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(RNS) This weekend’s box office winner, “The Conjuring,” is a creepy horror flick with all the requisite creaky doors, demon spawn and blood-curdling exorcism scene. But filmmaker brothers Chad and Carey Hayes hope it can prompt viewers to think about God and the existence of evil.

22 Comments

  1. The answer to the question posed is “no”, if it has anything to do with spiritism or the occult, which is detestable to God and something we should avoid at all costs.

  2. Perhaps not to God but to a particular right-wing version of Christianity?
    Here’s a quote and a link from a Salon review I found pretty persuasive:
    “The Conjuring” is an old-fashioned horror movie, almost old-fashioned to the point of meta-ness. I don’t just mean the 1970s setting, the haunted house in New England, the family under siege, the demonic possession, the pair of celebrity ghost-hunters and the Roman Catholic exorcism. I also mean the film’s deeply reactionary cultural politics, and the profound misogyny that lurks just beneath its surface. I don’t know how intentional this was on the part of the filmmakers – possibly not much – but “The Conjuring” is one of the cleverest and most effective right-wing Christian films of recent years.

    http://www.salon.com/2013/07/18/the_conjuring_right_wing_woman_hating_and_really_scary/

  3. I will say that if it does lead people to any sort of religious belief, it would be a pretty unwholesome one. It suggests quite casually that the women persecuted during the Salem Witch trials were actually satan-loving witches when all evidence is they were at least as Christian as any woman in their community. Also, it attributes an nearly omnipotent power to demonic forces that would actually be attractive to any budding young Satan worshipers out there. Finally, the truth of the supposed “haunting” is far more mundane and more likely to lead one to believe the Warrens were simply using scared and gullible families in a bid to promote their own fame and ideas about demonic entities lurking around every corner.

    As a work of FICTION, the film is very effective, but to suggest any of it was actually real goes far beyond simple artistic license and well into outright fabrication.

  4. I remember when I saw “The Exorcist” when it first came out. I can tell you, many of us woke up and knew that the enemy of mankind, Satan is real and does more in this world behind the scenes then we might want to admit. Yes he demon can and do posess people.
    It sure cause a lot of us to run to or Father God’s arms. And others turned their life to him as well. With everything we have coming at us out of Hollywood or on the news, we have become desensitized. God can and will use whatever he chooses to wake us up. If it takes a movie like this, then the end result is worth it. We all have become so hardened, blind and deceived. I will take my teenager to see it.

    • I remember a borderline agnostic college student who was moved to investigate Christianity after he saw The Exorcist and began to consider the possibility of spiritual reality. (Having a Christian roommate helped.) He became a regular at Baptist Student Union meetings and before long was converted.

  5. I know nothing about this particular film in question, but to answer the question posed by the headline, yes, I think so. I was a nonbeliever when I watched Constantine with my friends (it was their idea, I don’t like horror movies) and the powerful images of darkness and hell inspired in me to consider the reality of such things and to find safety for my soul. It was just a part of the process for me, but nonetheless a significant influence.

    One would be very wrong to base their theology on a film, but Constantine also touched upon the problem of avoiding evil or even fighting evil as insufficent to ensure going to heaven – at that stage of life it was something thought-provoking for me.

    Nonetheless, I do not think horror films should be treated as evangelism tools. We are rather to overcome darkenss with light, not darkness with darkness – and exposing audience to demonic imagery could be considered this kind of a strategy. The occasional effectiveness of such works is rather the case of God working all things to good.

  6. I guess I wouldn’t be shocked if a horror film led people to “god”. If you’re willing to believe nonsense religion will embrace you with open arms. [and then ask for a check in the money plate of course]

  7. You know i gotta say we can all assume this and that – But it just boils down to what ed warren says at the end of his quote its up to us to decide whether reality of this is true or false ? who knows ? Do i really care? no i don’t care – The mere fact of one even wanting to believe in demon empowers satan even more – Should i deny it?? no i wont deny it because if god exist then so does satan – So dont go [expletive deleted] Blah blah blah you said Should i care [expletive deleted] on me cause i didnt say satan and god does not exist. The mere fact that this movie Shows to the audience around the world that ” Demonic Entities ” is real and shows a example of what they can do in the real world such as – Mysteriously bypass Gravitation laws – and manipulate the physics of our world in any means necessary just shows that “satan” is at work provoking his Audience and ” Future audience ” of human beings to believe in him and look what you will receive – Honestly i thought the movie was [expletive deleted] there is no such thing as scary movies – I just wish i was actually scared – I laughed more then anything at the stupidity of it , anyways thats my thoughts on this

  1. [...] Can a horror film lead people to God? (RNS) The box office hit “The Conjuring” has all the requisite features of a standard horror flick: creaky doors, mysterious things that go bump in the night, creepy dolls and a dead witch who seizes the body of an unsuspecting mother. It also has an … Read more on Religion News Service [...]

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