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excorcism horror movies

A Xt3 Member asked at 5:38am on July 28th 2017
Hello! I have spend the evening scouring the internet for an answer till I ended up here. I would like to know how the church feels about horror movies centered around exorcisms/spiritual warfare. Since my school chaplain recently told me about how real spiritual warfare is, I've been incredibly intrigued. I'm wondering if it is a gateway to possession/torment like the Ouija board or if it is immoral to watch a horror movie about them. Many thanks!

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Hi Noah, in itself, watching a horror movie centred around exorcism wouldn't be immoral. The real question is more with the person watching the movie - are they spiritually prepared for this? If you feel an inclination to dabble in anything like Ouija boards, or contact with spirits of any sort, then watching a film like that could encourage you to go further, which would certainly mean that it'd be better for you not to watch such films. But if you only watch them for fun, it wouldn't be immoral.

For example, since I was a young teenager, I've never been scared by horror films, only laughed at them - so I especially enjoyed a spoof zombie film like Shaun of the Dead. So the only exorcism film I'd ever watch would be a spoof one, if there is one.

As your school chaplain said, spiritual warfare is real. But, all evil spirits are creatures, and God is infinitely more powerful than they are. Does watching these films make you feel depressed? Or do they excite an interest in experiencing something like what you've seen in a film? Then watching them could be spiritually bad for you. There's an old saying, 'the one who loves the danger shall perish in it,' meaning here that interest in the occult could become spiritually unhealthy.

Maybe you could check with your school chaplain whether a particular film you want to watch would be ok for you? Or discuss with him one of the films you've seen? In the end, I'd be careful about that interest, and as much as you can, deepen your relation with God, who's far more interesting, and whose life you can actually re-live by seeing Him in every neighbour you have - and through his freely given grace, you have access to Him for nothing! Very best, Fr Brendan
Xt3's Ask a Priest answered at 4:18am on July 31st 2017 reply

Frankly, I strongly disagree with Fr Brendan on this only because my conscience is perturbed by the idea that somebody who both claims a personal affinity with the Catholic faith and is supposed to hold a vocational responsibility of being a priest is at the same time "quite ok" with watching demons and devils in movie action just 'for the fun of it'! I do not see how this behaviour of getting a laugh out of watching the denizens of hell strutting their stuff could be called 'entertaining'! I think this is profane and grossly inconsistent with Catholic teaching. Rather it begrieves my heart to think that somebody who should be aspiring to holiness instead of debasing his moral character by entering into casual voyerism of something so disgusting could condone entertaining themselves by frivolizing the nature of evil.

Further, the devil is no longer a "creature" of God since when he was consigned to his decrepid fallen state by the justice of God for his unrepentant and perpetual vow of rebellion, he was bannished from God's beloved creation and so no longer lives in the state of created grace since he is damned. However, when Lucifer was an angel in God's court prior to becoming the devil, he still had a place in the beloved created order. But after he fell, that place was rendered null & void. From this perspective, he is no longer a creature of God as he has become a complete anathema to God and His beloved creation. He, the devil, is now only a monster.
A Xt3 Member replied at 7:29am on August 7th 2017 report reply

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