Horror movies. I've never been great with them, but I've always been intrigued and enjoy the ride along the way through the stories that are told. Some are just purely gory, whilst others depict evil as an extremely powerful entity that none can defeat it.
The winning formula often depicts a victim or victims, a demon/inhuman spirit, and a solution to the problem. The solution is often a priest or a layperson who understands what the spirit is doing, and proceeds to cast them out.
Some films that execute this quite well revolve around the Warren couple, including the Conjuring movies, or involving the rite of exorcism such as The Exorcist or The Rite.
Apart from the dramatisation, the research behind these movies are very accurate, everything from the stages of demonic activity, to the solutions to demonic activity.
The battle between good and evil
The films that are based on true stories may sound cliché but they bring an element of truth to light. There is a real struggle for the souls of mankind. It is a battle between good and evil, and we are not only caught in between, but we are part of the fight against dark powers that St. Paul mentions in his letter to the Ephesians:
"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual force of evil in the heavenly realms." (Ephesians chapter 10, verse 12)
Unfortunately, like in horror films, many are ignorant of the spiritual battle that is taking place, and this is because not only are these entities invisible, but we are also distracted from God and the spiritual by many different worldly things leading us to struggle to understand or accept the truth.
De-sensitisation to these spiritual elements is very prevalent in our culture, and often people don't take notice unless something goes terribly wrong.
Created and spiritual
However, there is a reason why we know so little about the spiritual.The spiritual world is dark and dangerous because we are dealing with invisible spiritual entities. Despite ourselves being spiritual beings, we have the difference of being created and being physical beings meaning we are limited in our capabilities.
Christianity has always taught that curiosity in the spiritual realm (demons and angels) is considered dangerous simply because it may lead us down paths that lead us to temptation and thus, leads to evil.
Eve committed this sin of curiosity when she conversed with the talking snake in the garden, knowing full well that it was unnatural, but also with a desire to discover what knowledge the snake was offering.
Such curiosity can come in the form of modern "games" such as Ouija boards, or even séances or readings that supposedly predict the future. These are dangerous activities purely because you expose yourself to unknown spirits and are beholden to the claims the spirits make, possibly leading to the process towards possession. These are to be avoided at all costs.
Fix your heart on God
We are called to know and to love God, and not to learn and fight against dark entities because that is what Christ does on behalf of us. We deal with such entities, it is the same way we deal with temptation; ignore it, and pray to affix your heart on God.
God uses all things for good, even demons to bring the knowledge of Him and the knowledge of the Gospel to the world. Rather than just for pure entertainment, horror movies are a great way for having a discussion revolving around the Gospel.
Let's keep talking, keep watching, and keep praying for the faith of fellow Christians and for our friends who don't know the grace given to us by Christ for our salvation.
Jack is studying Commerce and Arts at Macquarie University, he is part of a family of five, his hobbies include computer gaming, football, learning languages, and church history. He attends Gracepoint Presbyterian, and occasionally, St Paul's Anglican in Burwood.
Jack Liang's previous articles may be viewed at http://www.pressserviceinternational.org/jack-liang.html