1. Brian, thanks for doing this series. I especially appreciate the way you support your views from Scripture.

    I will say, however, that some of the things you call Biblical horror — examples of vampirism for instance — I’ve never viewed in that way because it is metaphor. In addition some of the true stories of Israel’s sinfulness are horrific, but again I’ve never equated that with horror. Maybe it has to do with my definition of horror. I associate it with generating fear.

    I especially appreciated the closing of this 3-part apologetic:

    Too much focus on the bad news will dilute the power that the Good News has on an individual. Too much fascination with the nature and effects of sin can impede one’s growth in salvation. So, the defense of horror and thriller movies in principle should not be misconstrued to be a justification for all horror and thriller movies in practice. 

    All that being said, I find myself no more inclined to read horror. I’ve tried of late, reading a number of Christian supernatural suspense/horror stories. While I may see redemptive elements in them, I have no desire to live in that darkness for all those pages. It’s just not the kind of story I care for.

    I’m wondering, then, if the “too much focus on the bad news” that you mentioned above is a subjective thing. What is “too much” for one person, is a drop in the bucket for someone else.

    Looking forward to your fantasy coming out in November.



    • Maria Tatham says:

      Becky, you wrote:

      “I’m wondering, then, if the ‘too much focus on the bad news’ that you mentioned above is a subjective thing. What is ‘too much’ for one person, is a drop in the bucket for someone else.”

      I have a very gentle friend who reads Christian supernatural suspense/horror stories. She sees all the spiritual implications and is fascinated, always relating what she finds to the Bible. I read or watch it sometimes, but I have to be ‘sure about it’ before, if that makes sense.

    • Brian Godawa says:

      Fair enough. I always tell people I am not trying to make them horror fans because each genre requires a certain type of subjective inclination. I am only trying to open minds to whatever level I can. I think you are right that it is a subjective thing. My wife cannot read or watch my novels and movies, but I don’t judge her. They’re not for everyone.

      • Maria Tatham says:

        Brian, sometimes we can be surprised by just who has this inclination to appreciate the genre. It isn’t for everyone, believer or unbeliever–you’re right. My husband, who can watch war movies that are explicit in their violence, can’t endure any film that depicts vampirism. Personally, I admire his good taste. However for me, if the vampire movie is a serious one, and vampires are depicted as evil entities that cower at the Name of Christ, I can appreciate it. 

        Interestingly, Bram Stoker’s Dracula (while too sexually explicit and over the top on imagery) inspired an evocative, beautiful film score that helps me write fantasy/fairytale fiction. (I still have to take a look at Dracula 2000, as you suggested elsewhere. ) 


  2. Maria Tatham says:

    Brian, you gave significant interpretations of several horror films, showing their true ‘souls’. These are intriguing and valid.

    Perhaps the good to be gained from this genre of fiction or film is twofold. For unbelievers, it provides the opportunity or the eyes to see this present evil age for what it is. For believers, viewing the best ones affirms all that the Lord reveals about who we are and what we’re capable of, without Him.

    The genre, when carefully done, is good medicine. But we should dose only according to the directions on the label. The directions should read: “Small doses, only as needed. In the case of accidental overdose, please contact your local Poison Control Center. And, as with all medicines, keep out of the reach of children.” 

  3. Hey, I just found these (thanks to a helpful link dropped by Becky :p). Great stuff. I’ve been saying these things for longer than I care to admit and it’s been a real treat seeing someone else say them too. I am not alone! 🙂

    Great, great thoughts, Brian, and I think you’re dead on.

    Becky, I think what you said about “having no desire to live in that darkness for all those pages” is interesting. I think, to a large extent, the “too much” you described is subjective. I’m a horror writer/fan/afficiando (as you’re already well aware :p), but “scary movies” don’t scare me. I find them to be a welcome break from real-life scary things. I think they’re thrilling–even suspensful (but in a fun way)–but fear stems from a loss of control and I know that I’m always in control of a movie in the sense that I’ve got the remote in my hand and can switch it off when I get bothered. Some movies disgust me, yes, and those I don’t like and don’t watch.

    I watch vampire/werewolf/monster movies and I don’t see darkness. I just see childlike wonder :p I see fantasy talking about things that I fear in my real life but don’t want to talk about. It’s all code for things that are too tough to face head on.

    I see something like Hostel (or parts of it–I couldn’t sit through it)  though–human on human cruelty–and I see darkness and I don’t want anything to do with it. So, maybe, like you, I don’t like to “live in that darkness” either–it’s just my darkness-meter and yours are adjusted differently.

    • Brian Godawa says:

      Kindred spirits! I appreciate your insight, Greg. Your explanation reminds me of Bruno Bettelheim’s explanation of fairy tales and their brutality of witches eating children etc. as a code to introduce children to their mortality and thus come of age. This is because real life evil is far too difficult to face head on.

  4. Andrew Winch says:

    This series was great! I just wrote a similar blog post, so this really resonated with me. I totally agree with most of the comments, as well. Horror, like all other genre’s can be abused, but can also be used to honor God. Thanks for taking the time to put this up!

What do you think?