Is the Horror Genre Evil?

I mentioned a book to someone awhile back that was in the horror genre. They were appalled, because they were under the impression that horror was equivalent to Satan making films. I understand where that idea comes from, given the tendency of uncreative horror books and films to be about gore, shock and attacking religion. To say these things are all of what horror is would be a gross stereotype.

Fans of Edgar Allan Poe, H.P. Lovecraft and Alfred Hitchcock all know that these authors explored the fears and dread of man in a more cerebral way. Most people find this approach more frightening than Freddy Part 500. Is there anything wrong with exploring the nature of man? The battle between good and evil? No, and the definition of horror is fluid and can cross into fantasy and sci-fi, and supernatural fiction is often just another name for it.

Christian writers, to the surprise of some, haven’t shied away from the field. Dante’s Inferno is quite hellish. There’s some heavy evil beings in The Lord of the Rings. Authors like Frank Peretti were writing supernatural fiction long before anyone came up with a name for it. Most shocking to all is that horror classics Frankenstein and Dracula were written with biblical worldviews. Gasp! Our perceptions of these two quintessential horror books have been colored by unfaithful adaptations reinterpreted through modern eyes. H. G. Ferguson writes:

It is hard cold fact that the horror story’s mother and father are Mary Shelley (Frankenstein) and Bram Stoker (Dracula), both of whom wrote out of a biblical worldview. Modern attempts by critics to discredit Stoker’s research in particular are significant. They don’t want to discredit Stoker so much as they want to discredit his worldview. They want the vampire amputated from the Judeo-Christian outlook Stoker held. They want Stoker’s vampire, but they do not want Stoker’s God. This is why so many — but not all — most recent treatments of vampires throw out the Cross as a means of dealing with them. The critics understand Dracula was written from a Christian worldview. Why don’t evangelicals?

There’s more to the Dracula story that leaves one wondering how modern versions and their offspring have managed to stray so far. That in of itself is not the point here:

Just like you don’t judge a book by its cover, nor should judge an entire genre by what low-budget movies have defined it as.


Categories: Bible, Fiction | Tags: , , | 3 Comments

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3 thoughts on “Is the Horror Genre Evil?

  1. HG Ferguson

    Thank you, brother, not just for the “plug” but for willing to stand up, speak out and speak the truth. This hatred, even damnation of horror by the Christian community, needs to end. Indeed, it must end. Horror is anathema? Not in the Bible? Not legitimate for Christians? Read Mark 5:1-20, the Gospel’s own horror story and see how it ends. Thank you for being God’s voice for biblical discernment, and may He bless your every work in His Name.


  2. donnaschlachter

    And I will add an Amen to that. If we as Christians are not “allowed” to write horror, what’s next? Supernatural is off the list? Thriller? Anything with a spot of blood or an event we can’t explain? Isn’t that where faith comes in? And where censorship starts? We serve a God bigger than anything we can think or imagine. Even bigger than vampires and zombies and monsters. So let’s continue to show Him overcoming whatever monster is in our lives.


  3. Pingback: Lovecraft’s Dark Vision | Darrick Dean

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