Why Do We Write And Read Horror Stories?

Published: 2021-07-06 23:17:43
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Category: English

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IntroductionHorror is one of the most successful genres of film, storytelling, and novels that evokes a physiological reaction, such as increasing the heartbeat and igniting a feeling of fear that keeps the audience on the edge of their seats. Horror movies and books are widely appreciated for the thrilling experience. Researchers found that the feeling of fright induces an arousal state which is similar to the excitement and extreme happiness, but the context is different. The audience of horror genre seeks thrill and suspense that gives them a cliff-hanging feeling.Horror films, books, and stories are similar to the experience of being in a roller coaster, which is extremely popular among thrill-seekers. The recent horror movie, IT 2017 based on the book of Stephen King, proved to be the highest grossing film of the year. Similarly, movies like the Conjuring 2013 and Annabelle: Creation 2017 were successful productions and popular among the audience. This shows that the audience prefers being on the edge of their seats and constantly being intoxicated by the feeling of fear and death.DiscussionStephen King claims that we all are mentally sick people, who enjoy dark and evil stories about death and horrifying events (418). He describes the human nature and the need for proving themselves for their self-confidence and to appear stronger to others. He questions the eager to ride a roller coaster when we are aware of the horror and risk of death. Similarly, we enjoy the feeling of testing our limits and show zeal towards the menacing and killing of others. Horror stories entice the emotions of excitement, thrill, and fear at the same time, where the audience let their feeling free, and they do not have to pretend to be sane.The simple reason that people watch horror movies or read horror stories is that they seek entertainment in the form of thriller, mystery, and suspense, which keeps them engaged throughout the process. Our emotions and darkest desires require being taken out and expressed in some form, which is easily catered by horror stories where we practice our feelings of fear and dark thoughts (King 419). When the audience read or watch horror stories, they satisfy their hunger for the feeling of fear, which helps them prepare for danger. Moreover, during the time when a person is afraid and excited, there is a rush of adrenaline in the body, which helps them be aware and awake.Paley, who is the writer of several books such as The Little Girl, in her interview talks about her writing strategy and the audience she wishes to target. She believes that a writer does not have to have similar experiences as the characters in their book to be able to justify and describe their feelings. It is about relating to these characters in some form and building up fiction characters and imagining their stories. Similarly, characters in horror movies, particularly the villains, are not related to the writer or the reader yet it plays an important part in satisfying the dark and hidden desires of the audience.Filmmakers of horror movies aim to scare their audience to an extent when their hand palms are sweaty, heartbeat and blood pressure are high, and there is a mixture of feelings of anxiety and excitement. This feeling makes the movie enjoyable for the audience and an experience that they remember for a long time. Moreover, directors and writers always seek to shock their audience and feed their hunger of curiosity and the desire to be surprised by the sudden twists and turns of the story. A predictable content can be boring, and the audience may lose interest halfway through the climax, which why story-tellers always aim to challenge the common theories and assumptions about the plots.Kenneth Tura, a film critique, talks about the genre of horror movies and why it is so popular among the general public. Horror films show violence, evil and several disturbing thoughts that can haunt one for a long time. Nevertheless, people run to the theaters and crave for being scared, thrilled and haunted. The negative roles in such horrifying movies can crawl under one’s skin and linger at the back of their heads forever, which is something the writers aim to achieve and the audience hopes to seek.Emotions and arousal caused by fear, excitement, and thrill activated the brain and offered a form of exercise for the nervous system. It helps the audience practice the defense mechanism and satisfy the inner desire for solving mysteries.ConclusionThe genre of horror stories and films is appreciated by a large number of audience, despite the terrifying acts shown in these books and films. The audience of this genre seeks thriller and the exciting feeling of fear and horror that activates a part of their and increasing the production of adrenaline. Horror stories not only induce the emotion of fear but satisfy the requirement for practicing our darkest desires that we can’t practice in a civilized society, where everyone has to pretend to be sane and sensible. Horror movies play a part of entertainment work that keeps the audience at the edge of their seats and addressing their needs for being shocked and surprised.Works CitedKing, Stephen. “Why we crave horror movies.” Short Essays for Composition (1981): 418-420

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