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"Making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil."

~Ephesians 5:16

Monday, November 11, 2013

Why The Conjuring is a Step in the Right Direction for Horror Films


You'll find that horror is one of the most popular movie genres. Unfortunately the term 'horror' has been clitched too many times. Not only that, but logic seems absent in most of them. Hollywood loves to play the demonic angle. They love showcasing demonic possessions, demonic hauntings, and won't hesitate to have the characters completely eradicated by these entities. So what's missing? God is missing. Not too long ago I wrote an article on this. Hollywood loves to use demons for entertainment, but God or angelic intervention? Nowhere to be seen. Seriously, when I watch these movies I'm always wondering why no one whips out a Bible and does something. You would think that since the human characters know they're being haunted they would perhaps think a God exists too. But you won't find that for the majority of the time since Hollywood just wants to use the dark part of spiritual forces for entertainment.

The Conjuring surprised me.

The Conjuring came out back in July, and was surprisingly a huge hit. It made a lot of money and got pretty positive reviews, with some even calling it one of the best horror films of the decade. That's cause it gets so many things right. It's free of stereotypical clitches found in a lot of horror movies. It's apparently based on a true story, with the Perron family being haunted by a demonic entity, so they hire demonologists Ed and Loraine to expel the demon.

The first thing I want to get into is that this film had virtually no cursing and no nudity whatsoever. This was pretty amazing since you'll be hard-pressed to find a horror without one or the other. The Conjuring proves a film doesn't need that stuff and can survive simply on having a genuinely good, scary story. The second thing is that the family actually acts like real people and feel genuine. Often in horror films the characters are usually unlikable or jerks, but here they seem like a real family. Third, no main person dies. It has an actual ending, a nice one at that which is an extremely refreshing change of pace. Not all horror films must have a bitter ending. 

The main thing I want to get into is the portrayal of God. It was pretty interesting to see Ed use Him as a source to expel on the demon. "In the name of God, I command you back to Hell!" It's good to see someone using holy power against a demonic entity. It's not perfect however. The annoying thing that stood out was when Ed went to ask the Priest to get permission for the exorcism. The Priest didn't want to at first since the Perrons aren't members of the Catholic church. This to me is sad because I don't think God just wants us to help people in the church, we're called upon to help all people in time of need. So that stood out to me. The church God ordained will want to help out all people, not just members.

The part that made the film for me was the final line, a quote from Ed. "The devil exists. God exists. And for us, as people, our very destiny hinges on which we decide to follow." That's right, those words were stated in a theatrical Hollywood movie that thousands of people saw. It's an absolutely fantastic quote. The Conjuring is a great movie. It's a horror film the Christian can also appreciate. It's a step in the right direction for horror films, but unfortunately with Hollywood it's doubtful we'll get another movie like it anytime soon. 

2 comments:

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  2. @Simran After that review I find it very ironic to be linking to that film. After the "No main character dies" line.

    @Destroyer Well, I'm glad that Hollywood has found another winner. If they can make this more of a regular thing then that would be good, but at least we can cherish these films as examples of how to do a good horror movie.

    It's also ironic because I believe that a lot of people really would turn to the Bible if they were attacked by demons. You really can't have one without the other, so if you know that a demon is attacking you, then going to the Lord should be your first choice. Instead, the characters usually just die and don't even put up a fight. It is too bad that the Church didn't look good, but I guess we'll be satisfied that they got the overall message in for now. Since it did pretty well, perhaps we will get a sequel

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