Teens seem to have a fascination with horror movies, but why? An article on Psychcentral.com quoting Glen Sparks, professor and associate head of the Brian Lamb School of Communication at Purdue University, explains the physiology of being scared and the after effects of all that adrenaline.
“Sparks’s research found that when people watch frightening films, their heart rate, blood pressure and respiration increases.” This effect carries beyond the movie and, in this heightened physiological state, emotions and experiences seem more intense. In short, it’s the thrill, much like riding roller coasters. But that explanation is a bit pedestrian, from the Christian viewpoint, since it seems to suggest that these things are mostly harmless. The article does caution against allowing children under the age of 14 to watch, since research suggests there might be some lingering effects, and also says that children below the age of the 5 to 7 range are not able to separate fact from fiction and be unable to understand that the movie is not real. (psychcentral.com)
But apart from secular reasons, are there reasons for the Christian to abstain? I think that everyone has to follow their own convictions in some cases, but we should always be led by the Word of God. Understand I am not saying that people who create horror movies are “demon possessed” or even consciously dabbling in the realm of evil knowingly. But these very disturbing images are clearly evil. That in itself is enough to cause us to abstain. 1 Thessalonians 5:22 says simply, “reject every kind of evil.”
I can see no benefit to indulging in this type of entertainment. Aside from the immediate fear and shock of viewing these movies, there can be on-going effects from these horrifying scenes. These types of movies stay with you – in your mind, in your dreams, and your thoughts (ever thought about some horror movie when you are home alone at night?).
I know that some would call this harmless entertainment, but we don’t know the long term effects. I know that some consider these types of things, such as Ouija Boards, etc, to be a gateway to allow the demonic access to your mind, and while I am not sure I agree with that, I do agree that erring on the side of caution is always a good policy.
The best filter for anything is the Word of God and prayer. Allow God access to your life and invite Him to counsel you regarding everything. He will, and He will never steer you wrong.