The Scariest Thing in the World

15 01 2008

I wanted to prelude this with something about how perfect love casts out fear, and we who love the Lord have no need to be afraid of anything. Fear is a form of self-preservation and Christians simply have no need to preserve themselves. God will do it for us, or He won’t and we’ll go Home. No biggie.

 However, I am interested in fear in regards to film making. Recently viewed movies like I am Legend and old favorites like The Village have me wondering. What is it that people are scared of when they watch this stuff?

Incidentally, we lay aside slasher movies as well as monster movies. I am speaking of the psychologically scary movie or ‘thriller’.

And I seriously can’t figure out what it is about them that frightens people. How do our nerves get to wrought up that we are physically tired after sitting through a two hour movie?!

My idea is that it’s the vague wrong-ness about whatever is going on. The Village looks normal from the outside, but why are these people so frightened? And why do red flowers scare even the audience? How did we get so attached to the dog in I am Legend that Will Smith’s journey into the ‘hive’ to rescue her has us numb?

Why is wrong-ness more frightening than things jumping out around corners, the promise of death and really evil people all put together?

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10 responses

15 01 2008
David Gray

“Why is wrong-ness more frightening than things jumping out around corners, the promise of death and really evil people all put together?”

A thought: A situation that is overtly, obviously evil is understandable. We know things are bad, so when we see bad, it registers as correct.

On the other hand, when things are “just-wrong”, marginally wrong, to me it means something very different. I believe we all know what “made right” will feel like. When Jesus returns and sets everything in it’s proper place, I believe everyone and everything will let out a big sigh and say, “Yup. Thats it. That’s what I have been yearning for.” So we all know what right looks, feels, sounds and tastes like.

In that light, when we come onto a situation where all that is wrong in the world is still in place, but things have been set “only-nearly” right by some force other than Christ… when things are wrong feeling because only Jesus can set them right, then our sense of right sets off an alarm. We can sense a counterfeit salvation, a counterfeit protection, a counterfeit provision, a counterfeit healer.

Maybe the scariest thing is that we may have been the person trying to set things right without Christ. We know what what a sheep we are, but we still like to believe the lie that we can self-shepherd. We are scared because we know the wolf is coming, and we are still relying on ourselves.

15 01 2008
Jennifer James

Ok, back to movies, which I think is what she was mostly talking about, here’s what I think.

What WE think is going to happen, (ie. the suspense) is what gets me, especially in movies like the village. It’s our inability to handle the unexpected, and not know what’s coming, that freaks me out the most! Plus the scary music. Turn the mute on next time you watch a scary scene, it’s not nearly as scary or suspenseful without the music.

15 01 2008
walkingintherain

And that is an intersting topic in itself…

Music in movies.

Thanks for the comments, folks!

15 01 2008
Jennifer James

I had a choir teacher do that exercise once, with some mildly suspenseful scene, and she was right, it totally changed the feel of what we were watching. Like putting hokey polka music to a home video…

15 01 2008
walkingintherain

Ha ha! Tha’s awesome.

Was that Mrs Nunes? “cause I feel like she did that in our class too…

16 01 2008
Jason

So I was gonna leave a comment but it would definitely be way too long, so I just posted a response in my blog instead. I don’t know if it covers everything you were talking about, but it certainly covers SOMETHING cause it’s ended up being a freaking huge post.

I think I make up for my infrequent posting with the sheer amount of words I write. Maybe I should do homework instead…

16 01 2008
Jennifer James

Megs- I think it was!

16 01 2008
walkingintherain

Jason- Homework is overrated when you are going to be a famous director. Blog posting is a much better use of time. (!)

Jen- Three cheers for the choir teacher who seemed crazy but was actually really good at her job!

16 01 2008
Jennifer James

Yeah she was a little crazed sometimes. She made us listen to “Freshmen” by the Verve pipe like 15 times in a row one day, and I still have no idea why.

16 01 2008
walkingintherain

She used to play a piece of really long instrumental music and have us write ‘to’ the music. It was actually oddly enjoyable, though my hand couldn’t keep up with my thoughts.

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