This is Pastor Tim’s article which appeared in the Evening Leader on October 25, 2021
It is Halloween week and I have a confession to make. I don’t watch horror movies. I think I saw one of the Friday the 13th movies when I was in high school. I say ‘I think’ because I am not even sure if I actually watched one before. Guess it made a distinct impression on me.
I like movies with heroes. I want a story with a main character I can root for to win and in horror movies, it is about a bunch of morons getting killed by an idiot. Sorry, I probably should have posted a spoiler alert before I said that.
There are two horror movies out now that are big. Apparently, there is a new Halloween movie out with Mike Meyers dawning his mask and machete to go out and kill some people. Then on Netflix, there is gore pornography known as Squid Game. I have not and have no intention to watch either of these shows. Full disclosure, I am writing this article based on what other people have written about them.
All the reviewers have hated the new Halloween movie, so who cares about that one. But the one that concerns me is Squid Game. It is on Netflix, which means it is available to anyone who can work a TV remote. The plot is about a bunch of people who enter a game where they are slowly eliminated until there is one winner. And by eliminated, I mean violently and graphically murdered.
The thing that bothers me about this show is it is becoming mainstream. Many of the kids in my youth group know about this show and it is getting cultural references all over the place which means many people are watching it. The thrill of the show is claimed to be that they are interested to see what the characters do when they are pushed to the limit. One podcaster I listen to called it torture porn and I haven’t seen or read anything that changes my mind about that description.
What frightens me about this is that the violence isn’t justified in the telling of the story. It is completely backward in that the story exists to be a frame upon which to display the gore and violence. The plot (if you can call it that) is these people entered this game with the understanding that they were competing for cash prizes. It sounds fun. Apparently, none of them were told that not only would there be only one winner, but there would also only be one survivor. These poor people are not bad, they were playing a game. Heck, I love playing games, but I don’t know that I would enjoy a game where not only do I witness the brutal execution of hundreds of people, but I also could die at any moment.
These characters are created to do nothing more than be cannon fodder for our amusement. Does life mean so little to us that we are tuning in to watch a bunch of characters get splattered on the ground? What does that say about us as a culture that we would give of our precious time to sit and watch humans being slaughtered? Sure, it’s all fake and no actual people were harmed in the making of Squid Game, but that isn’t what the viewers of this garbage are telling themselves. Viewers are watching ritual sacrifice for their amusement.
Well, I am not amused.
I fully anticipate the feedback I am going to get from the people who love these movies. If you like them, then more power to you. But there is a reason we don’t allow children to watch this kind of smut and it is the same reason that no one of any age should be watching it. I have no problem with violence in movies, I just am opposed to movies about violence.