Should Christians watch horror movies and TV shows?

Jennifer Lawrence stars in the horror film Mother!

Some Christians believe that scary movies are the work of the devil or at the very least they open up the door to him. With this in mind, it's understandable why, Ephesians 4:27,"And do not give the devil a foothold," is one of a number of verses that anti-horror watching Christians use to support their belief that Christians should refrain from watching this kind of content. If these frightful films are satanic, then watching them can be seen as essentially extending an invitation to the devil.

But are horror movies really all bad? Out of all the genres, faith and Biblical films aside, horror movies are they've been noted by film critics and filmmakers as the ones most likely to make references to Christianity, people's struggles with faith and they show audiences an epic battle between good and evil and they almost always end with good triumphing over evil. (Exceptions are usually made when studios want to make a sequel.)

Not only can Christians be found watching horror movies with their eyes hid behind their hands like everyone else but they can also be found making them. Scott Derrickson, director of 'The Exorcism of Emily Rose' and 'Deliver us From Evil', is one of the most well-known horror filmmakers of recent times, and he's also a practising Christian.


Speaking before the release of 'The Exorcism of Emily Rose', he said. "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's history of unexpectedly bringing faith to the big screen is something that attracted Derrickson to the format in the first place. And it's probably what the many Christian fans of the genre take away from it. So, do Christians find the films uncomfortable viewing because of their tendency to force the viewer to convert their fears or is it more than that?

The Bible features plenty of warnings against the consumption of ungodly content. In addition to Ephesians 4:27, Psalm 101:3-4 and Philippians 4:8 can also be used to support the notion that Christians shouldn't watch horror films. But as unlikely as it may seem, scary movies do have some redeeming features, and these mean that they can sometimes be considered appropriate for a Christian audience.

When it comes to what types of movies are ok to watch or not, there may clearly be many types of horror movies that are unappropriate, but there may also be many others that fall more into a grey area, and the answer may ultimately lie more with who the individual viewer is rather than there being any blanket policy that can be applied to all.