I’m going out on a limb here, but I truly believe that shining His light against the darkness is the most potent weapon in my possession, so here goes:
I like scary movies.
As with any story, well-written horror plots build suspense, reveal truths about human nature, and provide entertainment. Throughout the story, the suspense builds until it climaxes in the survival of either man or monster. Once the evil is vanquished, anxiety dissolves.
Scary movies don’t actually frighten me, because I know there’s no such thing as cloned dinosaurs, aliens, vampires, zombies, or werewolves. They’re stories of heroes and heroines, good overcoming evil, and people discovering that people matter most in life. As such they’re stories of hope in the face of evil and survival in disaster. And I love, just love, watching the heroine progress from victim to victor, smart and strong, doing the right and noble thing in the end.
But there are plenty of horror themes and movies that I don’t like and don’t watch.
I avoid those movies that focus on witchcraft, demons, or Satanism because these do exist to bind and blind people from the one true God. Movies that highlight rape, torture, serial killers, and the like also top my Absolutely Not list. They create fear based on the possibility of actual experience and that kind of fear does not stop with the movie’s end. In addition, I dislike gore and excessive blood and violence.
My favorite scary movies are the Jurassic Park trilogy and the first two Alien movies. I like Bram Stoker’s Dracula and Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, but I don’t care to watch the more modern versions of these monsters. I’ve never watched the Twilight Series.
I love it when the hero and heroine get smart and use their brains to avoid the beastie. I’d prefer characters that turn on the cellar light before going down the stairs, stay together as a group, and stop tripping over their feet every time they’re forced to run away. And frankly, I like it when most or all of them survive. I enjoy smart dialogue and a decent plot (who doesn’t?). And I tend to opt for older movies where the characters don’t spend half the movie having sex.
As I mentioned, these kinds of scary movies don’t scare me. They startle at times, but overall, they’re like any other drama-thriller to me. But as much as I don’t mind them, I do mind them very much.
After all, I’m a Christian who loves the Lord and is trying to surrender fully to Him. What does God have to say about my habit of watching scary movies? I consider the following verses:
“What fellowship can light have with darkness?” (2 Corinthians 6:14c).
“Reject every kind of evil” (1 Thessalonians 5:22).
“Therefore do not let sin reign in your mortal body so that you obey its evil desires” (Romans 6:12).
“Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth” (1 Corinthians 13:6).
“Put to death, therefore, whatever belongs to your earthly nature: sexual immorality, impurity, lust, evil desires and greed, which is idolatry” (Colossians 3:5).
If scary movies are evil, and my heart tells me this is so, then It’s pretty clear what I need to do. After all, garbage in, garbage out, eh? And yet I keep watching them.
“For I do not do the good I want to do, but the evil I do not want to do—this I keep on doing” (Romans 7:19).
A typical scenario for me is this: It’s late evening and I’ve put my Alzheimama to bed. I’m too tired to read, but too awake to go to bed. On my lap is my computer, open to my favorite solitaire games or jigsaw puzzle. The television is on and I click around, skipping over evening shows and searching for a movie. I seriously dislike reality shows, game shows, modern romance, animated films, and most police and law dramas. A good movie is what I want. If it’s one of those nights where there is no good alternative, I end up watching a scary movie. I do the very thing I believe God wants me to stop doing, and I hate myself for it. I go to bed confessing my sin and wake up praying for help to repent. Then evening comes and I watch again.
I need prayer. Would you consider placing me on your prayer list? I know, too, that I’m not the only Christian who’s been watching scary movies. I’d like to hear from you. What do you think is at the heart of your struggle? What have you done about it? What worked or didn’t work? Let’s pray for each other.
Lord, help us to guard our hearts and our minds. Help us to fill our minds with ”whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy— [and] think about such things. In Jesus’ name, amen.
In case you’re wondering, here are two dozen or so of my favorite scary movies, in no particular order. If it’s not on this list, I probably don’t watch it.
- Night Of The Living Dead (1968)
- Dawn Of The Dead (2004)
- Alien (1979), Aliens (1986), Alien III (1992), Alien Resurrection (1997)
- Jurassic Park I (1993), II (1997), III (2001)
- Jaws (1977)
- Psycho (1960)
- Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1978)
- The Sixth Sense (1999)
- Halloween (1978)
- An American Werewolf In London (1981)
- The Thing (1982)
- The Ring (2002)
- Poltergeist (1982)
- The Howling (1981)
- The Grudge (2002)
- The Lost Boys (1987)
- Fright Night (1985)
- The Descent (2005)
- The Cave (2005)
- Shaun Of the Dead (2004)
- Resident Evil (2002)
- The Others (2001)
- The Changeling (1980)
- 28 Days Later (2002)