A Godly Perspective about Watching Horror Movies

What does the Bible say about watching horror movies? Do horror movies have God’s approval? Most importantly, how should you, as a Christian, deal with horror movies?

During this time of the year, horror films and movies dominate the theaters, TV programs, magazines, and even your local newspaper.

Though some people may think that I am overreacting, I want to pose the question, “Should we watch horror movies?”

A sad state of Christianity

In the midst of Mainstream Christianity, it is sad that we, supposed to be the light of the world, give in to some temptations of watching horror movies.

While most people might dismiss this as a minor issue in our Christian lives, it is nevertheless a problem that should be addressed.

Sad to say, even in our local Church area, I hear some Church mates talking about how scary “The Conjuring” is. One even asked me if I have a copy of the popular horror movie.

Out of curiosity, I managed to get a copy of The Conjuring. Thankfully, I realized before hitting the play button, it is a completely waste of my time and it is not worth feeding my mind with.

Do you want to read more blogs like this? If yes, subscribe to our website and get updates straight to your inbox.

Join 2,969 other subscribers

What is so wrong about horror movies anyway?

What does the bible say about watching horror movies

The mere fact that it is about death, demons, witchcraft, sorceries, cult, and other issues concerning Satan’s evil devices, makes it a movie that we, as Christians, need to avoid.

Make no mistake about it: A HORROR MOVIE is a PRODUCT OF SATANISM.

Let us not fool ourselves and think that it is a harmless movie with a demonic theme.

I want to make it plain to you: Watching horror movies is wrong. There is no gray area. A sin is a sin, no matter how you want to call it or justify your action.

Every sin will have its consequences, and you can never escape the fact that watching horror movies has its adverse effects on our emotion and thinking.

The world is bent to GLORIFYING SATAN. When you WATCH horror films, you are glorifying SATAN and not God.

Let’s be honest, after looking at a horror movie, what did you accomplish? Yes, it is entertaining, but at the expense of supporting the evil work of the devil. As you pay for that last full show of the new and scariest movie now showing in the theater, in a sense, you are supporting the WORKS OF THE DEVIL.

I am not overacting. I am simply telling you that as a Christian, we need to avoid horror movies and all its forms.

Do you put more importance on your entertainment and pleasure rather than pleasing God?

What does the Scripture say?

“Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things” (Philippians 4:8).

There you go.

That’s the criteria of what we should be watching and thinking. 90 percent of the things that you feed your mind through your eyes will be retained.

So if you are watching horror movies, you are replacing the true, honorable, just, pure, lovely, commendable, excellent, and worthy of praise things with an evil and demonic mind of Satan!

Other scriptures…

“I will not set before my eyes anything that is worthless. I hate the work of those who fall away; it shall not cling to me. A perverse heart shall be far from me; I will know nothing of evil” (Psalms 101:3-4).

“And give no opportunity to the devil” (Ephesians 4:27).

“So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God” (I Corinthians 10:31).


I want to challenge you.

Every time you are pressured by your friends to watch a horror movie, make a stand and SAY NO!

Every time your curiosity wants you to take a peep of that horror movie, make a stand and SAY NO!

Every time your friends are talking about horror movies they have watched, make a stand and reinforce to them, in a loving way, that it is a practice that we Christians should avoid.

Delete all the horror movies in your files.

Do not let the devil triumph over you. Do not give an occasion for the devil to have a firm hold on you.

Make a STAND. You are a Christian, and you are NOT part of the world. What is of the world stays there and not on your mind.

Cleanse your mind and way. If you want to SERVE GOD, then you need to have a pure mind free of violence and horrific images.

We will not be judge only based on the big things, but also in little things and in every decision we made no matter how minute they are.


41 thoughts on “A Godly Perspective about Watching Horror Movies

  1. When my kids where growing up I would tell them not to watch scary movies because it goes in your brain to live.

  2. Why, exactly, is watching horror movies so very sinful? I know of Christians who watch things like “The Birds” (that is the title, isnt’ it?) and still seem like very good people to me. Also, where in the Bible does it say ‘thou shalt not watch movies that inspire fear in your heart”?

    • There is no exact reference from the Bible that talks about watching movies. But you can get principles from the bible that tell us what we should feed our mind.
      Philippians 4:8 tells us: Finally, brothers and sisters, 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.

      • Most horror directors are Christians these days. Horror is not inherently sinful. understanding the reality we live in and that there is evil around us is vital to a Christian lifestyle. In most horror movies the demons and witches are evil, that is no different than what is found in the Bible. Jesus confronts possessions and recognizes the reality of spiritual evil around us as Christians we must also. This article is ridiculous and presents a close minded and not thought through approach to an entire genre of film that, as a whole, is mostly in line with a Christian Worldview. Saw is wrong but most other horror movies are excellent and only strengthen a Christian’s faith. Look up Scott Derrickson, the most popular Horror director today. Look up the Exorcist director (considered the best horror movie of all time) and why he made the movie (his radical faith). Open your eyes and stop, as a Christian, blindly bashing anything that makes you uncomfortable.

      • Hi Jack,

        Thanks for taking the time to comment. First of all, we need to remember:

        You cannot drink the cup of the Lord and the cup of demons too; you cannot have a part in both the Lord’s table and the table of demons (I Corinthians 10:21).

        Just because many Christians direct horror movies that it means that they are right. It does not change anything. Wrong is still wrong no matter how many people do it.

        The Bible clearly tells us to fill our minds with the positive things (Philippians 4:8). How can you say that watching horrors make us better Christians? It does not make sense to me. Instead of wasting time in mindless entertainment, why not read the Bible or do better things?

        The Bible condemns witchcraft and sorcery (Leviticus 19:31). God even commands that we should not have something to do with them. Watching horror movies opens up the door for Satan to affect our minds.

        You mentioned that most horror movies are excellent and strengthen a Christian’s faith. Hmm… I am not sure how you came up with that statement.

    • I saw that movie,”The Birds,” in 1963. Is not that bad. That is science fiction movie. I think so. Not like Saw 1, Saw 2, or more. That is horror movie, eek!!!!

    • It doesn’t take a rocket scientist to figure out horror movies, Halloween, ect….are from Satan. The Bible doesn’t say “Homosexuality” either but, we know the scriptures (Leviticus 18:22) (Leviticus 20:13) speak of it. Very good people are in Hell to this day. And the bible does speak of fear 2 Timothy 1:7. You really should check your motive of watching them!!”Test yourselves to see if you are in the faith; examine yourselves! Or do you not recognize this about yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you—unless indeed you fail the test?” —2 Corinthians 13:5

    • There are verses that provide very strong advice specifically against looking upon evil things (especially since this is about entertainment).
      Isaiah 33: 14b-15 (King James Version).
      Who among us shall dwell with the devouring fire? who among us shall dwell with everlasting burnings?

      15 He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil;

      Or in an easier to understand version:

      The sinners in Tziyon are frightened;
      trembling has seized the ungodly.
      “Who of us can live with the devouring fire?
      Who of us can live with eternal burning?”
      15 He whose life is right and whose speech is straight,
      he who scorns getting rich by extortion,
      he who shakes his hands free of bribes,
      stops his ears against talk of bloodshed
      and shuts his eyes against looking at evil.

      the last line makes it pretty clear – shuts his eyes against looking at evil
      and stops his ears against talk of bloodshed – literally someone blocks their ears and eyes to avoid hearing or seeing murder/bloodshed. Horror movies glorify murder, gore, wickedness. In the Bible those who murdered others in the Old Testament were to be put to death. No murderer enters heaven if they haven’t repented and have not accepted the Lord Jesus Christ as their Saviour, that includes abortion.
      The devil himself is called a murderer from the beginning. Why would anyone who follows Jesus (Who is Life), want to watch something that glorifies his enemy and his enemies works. Jesus was tortured to death naked on a cross to destroy the works of satan. We are to avoid all appearance of evil, shrink back in horror from anything that MIGHT offend God,
      Romans 12:9:
      9 Let love be without dissimulation. Abhor that which is evil; cleave to that which is good.

      And King David in Psalm wrote:
      Psalm 101:3: 3 I will set no wicked thing before mine eyes:

      One of the ten commandments: Exodus 20:13: 13 Thou shalt not kill.

      If God hates murder, why would anyone who belongs to Him want to watch murder as entertainment?
      People have been too desensitized by just watching too much filth. I always like to think, if Jesus was physically sitting right here next to me, would I feel okay about watching this film or show? If the answer’s no, I turn it off. I love Jesus much more than any television show, movie, or game, no matter how funny it is.

      It also includes movies and shows filled with swearing.. the Bible has Many verses specifically commanding us not to speak badly/no coarse joking etc. I obey His Words because I love Him. If He said not to do something, it’s because He loves us. I trust Him.

    • Thank you so much for the light you shed on this issue. I’m a Christian and I don’t like horror movies but I was burning with curiosity to explore how witches do their filthy acts but I won’t watch THE NUN or any of horror movies

  3. Thank you so much that I’m glad to learned about them! I do love Halloween for cute way from Disney channel and ABC Family channel. I hate horror movies and I hate nightmare on my bed, yike! You’re right and I agreed with you!

  4. I understand your point, But I watch scary movies and I pray several times a day, and I read my bible every day. And I only wish good and kindness on everyone.I don’t think I’m a bad person.

    • It is not about whether you think you’re a bad person because, EVERYONE was a bad person before Jesus came into them. It is about whether you think that the Holy Spirit is convicting you.

  5. Pingback: Top 10 Blog Posts of the Year 2015 | Becoming Christians

  6. So going by your logic should Christians refrain from games (eg., Clash of Clans) and drinking? These activities hardly fulfill the criteria in the Philippians verse and yet you will find the average Christian participating in them. Make no mistake, I’m not saying your view is wrong (even if I disagree) but to be consistent means shedding off all parts of your life that don’t fit the criteria. If you oppose horror movies as strongly as that, the same virtues should extend to all areas of life but each individual chooses to act only on what they feel strongest against.
    I think like drinking and other “gray areas”, it comes down to your personal relationship with Christ and a sense of discernment that comes from the Spirit. If the content of horror movies, tempts you, challenges your spiritual growth, or jeopardizes your faith in certain areas (eg., fear and macabre sensitivity) then one needs to abstain from such things. Just as Rom-Coms cast a false impression of this world and action films cater to gratuitous desires, horror movies can be a pitfall too. However, for others, watching these films doesn’t interfere with their faith and doesn’t cause them to stumble. Therefore, while certainly not a responsible use of time, as all games and screens aren’t, I believe differently from what you say. Thank you for taking the time to post this!

    • Hi Axan, thanks for taking the time to express your thought.

      Personally, I would encourage Christians to spend their time wisely rather than playing games such as COC or DOTA. We have better things to do rather than waste our time in this senseless games.

      We are all called not to be just “average” Christians, but we are called to live a higher standard of spirituality. Jesus Christ even said, be ye perfect, just like your Father is perfect. This is of course an impossible goal as long as we are humans. But the point is, we need to strive and become better Christians each day.

      I don’t have anything against drinking as long as it is done in moderation. Even Christ drink wine but He never become a drunkard.

      I specifically oppose horror movies in my blog because of the many satanic elements in them. I am sure you can’t deny that. God wants us to avoid satanic and evil materials and that includes horror movies. Just a hypothetical question: will you be able to confidently invite Christ to watch a horror movie with you?

      Again, we need to redeem the time because the days are evil (Ephesians 5:16). We need to concentrate on the things that will really matter at the end. I admit that I am nowhere near this aim but the important thing is we do our best and we try. God sees the heart and He will reward us according to our effort.

  7. I found my way to Christianity through a horror film. I was so inspired by the good defeating the evil and so I looked at religion as a result and truly found God. That is why articles like this really confuse me. I’m supposedly sinning for watching a scary movie, yet a scary movie was quite possibly a vehicle for me to find my faith. There are definitely some specific movies that seem to showcase evil over good. However there are several, if not most that follow a very common theme of good defeating evil. I will consult my church leaders. It seems like articles like this are way too black and white. It’s a well known fact that scary media has been around since cavemen could sketch on walls. A lot of psychologists believe that we watch/read/view these as a method for coping with fear. Is conquering fear such a sin? Perhaps or perhaps not. This article leaves no room for a gray area unfortunately. Would I invite Christ to watch “The Conjuring” with me? Frankly…yea, yes I would! “Boy this is scary, that evil presence is really powerful…but not as powerful as God. Yay, they defeated the evil! That was fun!” That was how I kind of see it. It’s fun to watch good triumph over such horrible evil. It “can” be exhilarating to one’s faith to see a story like that. I don’t know guys, so many of you have extremely strong opinions. Yet because this genre helped me find faith, it’s very difficult to just slap it aside as some sort of sin.

    • Hi Adam! Thanks for your comment. I’m glad that you found your way to Christianity. Though horror movies are fruits of the dark side, God can use human weaknesses to fulfill His purposes. As this might be the case, God expects us to change.

      For one, horror movies do not always depict good triumphing over bad. Some characters just barely survived and those who have survived will suffer from trauma for a long time.

      Next, horror movies is predominantly evil. Satan may sugar coat some of them, but at its core, it is pure evil.

      Most horror movies also include soft pornography and I am sure you will agree with me.

      Now, would you ask Christ to watch horror movies with you knowing that horror movies are not edifying and it will only elicit fear?

      Psychologists may have their opinion but the most important thing is what does God say? Will you put more importance to what psychologists tell you than the plain words of God written in the Bible?

      No matter how we try to rationalize this topic, horror movies will not contribute to our spiritual growth.

  8. Good article, Joshua. Hollywood is controlled by Satan and movies are his vessels of propaganda. Even “good” movies are laced with occult symbolism and any Christians should be aware. The same goes for the fashion industry, the music industry (yes, even Christian music), and sports.

    The teachings of Christ were about humbleness of spirit, giving up the material world for the spiritual world, concern for brethren over oneself, etc. Modern-day evangelists are Slick Willies with their money gospels, material wealth and lies.

    The Almighty has called us out of this world to be separate. We have God through His holy spirit and we have each other and don’t need movies, music, fashion, banquets, tailgate parties, or any of the many traditions of men celebrated throughout the year.

    If you don’t believe the subtle messages in the violent movies, games, music and high fashion, visit this website for an eye opener.


  9. A Godly Perspective
    Do you realize in some movies these satanic movies direct you to the church but its a movie drama must break so they disregard. Realize this if these people never went through it they never could understand God has a plan for them. In order to become a Christian with thick skin and strong immunity you must first get your hands dirty feet wet to fully understand. Otherwise you are a fake Christian who is easily confused. Besides if you forgo everything how do you live? People need to go down the dark paths to become awakened maybe not realizing it’s God at first but nevertheless we are here to help them know God. We can not judge we can pray and lovingly support not enable. Go thru hell before you get to Heaven if you made it out if you prayed it out. If you prayed and had faith with patience you will get out. You can not do this by avoiding everything makes you open to all of Satan’s tricks. Just keep faith and patience or ask for more and no matter what you go thru you will be more than a conqueror in the Lord.

    • Hi Vera, thanks for your comment.

      However, I need to respectfully disagree. We don’t need horror movies to bring us closer to God! That’s a wicked lie Satan wants us to believe. The only way for us to know God is not to watch demonic movies but to read His word and apply His teachings in our daily lives.

      You don’t need to get burned to know that something is hot. In the same way, you don’t need to experience evil to know something is evil! The Bible already revealed to us what is good and bad. If we still doubt God and have our own way anyway, then that’s simply disobedience!

      Please, no matter what we say to justify horror movies, it is unacceptable to God.

  10. I have to say that for some people this is true. However, I believe that it depends on the person. Some people are more susceptible to horrible circumstances than others and only you and God know how you will respond to them. If you are the sort of person who copies what they see, don’t watch horror movies. If you are the sort of person who is easily influenced, it’s a bad idea to watch horror movies. However, if you are a very philosophical person who can use horror movies to learn about evil and maybe even how to deal with it, then maybe it’s not such a bad thing. By exposing yourself to horrible scenarios and images, you are showing yourself how other people experienced that situation and from that you can learn how to fight the devil yourself. Although don’t get me wrong, it isn’t right to watch these things if your going to take it very seriously. I just think that it’s important to have an awareness of evil. If your not sure about whether you should watch something or not, try asking God! He knows you best. There might be something in that movie he wants you to see and to teach you or maybe he knows that what you are going to see will be bad for you. Put your trust in God with this. There’s no reason to make assumptions. Ask him.

  11. What a crock of bull. When I know in my heart what my faith and belief is a hottie movie doesn’t change that. I love to watch horror movies to see the struggle of good versus evil with good finally winning in the end (I don’t like the horror movies where the bad guys win). When I see movies with demons in them it scares me and it reaffirms my faith because I don’t want that to happen to me. I literally pray in some movies. If you go into a horror movie wanting to revel in the gore and evil for evils sake and root for the bad guy then yes that’s wrong. But don’t tell me that I’m sinning when I watch a horror movie.

      • Hey Joshua. I wanted to thank you for this article. I like many people enjoy a movie that gives me scares while I feel safe in my home. That being said I was watching a horror movie tonight (not uncommon for me) but I felt dang near grief stricken. I asked God what I had done and I felt like I had to just stop watching the movie. It wasn’t anything demonic (hate those movies) just a Stephen King adaptation. Anyway reading your article and some of the comments it is clear who is speaking the truth and sticking up for good. It’s you.

        While I will be sad to not watch some movies again I know God wants me to honor him with my entertainment choices. So I wanted to ask your opinion on true ghost stories and such.

        Not horror films but like where someone sits down and talks about the time their house was haunted and stuff like that. The reason I ask is because I actually think some of that is glorifying to God oddly enough. While these people recount horrible stories of being haunted by demons or the dead many of them end with a Pastor or a Priest coming in and everyone prays the Lord’s prayer or commands the demon to leave in the name of Jesus. In my opinion many such stories are glorifying because they often times end with Jesus clearly triumphing over the devil. I’ve actually had a few experiences where a demon either left when I told it to in the name of Jesus or prayed to Jesus (that last one must’ve been strong cuz only prayer worked).

        Not trying to justify my sin as I came here for some truth and I know part of me wants to watch them because they are scary lol. Anyway I would love to hear your opinion and thank you for speaking the truth on horror movies.

      • Hi Garrett!

        Thanks for dropping by. 🙂

        Personally, I don’t see anything wrong with watching movies that show God triumphing over evil. What I don’t agree with is when that movie’s main motivation is to scare people and use graphic, grotesque, and evil-inspired graphics just to convey their message.

        I know its a case by case basis, but we must ask God for wisdom when discerning good and evil.


      • You have the right to your faulty opinion. I know what I feel when I watch certain movies. You have no right to tell me or anyone how we should glorify God. I know my faith is strong.

  12. So I’ve never really been into horror. But I’ve always been interested in watching a scary movie. I would argue that even some Christian movies can illicit fear. Such as “Left Behind” featuring Nicholas Cage…. But I don’t see how illiciting fear is a problem. Some people (like myself) enjoy the adrenaline rush that comes with the fear the movie causes. Scary movies have always made me uncomfortable (especially Ouija) but aren’t there certain movies that may be okay? I’ve seen your responses to others about asking God himself to watch a horror film along side you but honestly certain movies I would. Satin is in the Bible no? So what is wrong with educating ourselves about him? Obviously not to follow, but if you’ve ever seen a horror film they usually cast out the spirit in the name of the Lord. Has God not asked us to do this? He has TOLD us that it is GOOD to cast out demons in his name. Honestly with that view horror movies do not only illicit fear, but they also teach us valuable information. If a demon is cast out in the name of God in a film does that not make it a story about how God can fix all? I’m not trying to be rude, of it seems that way. But these are just honest questions from a confused teen.

    • Hi Bethany,

      We don’t need horror movies to show us how good will triumph over evil. We can have other more edifying means to know that. We can do bible study, prayer, and meditation. NO need for diabolical movies that often feature more bad than good.

  13. Know thy enemy. How can you practice apologetics when you haven’t a clue about what you are up against? I and many other people with a strong faith in Christ make it a point to go into the darkness and pull out the symbolism for others to wake up and see in a deceived world full of media entrapment redundant with those signs and symbols. God has a purpose for our type too, …those of us who have “been through hell and back” for a testimony of the true evils in this world.

    Someone has to show the believers who are bombarded day and night with tv, advertisements, music, internet, and all other forms of media that seek to corrupt and sway general opinion, that there are embedded spells and curses that can influence the naieve. Wisdom is more precious than rubies. “My people perish for lack of knowledge.”.

    Some of us have to have that job to reveal what is hidden in plain sight in our day to day lives. We have to bring to light the truth while others living in some 100% pure Amish farm fantasy in their heads twirl around in their blindfolds, not seeing the arrows aimed right at their heads. This world is ruled by Satan and he has his hand in EVERYTHING. That includes “Christian” books, music, etc.

    You have to know the signs, the symbols, and show the repetition and hidden meanings to others so they can snap out of the darkness and find truth and salvation through Christ. It takes warriors in the full armor of God going into dark places to find the hidden agendas in order to expose them. To turn a blind eye to all that is happening rather than watching what is happening, you will not be helping others be informed or ready for the harder times to come.

    The enemy has power too. The more you allow him free reign in the minds and hearts of the people by living in a lala fantasy land of two kids and a dog in a perfect neighborhood watching “God is not dead” on repeat in their air-conditioned living rooms, eating supposed organic food & going to some lukewarm church of other gullible people, the less you are doing for the spiritual well-being of all humanity.

    • Hi Melissa,

      May I ask, what do you mean by going to the darkness? You don’t have to go to darkness to know what it is. The Bible is clear that we must abstain from any appearance of evil. In fact, the Bible further tells us that we can’t drink both the cup of God and cup of Satan. It doesn’t work that way. Christians are called to live in the light.

      If you were able to come out of darkness, then don’t go back there again. Don’t learn its ways.

      I get your point that we must also be aware of what the devil has in store for us. However, this does not mean that you have to experience darkness to know what it is.

      Know more about God, His way of life, and purpose. You don’t have to watch horror movies to “learn” how to better serve our living God.


  14. Perhaps the most common reason Christian readers give for refusing to read horror is that horror is Dark … and Christianity is about Light. The Bible calls us to think about things that are true and good and virtuous, they say, usually quoting Philippians 4:8 or some variation for good measure. So why should we voluntarily scare ourselves? Why should we willfully subject our minds to disturbing images, carnage, depravity, the occult, or wickedness?

    Granted, some of this reaction may be a reasonable response to gore. Thanks to effects technology, dismemberments and disemboweling are now status quo for Hollywood horror. And, frankly, it sells. Nevertheless, saying that all horror is gore is like saying that all romance is erotica. It’s an unfortunate stereotype. So refusal to read horror on the notion that it’s all splatter is misguided. In fact, some of the best classic horror – like The Haunting of Hill House, The Picture of Dorian Gray, Frankenstein, The Turn of the Screw, even Dracula – is relatively gore free.

    But let me take this a step further: Even if gore is involved, I think a case could be made for not running from it, not closing our eyes to it. The famed Japanese director Akira Kurosawa simply said, “The role of the artist is to not look away.” Christian artists and readers, perhaps more than any other group, should embrace this proverb. We should not “look away.” Our eyes should be wide open. I don’t mean that we should delight in evil, be captivated by the macabre, or celebrate darkness, but that our perspective of the human condition should be unflinching and particularly acute. Feel-good story-telling may have its place. But writers and readers — especially Christian writers and readers — who only subscribe to a “feel-good” world have violated an essential artistic, dare I say, biblical law … they have “looked away.”

    The Bible is perhaps the greatest argument in favor of reading the horror genre. The Horror Writers Association puts it this way, “…the best selling book of all time, the Bible, could easily be labeled horror, for where else can you find fallen angels, demonic possessions, and an apocalypse absolutely terrifying in its majesty all in one volume?” Scripture contains scenes of gore, torment, destruction, demons, plagues, catastrophe, divine judgment and eternal anguish. The reader who wants to think only on what is “pure and good” may want to avoid such biblical stand-bys as the Fall of Man (Gen. 3), Noah’s Flood (Gen. 7), the Slaughter of the Firstborn (Ex. 11), the Destruction of Sodom (Gen. 19), the Great White Throne Judgment (Rev. 20), and The Crucifixion of Christ (which involves one of the most brutal forms of execution ever devised). While the Bible’s message is one of redemption, that redemption unfolds amidst a dark world that is cannibalizing itself, pummeled by evil beings and barreling toward chaos and destruction. And we Christians are called to “not look away.”

    Some will counter that the reality of evil is not justification to focus on it. Reading horror is focusing on darkness, rather than Light. No doubt, some read and/or watch horror to fuel prurient interests or feed depravity. (I can’t see any other reason why people would watch The Faces of Death except that they are disturbed individuals.) However, there are people who read other genres for the wrong reasons too. Some read romance novels to arouse sexual desire or replace its void. Some read fantasy novels to escape the mess they’ve made of their lives. Some read Amish lit because they simply can’t cope with the 21st century. So while some may, indeed, focus on horror as a means of dark fascination, this is not unique to readers of the horror genre. Readers of ANY genre can turn to novels as an unhealthy form of escapism or titillation.

    But I would add, there’s a difference between what we look at / observe / encounter / ponder and what we choose to embrace. Just reading or watching something horrific does not make us horrible, any more than watching a car accident, robbery, adulterous affair, or elder abuse makes us compliant. Sure, fighting monsters might make us monsters (nod to Nietzsche), but this is not a good excuse to ignore the beasts. The Bible is not telling us to turn away from what is unlovely and impure, but to not dwell on them, to not allow the darkness to usurp our hope and resolve. So it’s not an issue of ignoring monsters, but learning to look in their eyes and battle them. Thus, Christians are commanded to NOT turn away from evil and misery. Refusing to look upon or acknowledge evil may in fact BE evil.

    Then there are those who refuse to read horror on the grounds that it is shocking and disturbing, it evokes fear and dread. Satan traffics in fear, they say. God is not the author of fear, so why should we seek it out? Have they forgotten that “It is a fearful thing to fall into the hands of the living God” (Heb. 10:31)? Just ask Annanias and Saphira. Perhaps this is one reason why we’re commanded to work out our own salvation with “fear and trembling” (Phil. 2:12) … as opposed to working out our salvation in ignorant bliss. And then you have that last book in the Bible which talks about cosmological disaster, global plagues, societal collapse, and a gaping abyss that is famished.

    Point is: Scripture uses horrific language and imagery precisely TO shock us.

    Jesus did this often. Take for instance the Parable of the Rich Man and Lazarus, wherein the curtain descends upon the rich man, in anguish, pleading to return to earth to warn his brethren. Not quite the happy ending, is it? Robert Penn Warren put it this way: “The grotesque is one of the most obvious forms art may take to pierce the veil of familiarity, to stab us up from the drowse of the accustomed, to make us aware of the perilous paradoxicality of life.” Likewise, horror IS meant to shock. It is meant to unsettle us, rouse our complacency, “pierce the veil” of la-la land, and “stab us” from our stupor. Yes, God does not want you to live in fear. However, sometimes it IS fear that shocks us into living.

    In summary, we are called to think pure thoughts and meditate on that which is good. However, that does not mean we should live in denial about the darkness all around us. Nor should we eschew the horrific simply because it is unsettling. In fact, it is this “unsettling” that may make our stories more efficacious. Prairie romances should have a place in the Christian catalog, but so should tales of woe. Scaring the wits out of people, sometimes, is the precursor to offering them hope. As long as there really is a place like Hell, then horror must inhabit part of the “Christian imagination.” As well as our bookshelves.

    • Hi Daniel,

      Were you able to read your comment? I’m afraid you’re simply contradicting yourself.

      I get your point. The Bible indeed has a lot of violent stories in it. However, don’t equate the Bible to horror movies.

      They are completely different in purpose. You’ll be fooling yourself if you will say that horror movies today are there to teach Christian values.


  15. I feel as if my constant watching of violent horror movies throughout my early teens are what let evil into my life for years. Jesus just took that evil from me a few months ago after over 35 years. I feel reborn.

Leave a Reply