1. Why Do Horror Movies Work?
From the beginning, mankind has known fear. Lightning forked through the sky and thunder boomed down from the heavens--terrible and incomprehensible events to ancient man. A myriad of viruses and diseases, now identifiable and treatable by modern medicine, caused people to drop dead suddenly for no reason, and predators prowled the dark forests and thinned the human tribes of the prehistoric era.
Our genetic history has carried the primordial impulse for fear forward into modern times. Who, even in these high-tech times, doesn't hold their breath when the electricity suddenly goes out? Who doesn't wonder at the strange creaks and groans that sound at midnight as an old house settles into the earth? It is this instinct to fear, with all of its biological side effects--goose bumps, rapid breathing, hair standing on end--that makes horror work in film and literature.
This book looks at a number of adaptations of the written works of Stephen King brought to the big screen and the pressure points in the human psyche that in my opinion makes these movies so successful in their efforts to make us very, very afraid. Finally, a number of horror movie reviews I have written over the years are provided as well as a short original piece of horror fiction for your enjoyment.