Reviewing Halloween

It is October, which means Halloween is almost here, and the cinemas are full of horror movies. Instead of reviewing a horror movie (which would involve me actually watching one) Risen Reviews is going to review the entire holiday!

Let’s start with the good. What is good about Halloween? What about the horror genre? What about it brings glory to Christ, the Lord of all things. It definitely isn’t the celebration of death and deformity. No, the goodness can be summed up in one word: atmosphere.

More of that in a moment, after discussing the bad. Horror movies most often feature the destruction of human beings, whether physically or mentally. People either get torn apart by monsters, or they go crazy and imagine them. And they often make inexplicably stupid decisions to reach their grim fates, so that could be considered self-destruction as well.

The monsters themselves usually reflect some kind of twisted humanity, from zombies to wraiths and vampires. Halloween also features skeletons and other markers of death. Clearly, the holiday and the genre have a problem with death, and death is not something Christians want to celebrate.

Atmosphere is a certain mood or tone that envelops a place or story, and it is worth celebrating. Plays have atmosphere, as do college football games. Horror stories often involve dark atmospheres with a lot of mist, and Halloween includes dim, orange lighting, fantastic costumes, and creaky old houses. These too are fun atmospheres, and that is why the holiday is so popular. 

Jesus cares about atmospheres. He was born a human man, died, and rose again to redeem all of human existence, including bodies, costumes, and atmosphere. And not just light, airy atmospheres and costumes, but dark, misty ones too. 

Just as the selfishness and pettiness of sports can be separated from the joy of human competition, the celebration of death and decay can be separated from the unique and fun atmosphere of Halloween.  Let me know what you think below!

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