Stephen King’s Mind: Horrific Yet Wonderful

I have recently gotten into the horror genre. Movies, books and short stories have intrigued me, but what intrigues me even more is how the authors and filmmakers find their passion for horror. Specifically, Stephen King has taken up most of my free time. Over the summer, I breezed through some of his novels such as The Outsider, It, 11.23.6 and binged watched his movies like It, It 2 and The Shining. It is amazing how eloquently he writes and how subtly he is able to incorporate horror through his descriptions and dialogue. The best part of his work is all the cliffhangers and loopholes. His primary focus may be horror but he does implement drama and romance, whether it be between lovers or between families. 

When I was younger, I was an avid reader, but unfortunately my busy high school schedule - and now college life - does not leave me much time for leisurely reading. That is, until I picked up my first Stephen King book at LAX before a long flight. I read The Outsider, which is one of King’s new novels. It was right up my ally - mixing criminology, fantasy and mystery. The storyline flowed extremely smoothly and I finished it in a matter of days. Next I read 11.23.53, which was about 750 pages. Initially, I was very overwhelmed, yet as I read this book I was underwhelmed. I thought the build-up was too much and I was just waiting for something to happen. Yet, from a critical eye King had intention for every detail and dialogue he added which is something that should be appreciated. I also read It which was also a very long book but again I was hooked. I genuinely felt like I was in the story and experiencing firsthand what the characters were going through. 

I often believe that books are better than their film adaptations, but with Stephen King films, I disagree. The movies completely live up to the expectation. While I was watching It and It 2 - naturally closing my eyes here and there and jumping at certain scenes- I couldn’t help but think only minutes had passed by when in reality hours did. The movies were engaging and followed the books almost perfectly. I felt the same way while watching The Shining. The production and casting of the movies made King’s brand even more iconic such as with lines “Here’s Johnny” and the ominous first scene of a room filling with blood. Overall, I have no complaints. 

Now comes the question, what influenced King to write 56 novels all revolving around horror, mystery and even death? After doing some research, the hidden circumstances of his talent may have stemmed from an event that occurred during his young childhood. According to his mother, when King was a young boy he came back from a play date looking extremely pale and barely speaking. It later became known that the boy he was playing with was run over by a train in the railroads. King stated he did not even remember this event until others told him when he was older. Could this incident have subconsciously influenced an artistic interest in King? Additionally, King was also interested in horror because his mother was obsessed with anything scary. Naturally, King started to like the feeling of being scared even though he was described to be a fearful child growing up. 

But no matter the inspiration behind King's writing, he has become an incredible writer and artist. His works set the perfect mood for upcoming holidays like Halloween. When looking for a spooky book or film, definitely look for Stephen King.