Should Christians watch movies like those in the Saw franchise?
Some of you who read this blog would say, “No.” There are many reasons you would give. Here are some of the most popular:
- They glorify violence and immoral sex. Most movies in this genre do seem to glorify gore and sex (even though one of the unspoken rules of slasher films is that those who have sex die). There are some directors who seem like they want to push the violence and sex envelopes to the brink of an NC-17 rating. But there are a few movies in this genre that do avoid sexual content (the Saw franchise is one of them) and use more “theater of the mind” instead of blatant gore (the film “Frailty”, which dares to ask ‘What if fringe religious fanatics are right” is one of these).
- Christians should not see R-rated movies. This seems to be a blanket reason that, to me, is very flawed. Sure, there are tons of R-rated films that we shouldn’t see (and I’ve repented of watching). But there are some that we, frankly, should see. Films like “Saving Private Ryan” would fall into this category. Granted, “Saving Private Ryan” wasn’t a horror film, but try telling a D-Day veteran that what he experienced wasn’t horror…
- There’s nothing of redeeming value in these movies. In many such films, this would be correct. But occasionally a horror film/franchise comes along that does have redeeming value. The Saw franchise is one of those films.
I agree with most of the above reasons. We do need to be discerning in what we watch. We cannot see movies as merely entertainment. There are certainly movies Christians have no business watching (especially those in the back of the store behind the curtain). But does a franchise like Saw really having redeeming value? Should a Christian really watch something like that?
Again, the answer is maybe. More on that tomorrow.