#10. The Prophecy
This old Christopher Walken gem is a classic. The sequels, not so much.
Walken plays the angel Gabriel in a modern day war of Biblical proportions. If you don’t immediately want to see that then there isn’t anything I can say to get you to.
#8. A Thief in the Night
This bit of Christian horror seems like a modern twist on the morality plays of Medieval Europe. Unfortunately, this one is still on my to-watch list.
A Thief in the Night is the first of many ‘70s era horror films made by conservative Christians who had one simple goal – get people to convert and fast. The films took a literal approach to the horrors of the end times by depicting beheadings of Christians and an actual rapture. Fellow Beliefnet editors who saw these movies as children vouch for their effectiveness at scaring children. In retrospect though, it is mainly frightening that someone thought this was a good idea.
It looks easy enough to watch this movie on YouTube in its entirety. Comment below with your thoughts and reviews!
I added this one to this list of Christian horror after some hesitation, but in the end, I erred on the side of including this Stephen King classic. The religiosity presented in this movie seems to fall beyond the pale. This is not so much Christian horror as an horrific caricature of a Christian. Let me know what you think!
From BeliefNet: "Carrie’s frightening telekinetic powers are the focus of this film, but her overbearingly religious mother is as much of an antagonist as they bullies at her school. Carrie is locked in her room and forced to pray while her mother blames her daughters’ problems on her sins. Unfortunately for the mother though, her intense religious sheltering comes down on her in the end, quite literally."
#6. The Exorcism of Emily Rose
See? Not all of these Christian horror films are from the 70s, though that begs the question - what was going on in the 70s?
I was so surprised when I first saw this to find a beautiful message folded within this truly horrifying movie. The choice at the end, whether theologically accurate or not, truly elevates this movie. Also, the best part, it's based on a true story, right?
Let’s face it – exorcisms are played out. A priest chanting Bible verses while a demon inhabits a person’s body? Yawn. This film, however, takes an interesting approach to the subject by wrapping the disturbing tale of Emily Rose in a court case against the very priest who performed the exorcism. It is ripe with scary bits, but it also tackles the concept of faith vs. science in a very powerful way, leaving you both scared and ready to discuss what exactly the movie was trying to say. That is rare for a horror film!
#1. The Exorcist
Big surprise, right? A movie so chilling it spawned a whole horror sub-genre. Also, it provides a healthy reminder to all people, everywhere: when things get really bad, accept no substitutes, get a Catholic priest!
At its heart The Exorcist is a simple movie about a family, a group of Priests, and the lengths that they would all go through to save a little girl. All of this is told through a nastily claustrophobic take on demonic possession. Its shocking scenes may lose some impact nowadays, but the emotional content of the film is as effective as it has always been.
I've also included a link to a great book by the world's most experienced exorcist priest. Very interesting read!
Adapted from an article originally published at BeliefNet.