August 29, 2005

LIVE EVIL:

Horror: The Perfect Christian Genre: Scott Derrickson, co-writer and director of the upcoming film The Exorcism of Emily Rose, says horror movies are an excellent way for a Christian filmmaker to address things of faith. (Peter T. Chattaway, 08/30/05, Christianity Today)

Can a Christian make horror movies? Scott Derrickson thinks so. As a screenwriter—and a Christian—he has worked on quite a few films in the genre, including Urban Legends: Final Cut, Dracula 2000 and Hellraiser: Inferno, the last of which he also directed. His newest film as co-writer and director, The Exorcism of Emily Rose, coming to theaters on September 9, looks at first glance like more of the same.

But this movie is a little different. It is based on the true story of a German woman named Anneliese Michel, who died during an exorcism in 1976; the priest who tried to cast the demons out of her was charged with manslaughter. So the film is part horror story, part courtroom drama—and Derrickson says it will get people talking about God.

Derrickson spoke to Christianity Today Movies from his home in Glendale, California.

Why would a Christian get involved in horror films, of all things?

Scott Derrickson: In my opinion, the horror genre is a perfect genre for Christians to be involved with. I think the more compelling question is, Why do so many Christians find it odd that a Christian would be working in this genre? To me, this genre deals more overtly with the supernatural than any other genre, it tackles issues of good and evil more than any other genre, it distinguishes and articulates the essence of good and evil better than any other genre, and my feeling is that a lot of Christians are wary of this genre simply because it's unpleasant. The genre is not about making you feel good, it is about making you face your fears. And in my experience, that's something that a lot of Christians don't want to do.

To me, the horror genre is the genre of non-denial. It's about admitting that there is evil in the world, and recognizing that there is evil within us, and that we're not in control, and that the things that we are afraid of must be confronted in order for us to relinquish that fear.


It's no coincidence that the original Exorcist is one of the greats of the genre nor that America is the last Western nation that recognizes evil.

MORE:
Behind the lens - A Christian filmmaker in Hollywood (Scott Derrickson, 1/30/02, Christian Century)(

Posted by Orrin Judd at August 29, 2005 11:59 PM
Comments

Why would a Christian get involved in horror films, of all things?

Who do you think invented the genre??

Posted by: Robert Duquette at August 30, 2005 1:38 PM
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