The twelfth film of the Mike Myers “Halloween Kills” franchise was released, in time for—surprise, surprise — Halloween. Anyone in charge of marketing this gore film series would have been fired if promotions had missed the demonic date of October 31. The first “Halloween” slayer movie was originally launched in 1978. It has since spawned novels, comic books, a video game, and assorted merchandise. In the original film, Meyers is a child who kills his sister and is mentally committed. He eventually escapes, 15 years later, to kill again. Most of his murders happen on Halloween, hence the film series’ name.
“Halloween” is part of a popular film genre designed to maximize fear in the observer. Unexpected shock is the main technique used to frighten. Sometimes horror flicks involve psychological manipulation of terror. Other horror plot devices focus on the supernatural. Paranormal horror films delve into themes involving ghosts, vampires, serial killers, cannibalism, homicidal maniacs, and demons. Whatever the technique, torture, gore, and Satanism is usually somewhere in the plot.
The horror film industry markets to a generation of movie goers whose consciences have been seared by onscreen violence. Consequently, there is a need for ever greater stimulation of depravity. Horror films have ceased to be entertainment. Instead, they are a form of indoctrination in dystopian, apocalyptic thinking inspired by demons from the pit. Is the “Halloween” style of films which promote carnage and blood shed something Christians can watch without spiritual contamination?
Romans 12:1-2 tells us to present ourselves as a living sacrifice to God and not be conformed to this world’s values. We are not to be victims of merchandisers who exploit extreme dread and loathing. And what of Philippians 4:8? The horror of “Halloween” doesn’t encourage thoughts that are “pure” and “of a good report” (KJV). Before defending your Christian right to watch horror movies remember that Christ died to deliver us from acts of gratuitous evil. The real world of the 21st century is filled with enough bloodletting and inhumanity without gorging on more of it with horror films.
Some years ago, I was working on a reality show project in Hollywood and met with a film production company. They had a division specializing in horror films. I spent an afternoon discussing our ministry and the reality of demons and exorcism. As I was leaving, one of their staff screen writers spoke with me. Here’s what he said: “I spend my entire day, every day turning out screenplays for horror films, and I was intrigued by what you said about demons. I have to admit, I immerse myself in themes of demonic stuff all day long, and yet I have no real idea where evil comes from.”
That is likely true of most in the horror film industry. They dispense moral shock and awe with only monetary consideration. But movies powerfully affect the morality of popular culture. Second Timothy 1:7 tells us that fear is an evil spirit. Immersion in horror flicks feeds this demon and potentially opens door to it. Christians need to opt-out of hardcore, gore-porn and instead live as Philippians 2:15 says (KJV), blameless and harmless in the midst of a crooked and perverse generation among whom we can shine as lights in a dark, demonic world.