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Meaning to the Madness
Meaning to the Madness

October has arrived and Halloween is right around the corner. True to form, Hollywood is unleashing all sorts of horror movies upon us—including at least one more this Friday, Scott Derrickson's Sinister (pictured at the top of this page), which looks to reach out and terrify its audience. On the lighter side, Tim Burton's Disney film, Frankenweenie, released last week.

All sorts of scary flicks are playing on the big screen—and they started earlier than usual this year. Possession ruled the box office in early September, followed by Resident Evil: Retribution and House at the End of the Street. October brings the aforementioned Sinister and Frankenweenie, plus Paranormal Activity 4 and Silent Hill: Revelation 3D. It's enough to keep any horror movie fan coming back for more.

I count myself among them. Not only do I like horror flicks, but my bookshelves are full of classic horror novels. And I'm about to have an urban fantasy/horror novel published. But I don't take any of this lightly—and some might wonder why a Christian would invest time or money into such things at all.

It's because I find meaning—including biblical truths and theological implications—throughout much of the genre. My appreciation for meaning in scary stories finds its roots deep in the works of H.P. Lovecraft and his concept of "cosmic horror," as well as in the works of Arthur Machen with his notion of "holy terror." One is rife with despair, the other clings to hope. The contrast between the two results in a remarkable tension found in the history of horror.

More on those guys in a bit, but I'll begin the discussion with a few illustrations from a horror film that came out earlier this year—Joss Whedon's The Cabin in ...

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Meaning to the Madness
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October 2012

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