Family Fears: A Primer

Spookley the Square Pumpkin Halloween Kids Movie
Nightbooks and Family-Friendly Horror Movies

Over the years, Cinematic Doctrine (purposely or not) has covered and recommended more than a few spooky movies that could add some much-needed creepy ambiance to our listeners’ Halloween season. Many of these also happen to be great “intro to horror” or family friendly flicks that make sense to show even the little pitchers of the family. 

Whether we’re talking the “fun, preteen horror” of Scary Stories to Tell in the Dark, a classic Disney kids perennial like Halloweentown, or the stop-motion spookfest ParaNorman—we’ve drifted into these waters before. Heck, if you’ve listened long enough you may be able to tell it’s a favorite subject of both our fabulous co-hosts. 

This month, as a new web writer for the site, I asked Mel if he’d be interested in publishing a series of articles covering spooky movies for the whole family. I’m a dad of an almost-one-year-old this October, after all, so the subject of sharing my passion for the slightly darker side of cinema has been heavy on my mind. My daughter already watches some of the stuff I like—albeit in the background while she toddles or crawls around making a huge mess of my movie collection. She’ll tolerate some Godzilla flicks, Laurel and Hardy shorts, and even a few Roger Corman schlockfests of the 50s. But what if I wanna watch something just a tad scary?

ParaNorman – How it Feels to be Weird and Lonely

Now, if we want to debate whether or not horror movies are even okay to watch as Christians, you can check out our official opinion on that by reading Melvin’s article on the topic. My opinions, personally, are maybe even a little more nuanced. If you check out the added Patreon content on the Seventh Seal episode, you’ll hear a few of those thoughts. But summed up: horror is nothing but a genre or format. That can be good or bad depending on the circumstance. The hard thing about being a Christian is that the answers to certain ethical issues can actually be pretty subjective to how something affects your walk with Christ. Obviously, what the Bible states as sin is sin—but on smaller issues like this? I think it’s up to one’s conscience to decide. Let the Spirit lead you—He’ll tell you what to do. 

For me, though, right now, I think a little spookage is appropriate this October. So, if you’re interested in learning about some legitimate classics that you just might want to show your little ladies and fellas, join me on my trip through the spooky parts of town! Grab those Scooby Snacks and get ready to take a creepy trip down the corridors of time!

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Stephen McFerron Christian Podcast Cinematic Doctrine

Stephen McFerron likes movies. It’s that simple. From the lowest depths of the drive-in to the highest peaks of arthouse; the grand golden age to superhero spectacles, he’s all in! Since watching Gremlins and Jaws at a young age, Stephen has had an appetite for the strange and fantastic, as well as the old! If you’re here to explore movie history, or learn more about the best of today, Stephen’s your guide! He may even say something mildly profound along the way… if he’s lucky!

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