pure blacks and whites." I agree that horror films do have a tendency to portray all things in extremes. Whether it be the pure virgin girl being chased by a sex-craved, chainsaw maniac with murder on his mind, or a horrific man with burn marks all over his body attacking a beautiful young teenager, horror movies express everything in terms of good and bad. I do not agree with his statement that it makes us seem like children again, however. My past has nothing to do with horror films. In fact, I remember the first time my mom and dad let me watch a horror movie because they had finally felt I was old enough to determine that it was not reality. I was in fifth grade. They rented The Terminator and I watched half of it before feeling the need to go outside and play with my friends again. If horror movies do take us back to our childlike state, I must have experienced an altered childhood. I would have rather played outside and imagined in my room than have watched a horror movie or a TV show. Therefore, I cannot agree with Stephen King's assessment of childhood. However, there are areas that he brought up...

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