Christianity claims that not only is there such a thing as right and wrong, but also bad things can happen when we commit wrong actions.
It also claims that supernatural beings – good and evil ones – exist and can interact with us.
So, a scary movie can sometimes be a way to talk about those concepts, the reality that sin seems tempting but has consequences and that dark forces do try to mess with us.
With that in mind, here are 5 horror films (classic and contemporary) that talk about faith, morality, and the supernatural in a way that fits Christian teachings.
I noted in a previous article that this movie is really a riff on the creation account in Genesis.
It opens with a man telling the audience this film is about a man who “tried to create man in his own image but did not account for God.”
Victor Frankenstein attempts to be God, and terrible things happen as a result.
Terence Fisher’s 1958 film Dracula is full of spiritual allusions and symbols, maybe most notably in the famous last scene.
This spinoff film involves the vampire hunter Van Helsing tracking a new vampire outbreak near Dracula’s area.
Because this movie has more dialogue than Dracula, it not only deals with many of the same themes, it deals with them more overtly.
The result is a movie about the dangers of temptation (sexual and otherwise), the reality of demonic forces and how humans can fight against it.
William Peter Blatty, who wrote both the novel and the screenplay, had a phrase he liked to use when talking about this film: if demons, why not God?
In other words, if demons exist and they’re the kind of demons the Bible talks about, then they’re fallen angels.
And all angels were created by God.
So, once you start talking about demons in a story, you’re automatically dealing with ideas about God, the devil, and faith.
As you watch this film, the narrative forces you to deal with those questions.
This is without question a strange film.
It’s about a killer who chases kids in their sleep and then somehow reaches into the real world and starts actually attacking them.
But if you can handle the Inception-style weirdness (the whole idea of a story about where reality ends and dreams begin), you can look at the story and ask a big question “Why is this killer attacking these kids in the first place?”
The answer turns out to be linked to terrible mistakes made in the past.
So, in essence, this movie is about the consequences of sin.
It’s about how the sins we commit (even the ones that seemed justifiable at the time) can have terrible consequences and can even harm our families in ways we never expected.
If you were to describe this movie in one word, it would be “family.”
It’s about the fears parents feel when they need to protect their children from terrible threats.
It’s about learning to live with guilt (imagined or otherwise) when a family member gets hurt.
Maybe more than anything else, it’s about how love and sacrifice can work together to help a family survive even the worst situations.
Can you think of any horror films that have great spiritual themes in them? Let me know in the comments