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Eng 101 - Why We Crave Horror Movies

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Jacob Williams

Why We Crave Horror

08/17/2011

Eng 1001 Comp 1

Horror movies have been a long standing tradition in both American households and in cultures around the world. It may seem odd that hundreds of millions of people go to the theater and pay ten dollars to be scared and disgusted by directors such as Wes Craven, Alfred Hitchcock, and on occasion M. Night Shyamalan. Why would we put our selves through two hours death, screaming, torture and absolute terror? The answer, according to Stephen King (2000), is simple; we are daring the nightmare (para. 2). Horror movies serve as a test of our valor and courage and show that we are not afraid to face the darkness... as long as it stays on the silver screen. King (2000) also says that watching these fictional disaster stories also shows us that while our lives may not be as glamorous and beautiful as that of Beyonce Knowles or Kelly Rippa we are a far cry from true ugliness. This theory was made apparent for me even before I realized its meaning.

At the age of twelve, I found myself at home sick for the day. Both of my parents were working and my younger brother was in school. It only made sense, in all my preteen reasoning, that I should watch things on television that I would not normally be allowed to view. The day started with me browsing the HBO movies. As it was early October, Direct TV and HBO were running Halloween movies 24/7 on one channel in an attempt to be festive. I had never been the type to watch horror movies. My mother and step father who share similar upbringing never allowed me to go out and watch anything that could be considered scary. But a rebellious streak had reared its head within me, and I clicked on the first thing I saw.

The original Amityville Horror is still, to this day, the most terrifying thing I have ever seen. For those who are not familiar with the storyline, the Amityville Horror is a "true" story, based off the book by the same name. The movie focuses on newly weds George and Kathleen Lutz, who have just purchased the dream home in Long Island New York. The house is enormous and right off of the canal, and features three levels plus a basement, a pool, and a boat house. They only pay eighty thousand for it, which is considered a steal. The realtor explained that several people had been murdered in the home thirteen months prior, but the Lutz family decides that is a non-issue. The family moves in the following weekend. Over the next twenty eight days, however, the family is terrorized by various forms of paranormal phenomena (The Amityville Horror 1979). While many "scary" things occur several things stood out and literally terrified me to my core in this movie. The first was Jodie, the imaginary friend that the youngest daughter who is really an enormous pig like demon with red eyes. This demon seemed to antagonize George Lutz, appearing

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