That's what Stephen King wants to know. His essay, "Why Do We Crave Horror Movies," attempts to answer this question. According to him, we crave horror movies because we are all a little mentally ill.
In theory, it makes sense. To start off discussion, Joe said, We all know that human beings can be savages. Horror movies help us release that savage side, so we don't turn into homicidal maniacs.
Even though it sounds right, our class didn't buy it completely. Several of us don't like horror movies. Christina said that she never watches them. If King's theory is true, that would mean that Christina's "gators" are not "fed." We don't know what she does in her off time. But I think we can safely assume she's not running out to murder people after class. There'd be blood stains. The papers would've said something.
A couple of us felt that King really projects the "crazy" tag onto us. He assumes that we are crazy for watching horror movies. But really, who's crazier? The people who watch horror films, or the people who write and film them? Patrick mentioned that many horror films are based on real life events. That's pretty messed up! It's also exploitative of the real life people who suffered terrible murders and frightening experiences.
There's real violence everywhere, Brittany pointed out. Movies don't eliminate it from our world. So how can they add to it?
Our discussion closed with some of us sharing our fears. A few of us talked about little tricks we do to get through watching scary movies and going to bed at night. This made me wonder if we had Stephen King's message all wrong. Perhaps he was trying to make a statement - not about rage, but about fear.
Think about it. Our lives are pretty ordinary. Maybe it's not that we need to release our rage, but that we need to scare ourselves, remind ourselves that we are mortal. Horror movies help shake us up a bit. They remind us to stay on our toes. They remind us that anything can happen. They remind us that OUR WORLD is a little bit crazy, if not us.
A couple propmts for writing:
1. Who is crazier? The people who make the horror movies or the people who watch them?
2. Think about a movie that really scared or disturbed you. What about it upset you so much? Where were your gators when you were watching it? Does your reaction support or debunk King's argument?