Apostate Café

By joshua


Posted in: christian-horror

Divinity in Darkness

Divinity in Darkness
The new issue of [Rue Morgue magazine][] has a cover story about Christian Horror as a genre. The authors talked to a number of people active in the genre including [T.L. Hines][] and [Mike Duran][]. There is a also a nice plug for the [Christian Horror][] site at [christian-fandom.org][], and for [Fear & Trembling magazine][]. I am quoted a couple of times (ego stroke), but I am really glad they were able to interview [Scott Derrickson][], who addresses the subject with far more intelligence and lucidity. When talking about Christian horror as a genre, Derrickson says: > I don’t know that I accept Christian horror as a defined subgenre… > if you include *[The Exorcist][]* and *[The Omen][]* in that subgenre > I’ll accept the term, because those films, as well as horror films > made by professing Christians, are dependent upon Christian theology > for their stories. I certainly object to the idea of defining a > subgenre by the religious beliefs of the filmmakers and not the films > themselves. And later: > If your definition of Christian horror includes what I call the > Godsploitation movies — those low-budget > scare-the-hell-out-of-the-audience films that often center around the > Rapture and the end of the world — well, I can only hope there is no > future for Christian horror. But there are a lot of intelligent and > talented young Christians who know a good horror film when they see > one, and if they can merge their Christian imagination with true > horror filmmaking skill, they will continue to scare us with stories > of death, of the demonic, and of the evil potential of the fallen > human race. Right on! Working on the Christian horror site over at Christian Fandom, what we look at horror that uses Christian faith as a plot point — how it treats the faith, how well it meshes with orthodox Christian doctrine. We use the term “Christian horror” to describe that type of work, but I struggle with the idea of Christian horror as a genre unto itself. There is that narrow category of CBA-friendly horror *by* Christians *for* Christians. And we pay special attention to horror of that sort on christian-fandom.org because we want people who are looking for those explicitly Christian books and movies to be able to find them, to read reviews, and know which ones they’ll like and which ones they won’t. But I echo Derrickson’s sentiment that you should not define a subgenre (solely) by the religious beliefs of the filmmaker (or authors). I think a fair definition of Christian horror needs to encompasses two other types of work as well: - A) There is the wider world of horror *by* Christians that may not be CBA-frield, but originating from a Christian worldview. Even without an explicit gospel message, there is a lot of good work coming out of the “Christian imagination” that points to God’s truth. - B) There is horror *about* Christians… all those books and movies that deal with explicitly Christian themes, Christian characters, and dependent on Christian theology and iconography for their stories. Anyway, it was great to see the article in print. Some thoughtful responses to the article are available on [TheoFantastique][] and [The Groovy Age of Horror][]. *Update, May 8, 2009:*[Cinefantastique][] has a response to the [The Groovy Age of Horror][] blog post. And there’s [a further follow-up by John W. Morehead over on TheoFantastique][].
Joshua Blog Topics: 
[Christian Fandom][]
[Christian Horror][1]
[Joshua’s Blog][]