Logical Fallacies in “Why We Crave Horror Movies” By Stephan King
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Last, night I was alone by myself, with no one to talk to or cook dinner for. I was alone and bored at the same time. Well, I decided to watch a horror film on Netflix. I try not to go to sleep during a movie but this time I did. In the essay “Why We Crave Horror Movies” author Stephen King tells us about why we love violence, being horrified, terrified, scared and anxious. He believes that we love horror movies so much that we can be mentally ill. He also explains why we think about evil things but never do them and that watching a horror film satisfies our urge to kill. When reading the essay, two logical fallacies stood out to me. Two logical fallacies that King used in his essay are loose or hasty generalization and slippery slope. Logical fallacies are very common in writing styles to convince or trick the causal reader. You can find examples of logical fallacies in advertisements, newspapers, books and essays.
King use loose or hasty generalization and slippery slope in his essay in order to convince his readers by using strong fallacies to prove his arguments. In the first sentence Stephan King says, “I think that we’re all mentally ill”. This form of logical fallacies is called loose or hasty generalization. According to Pearson Education, loose or hasty generalization “involves reaching a conclusion before adequate evidence that’s been presented and stereotypical statements also falls into this category”. I would have believed him if he didn’t say “all”. Stephan King made assumptions about a whole group by using the hit word “all”. His loose and hasty generalization almost convinced, me to believe that I was mentally ill because I watch horror movies. I believe this quote was only to hook his readers into reading his essay with opening up with a strong argument. King uses this quote in the beginning of his novel to catch the readers.
Loose and hasty generalization is also a form of stereotypes about people. For example he uses another hasty generalization when King says “ And horror movie’s, like roller coaster, have always been the special province of the young; by the time one turns 40 or 50, one’s appetite for double twist or 360-degree loops my be considerably depleted”. King still using stereotypes about people in this quote, saying roller coaster, are for the young and not the old.
Another logical fallacy King also uses in his essay is slipper slope. For example, King says, “When, as children, we hug our rotten little puke of sister and give her a kiss, all aunts and uncles smile and twit and cry, “Isn’t he the sweetest little thing?” Such coveted treats as chocolate-covered graham crackers often follow. But if we deliberately slam the rotten little puke of a sister’s finger in the door, sanctions follow-angry remonstrance from parents, aunts and uncles; instead of chocolate-covered graham cracker, a spanking”. What Stephan King is trying to express to us is that, he gets rewarded for giving hug and kisses to his sister but gets no rewards if he hurts his sister. He took that and “blew it up “meaning he made the reader feel like we will be punished and rewarded in that path.
This is not true. I identified this logical fallacy as a slippery slope. According to Pearson Education, slippery slope is a technique a writer uses to describe a chain of events with an extreme and undesirable result. The dire event is generally unlikely to occur, but the suggestion of it readers to believe that “going down that path” should be avoided at all cost. For example, if we allow one developer to build a hotel on the lake, this place will look like Disneyland or Las Vegas in no time.
To sum up the reasons why Stephan King uses logical fallacies to prove his argument to be true, “Why We Crave Horror Movies” relies heavily on loose or hasty generalizations and slippery slope. I believe some people do crave horror movies because they want to be entertained. He argues that once the first step is taken, the others are going to follow using the slippery slope fallacy. However, King proves his point using examples of fallacies to prove, why we crave horror movies. He gives the reader examples of what most people think and not everyone. I don’t crave to watch because I like violence, but because I want to be entertained, solve the crime and help the victims escape from evil spirits etc.