Friday, July 14, 2006

The Distortion of Horror Movies

On the way home from work a thought occurred to me and I'm not really sure if it makes any sense so I'll blog about it and if it still makes sense when I see it in writing I'll leave it. Then if no one seems to have any big objections to it I'll assume it made some kind of sense.

Now I don't watch a lot of horror movies... in fact I despise horror movies and I'll preach on that a little later... but I was thinking about the movie 'Devil's Advocate' (not that this is necessarily a horror movie) and I thought particularly about the scene where the woman has a dream and there is a baby in a room holding... something (I'll just assume you've seen the movie so I dont paint any unnecessary pictures in your mind). Theres other scenes where faces become distorted unexpectedly... Similar things are shown in many horror movies. Children seem to be used a lot for whatever reason. In the "Passion" by Mel Gibson, Judas Iscariot's demons are portrayed as children who are at first normal but then their faces become distorted and appear like old men with fangs and other weird things. Satan is also portrayed holding a 'baby' that looks like Pilate and quite distorted.

Now I'm mentioning all these things to show something and hopefully we can already see some kind of connection between these things. Granted the mood surely has an effect on it, but when anyone sees these things its usually described as "creepy" or "freaky". What is it we don't like about these things? What is it about these images that is "scary". Why should it be scary at all?
The evil about this imagery is that it is taking God's creation and distorting or perverting it.

I wonder in a naturalistic Darwinian cosmology, where do these feelings come in? Does distortion threaten our safety? Why would it arouse fear in us? (If you know of a good answer by all means post a comment) I'm just curious. We all know why monsters are scary. Even though we may not believe in him, if we saw Godzilla that would arouse justifiable fear in us (for our own safety). But why would we fear if we saw a small child who looked like an old man in the face? By any observable means, how does that threaten our safety? Why does distortion cause fear? I think anyone who has ever experienced anything like that knows that it is a different kind of fear than the type of fear you feel when you feel your health (or even life) may be threatened by some reasonable thing like a wild animal or an aggressive human.

I have stated before my belief that as beings created in God's image, some things are very intrinsic to our nature. God has written His law on our hearts. He has also made Himself evident to all men to the point where no one has an excuse. (1) When we witness such distortions and perversions of what we know to be the way and order in which God created, somewhere; somehow we know it is demonic in origin. I am curious for other theories to explain this phenomenon if anyone has any.

Now as for horror movies... let me preach on it. (I'm sure I'll be doing more of this come October) but let me express my deepest resentment for horror movies and all things that glorify gore, violence (for the sake of violence), pain, horror, terror, fear.. these things are evil! How can parents be so concerned over a movie with nudity in it (and of course we should guard ourselves and children against lustful movies) yet have no problem exposing their child to some perverse horror movie which glorifies gore, violence, terror and pain? It is a Satanic deception that this filth is harmless. You call this entertainment? It is poison. What you set before your eyes goes into your mind. What stays in your mind eventually goes into your heart. What comes out of your heart will make you unclean.

For from within, out of men's hearts, come evil thoughts, sexual immorality, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, lewdness, envy, slander, arrogance and folly. All these evils come from inside and make a man 'unclean.' (2)

Listen to St. John Chrysostom scold his parishioners in the 4th century for exposing themselves to lewd scenes at the theatre (the same thing we are guilty of today):

For tell me, if any one were to lead thee into a palace, and show thee the king on his throne, wouldest thou indeed choose to see the theatre instead of those things? And yet even in the palace there is nothing to gain; but here a spiritual well of fire gushes up out of this table. And thou leavest this, and runnest down to the theatre, to see women swimming, and nature put to open dishonor(3)

If setting lustful, pornographic images in front of your eyes is evil and causes you to become enslaved to this lust, feeding this fleshly desire... (which I think we can all agree it certainly does these things) then what does setting demonic images in front of your mind do to you? What does glorification of pain and gore and fear do to your mind? Can any possible good come of this? Are you entertained by this? You should hang your head in shame!

Whatever you want to think, set it before your eyes on televesion. Read it in books and listen to it by audio. Whatever you put into your mind is what will stay there. Whatever things you dwell on in your mind will become the intentions and desires of your heart. Now what types of things do you want to think about?

Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable if anything is excellent or praiseworthy think about such things.(4)

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