I don’t watch scary movies because they scare me, fill my head with disturbing images, give me nightmares and keep me from sleeping. I’m kind of a scaredy-cat, something to which I readily admit, so I have no trouble avoiding scary movies.
As Christians, though, is that a stance we should take? Should Christians avoid scary movies?
I’ve discussed this a lot with high school students over the years. Students always see the latest and greatest scary movie and then can’t stop talking about it. The boys always talk about how the movie wasn’t that scary while the girls always talk about their nightmares and lack of sleep.
This whole process has started again because of the movie Insidious. I haven’t seen the movie, I’ll never see the movie, but I read the plot synopsis on Wikipedia. Insidious is about a parallel spirit world inhabited by demons that cross over through certain people. One of these demons starts crossing over and wreaking havoc on a young family.
Is this something that Christians should watch?
I believe in demons and a supernatural world, not how they’re often depicted in movies, but I believe they exist. Does watching scary movies about those topics allow our minds to wander and focus on the dark things as opposed to the glorious light of Christ? Or are scary movies simply a relatively cheap way to release dopamine and endorphins into our blood streams?
There are a lot of gray areas in our lives of which the Bible isn’t very clear. For some people, though, I think scary movies might be more definitive than gray. I’ve heard of people asking for prayer because they’ve seen a scary movie and can’t remove the images from their minds. For those people, they’ve invited some amount of darkness into their lives which they think only the power of prayer can remove. That’s not a gray area; that’s something that should definitely be avoided.
For others, though, they can watch a movie like Insidious or The Exorcist and move on as if they had been watching Lilo and Stitch. The images don’t fill their minds and the light of Christ isn’t pushed out by any darkness. In that case, scary movies are a gray area and probably don’t cause them to stumble or fall.
God lays down some pretty clear boundaries but, within those boundaries, there is plenty of gray area. When living in the gray, we need to be honest with ourselves and make choices that will keep us from stumbling or falling. And, more than that, we need to make sure that our choices within the gray won’t make anybody else stumble or fall.
Should Christians watch scary movies? Why or why not?