Lessons from Horror Movies

Every year, without fail, from mid-September until October 31, pretty much every channel not airing sports or documentaries will be showing a horror movie. Some are classic while others are newer releases.

Furthermore, to get into the mood of the season, The Food Network and Cooking Channel air all their Halloween themed baking or cooking episodes – both new content and re-runs.

Me, I always change the channel. I never did like celebrating Halloween and certainly do not watch horror movies.

That said, there are a few things I have learned from watching horror movies.

  1. The killer is always hiding in the closet.
  2. Fear makes your stupid. If they are trying to break into your house, you do realize you have the home court advantage. You know where all the sharp objects and weapons are. You know the blind spots. 🙂
  3. Horror movies will be over in a matter of minutes if the defenders had night vision goggles, shotguns and AR-15s. Just ask Mat Best and the other veterans at Black Rifle Coffee.

All kidding aside, why then are we fascinated by horror movies? Why are there sequels to Halloween, Chucky, Freddy, Jason, and remakes of Psycho? Why do we watch movies about supernatural evil?

The “E” Word

Horror movies are actually a great time to talk about good and evil. Yes, that “E” word – evil. We don’t like to use that word, except when criticizing people from an opposing political party. Instead, we often dance around the idea of evil; we say “Oh, he’s just misguided and deluded” or “She has issues” or “He has a clinical problem but we’re treating it with meds.”

I think deep down, we do care about ultimate good and ultimate evil. We have no problems calling ISIS evil, or condemning Hitler, Mao, Stalin, Saddam, and other countless tyrants. In other words, we can’t escape from passing absolute judgment on good and bad that is more than just our collective preferences.

Seen and Unseen

In the post-modern West, we have convinced ourselves that we are civilized and rational. We have done away with superstitions and the paranormal. At least we think we did. However, there IS indeed an unseen world out there – of real angels and demons. We just choose to ignore it.

There is a story in the Bible about how the prophet Elisha prayed and asked God to reveal to his servant briefly the horses and chariots of fire that surrounded the enemy army. God answered that prayer and the man did see that heavenly army.

If you are a secular materialist, you may not see the threat coming towards you. The threat that you cannot see is the one you cannot defend against. But if you are a Christian, it is time to wake up and see what God is doing.

Numbers Game

Whenever I see trailers for movies where the villain is some supernatural force, usually I roll my eyes – not another ghost movie. On the one hand, I am fully aware that there are supernatural forces out there. The Book of Daniel describes an evil power called the Prince of Persia. In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul reminds Christians that we are in a spiritual war against spiritual powers. Lastly, the book of Revelation described a war in the heavens where Satan and one-third of all the angels rebelled.

I have no doubts about their existence. Or the dangers they pose.

In these horror films, these supernatural forces keep chasing down the hapless humans until they figure out how to banish them away. It takes about 120 minutes of them roaming around a large house in the woods or remote countryside. Everything is finally resolved. Or is it? There might be a sequel?!

On the other hand, I always wonder: why is there not supernatural force of good that they can summon? In the Wizard of Oz, there is a good witch, right? Why can’t they ask her to intervene?

Back to reality. I said that the Book of Revelation describes one-third of the angels rebelled. Did you miss the math? Two-thirds stayed loyal to God. That’s right, the forces of evil are actually outnumbered 2-to-1. Pick any team sport; if there is 2-to-1 coverage, usually the 1 loses. Sure, he might be a big guy like Shaq O’Neill, but he’s just one. The advantage lies with the tag team – in movement, initiative, and ground covered.

Of course, there is The One: God. C.S. Lewis compared God with a playwright or director. Lewis said that when the director steps onto a stage, that’s it. The play is finally over and everyone receives the applause. When God finally steps on the stage of human history, that’s it.

Curtain call on evil.

Earlier, I was joking around about NODs and AR-15s to fight back. In real life, I go to the Bible for the truth to fight back. In the Book of James, Christians are to resist the devil and the devil will flee. Not “maybe flee”; no, he will flee. In the Book of 1 John, it says that He [God] that is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.

That’s the hope I have and thus I really have nothing to fear.

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