1. Maria Tatham says:

    Brian, great topic! I enjoyed reading both posts but especially this one. You’ve presented a strong argument for the usefulness and goodness of imaginative portrayals of horror, depravity and pride. However, readers and filmgoers still can be drawn to the wrong explanation of how and why things are as they are. 

    • Brian Godawa says:

      Thanks Maria,
      Yeah, unfortunately I have found the same problems with all genres of romantic comedies that too often elevate human love to idolatry, historical stories that lie about history, Christian movies that create bad faith through panacea solutions, and even fantasy that can pull people away from wanting to face reality. I think it’s important that we reinforce seeing and thinking properly. I just think horror gets a bad rap because it deals so explicitly or openly with evil, kinda like the Bible does 🙂

      • Maria Tatham says:

        Yes, it’s important that we reinforce seeing and thinking properly! This is a priority always. And I agree that horror gets a bum rap. Sometimes I’m ashamed to say to my Christian brothers and sisters, that Dracula by Stoker, and the film Bram Stoker’s Dracula are favorites of mine. I’d prefer an expurgated version of the film; but I find the ends to which Minna is willing to go to set her ‘beloved’ free from his cycle of horror both meaningful and stirring. The older vampire books/films reveal the distinction between good and evil clearly. This is accomplished by constantly returning to an image of this being cowering at the Name of Jesus Christ and representations of His Cross.

      • Brian Godawa says:

        Dracula 2000 goes back to the original Christian interpretation. And 30 Days of Night, while very violent, is, I believe a contrast of the Christian value of self sacrifice with the Evolutionary value of survival. 

  2. Kessie says:

    What a great article! I’ll be chewing on different aspects of it all day long.
    The thought about ghosts, though, reminded me of a particular can of worms I was discussing with my family. My mom pointed out the passage where Jesus, newly resurrected, comes through the locked door to be with the disciples. They think he’s a ghost, and he tells them to handle him, because ghosts don’t have flesh, and he eats food with them, because spirits don’t eat.
    He never says there aren’t ghosts. He just says that He isn’t one. Same deal with when He walked on the water and they thought He was a ghost.
    Then you get into modern ghost sightings, and UFOs, and it goes on and on … 🙂

    • He never says there aren’t ghosts. He just says that He isn’t one.

      And this is exactly what led to a key element of novelist Mike Duran’s book The Resurrection.

      However, I’m with Brian Godawa on this one. It’s appointed to man once to die, and after that the judgement. No B-movie sequel returned villains; no creepy hands busting out of the earth; no spectral wails from Beyond the Veil. Those are great to imagine, though, and to use for the reasons Brian discussed in-depth.

    • Brian Godawa says:

      That’s an excellent point, Kessie. I hadn’t thought of that. Of course, Jesus may not be saying there are ghosts but simply that he is addressing what their cultural beliefs might suggest. That does not necessarily endorse the notion of their reality. For instance, I might say such and such event was not a UFO sighting because it does not fit the details of what people may say of UFO sightings. That does not mean I believe UFOs are real.
      But then there is Samuel’s spirit and the witch of Endor… 

  3. Galadriel says:

    I had to read Frankenstien for Lit Theory class–it really struck me as despressing, just because the monster was stuck in a place with no one to love him.

    • Maria Tatham says:

      Galadriel, I agree! His predicament was as unimaginably sad as A.I.’s android child.


      • Brian Godawa says:

        Shameless act of self-Promotion #305: You might like my article on A.I. at this URL: http://godawa.com/Writing/Articles_And_Essays.html 
        Look for the article at the middle of the list of articles. It’s called appropriately enough, “A.I.” 

  4. Jeremy McNabb says:

    Geez, Brian! At least give me something to disagree with. I have a reputation to uphold here. 🙂

    But seriously, thanks again for a terrific and needed perspective on oft-neglected genre.  

  5. Maria Tatham says:

    Brian, I will try to see Dracula 2000. 30 Days of Night may be too much for me, but maybe…
    Thank you!

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