My latest article for The Imaginative Conservative website analyzes the spiritual value of horror films:
In The Heart of Darkness Conrad’s madman Kurtz whispers his last words, “The horror. The horror.” The novella is aptly named for it takes the reader into the heart of darkness and is thus a forerunner of the horror genre in literature and film.
The horror genre answers the question, “How can literature and film most successfully deal with spiritual realities?” Motion pictures are pictures that move, but spiritual struggles are invisible. So is it possible therefore to make spiritual conflict visible? This difficulty is the stumbling block for many religious filmmakers who have more enthusiasm than skill. Thus we are encumbered with too many worthy but dull films about saints. To show spiritual joy the director resorts to sentimentality: showing us the saint running in slow motion through fields of wild flowers. To film their inner struggle we watch the saint talk to a crucifix about how bad they’re feeling. It doesn’t work.
While biopics of saints may inspire, they too often induce yawns. Spiritual battle is made real for the masses through the horror genre.
Go here to read the full article