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Johne

Writing About Absolute Good and Absolute Evil

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From my friend author Mike Duran today on FB:

Quote

 

One of the compelling reasons for Christians to engage the horror genre is its reinforcement of absolute standards of Good and Evil. William Peter Blatty, author of The Exorcist, stated that the story works because it was connected to "a compelling moral vision," hinging upon the notion of a very real God and a very real devil. William Freidkin, director of the film version, similarly said that the film was compelling specifically because he was “a believer.” He went on to suggest that the reasons that the sequels didn't work was because the creators attempted to "defrock" the story of moral meaning.
 

Horror works best as it's connected to absolute moral standards. Yet the further we move into a post-Christian culture, the more our stories are "defrocked" of objective moral meaning. In the Lovecraftian sense, the real "horror" is living in a brutal, meaningless Cosmos. Dissolution into vast cold space is the terror awaiting us all. For the postmodern writer, horror can range from the desecration of Nature (which tends to deify Nature) to psychological ambiguity (making "truth" tethered entirely to one's subjective interpretation). But the drift away from traditional views of morality is foundational to this shift.
 

Might I suggest that one characteristic of horror written from a biblical worldview is reference to a belief in Absolute Good and Absolute Evil (ultimately embodied in God and Satan), hope in redemptive Forces of Truth and Forgiveness, and pushback against nihilism and despair when those things are absent.

 

 

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3 hours ago, Johne said:

one characteristic of horror written from a biblical worldview is reference to a belief in Absolute Good and Absolute Evil (ultimately embodied in God and Satan), hope in redemptive Forces of Truth and Forgiveness, and pushback against nihilism and despair when those things are absent.

Somehow this seems a lot like Christian life to me. A lot like it! And there are certainly times when the horror kicks in.

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I am a big horror movie junkie.  I cannot tell you how true Mike's assessment is.

 

I love Lovecraft's work, and appreciate it for what it is: unique.  I can watch read it, watch it, and where it takes me has no personal connection to my life.  There are no 500 foot creature beneath the sea, no barrel-bodied aliens buried beneath the Antarctic.  It's fantastical.

 

But watching the Exorcist?  Or reading The Amityville Horror?  It's too close, and too personal, and that's the stuff that is truly unnerving.

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8 hours ago, suspensewriter said:

Why, Claire? 

The story I'm busy revising is a horror, and it's not a genre I really read and definitely not one I set out to write, so it's been difficult for me. This article makes it easier for me by giving me something to work toward, or something to navigate by. 

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