Personally, one of my favorite genres is Survival Horror, however like metal music, full of demonic imagery, skulls and bones, gore-fiends and moshpit-loving violence-craving thrill seekers, the genre is often interpreteted to be inherently Satanic.
And yet one who is in the genre or a heavy partaker of it, understands that glorifying the underworld and its manifestations of violence, blood, guts, blasphemy and filth; is not always the case for all bands who go the metal route. Beyond that, those listerns who love the headbanging world; are not always doing so as a full embrace of the antichrist-position that often spills from the mouths of secular metal bands.
Horror is much the same way, with the exception that most created horror IS not glorifying the light in any way… a notion that Christian metal bands convey to those willing to listen; while keeping the grotesque and violent motifs that are staples of the genre… only they twist it so it points to the Cross and away from the Pit.
It is hard to make that argument when discussing horror in either film or in gaming however.
But it is my belief that embracing horror videogames is not a full-out endorsement of what most of the games preach throughout the majority of the duration of said adventure through hellish imagery.
In fact, to write horror off as nothing but a pure act of grotesque blasphemy and filth with no redeeming factors, is to vastly oversimplify it. It is true that some horror does just that with no redeeming qualities, but NOT all of it. And that mindset does a disservice and writes off an entire complex genre made up of hundreds of thousands of different tales, characters, stories and worlds.
Like in the metal realm, there are plenty of smart, intelligent, horror-themed videogames that have many redeeming qualities. I believe horror and the desire to be scared can actually run parallel to the beliefs we as Christians hold. “As I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil.”
Ultimately horror, in almost ALL cases, is about overcoming evil, savagery and blasphemous beings bent on delivering grotesque hell upon others. Beyond the striking and violent imagery, much like the Cross itself, is redemption and horrific stories of those who conquered the arms of death and lived to tell the tale.
In addition, a smartly told horror story, will intersperse many other elements that elevate it above a simple gore-fest. Silent Hill for example is a dive into psychological horror, where demonic sights and sounds unsettle the player, and try to suffocate you in fear. The story however is extremely deep, vastly open to interpretation, and is ultimately a tale of love, sacrifice, overcoming fear and triumphing over the evils of Hell… literally.
The opening of Silent Hill 2, for example, tells the tale of a man named James, who receives a letter from his wife. His deceased wife. In it she talks of their “special place”, a town called Silent Hill. He knows she is alive, dead people cannot write letters? Right? Read the rest of this entry »