If anyone knows me even the slightest, they would then know just how much I absolutely love horror films. Not the trashy ones either (looking at you Saw franchise). I love the genuine films that build the anticipation with suspense, horror, and the eerie atmosphere. Over the past few years, horror films have turned drastically whenever it comes to quality. No longer is it about the risqué and ambitious characters or the cheesy, gory effects. It has taken a much more artistic approach to how the stories of the genre can be portrayed. In short, horror films actually mean something now.
Take a look at Jordan Peele’s Get Out or Us (the latter being one of my favorite films this year). Both films are regarded as one of the best films of their respective years. Not just one of the best horror films, but one of the best films period. Get Out was nominated for Best Picture, Best Director, Best Actor, and Best Original Screenplay, the latter Peele left the awards winning.
Why am I bringing this up? Because of such a reimagination of the horror genre, modern-day themes have been given a more horrific approach. Writers and film geniuses are targeting common themes and concepts of our world with their horror tropes, thus highlighting the actual horror that is taking place in our world today. Race, class, anxiety, depression, all have been themes of our modern world that have been given the horror approach.
What about the themes of Christianity? What is so horrific about Christianity? Well, that is the point of the entire story. Hardly any Christians authors, to my understanding, have taken the ideas of Jesus and have applied them to their horror tales. Frank E. Peretti (The Oath, This Present Darkness, Pierce the Darkness) is one author that has taken such an approach. While targeting the real horrors of the world with the application of the redemption that is found in the resurrected Christ, the horror genre, in my opinion, may then be the perfect genre to share the story of Christ fictionally.
In short, the reason why The Red Man: A Collection from The Pit is so intense, dark, and sometimes horrific is due to the reality of our world. It is intense. It is dark. It is horrific. However, in the midst of a horrific world, we have a terrific hero. Speaking about the reality of the horror in our world should then cause a reaction to look for hope, even if that hope is beyond our visualized world. The intensity of the novel, in the end, correctly highlights the eternal hope in Christ Jesus, the everlasting hope.