Ridley Scott's 'Exodus Gods and Kings' features spectacular effects that bring home the horror, though the movie itself has already stirred controversy. Motion pictures inspired by religious practices walk a fine line, especially spiritually-tinged horror movies that might make the more devout shudder at their excesses.
The Sacrament (2014)
Ti West's The Sacrament investigates a remote compound where the inhabitants may be a bit too devoted to their spiritual leader.
The Wicker Man (2006)
Secular and religious moviegoers can agree on one thing: this remake with Nicolas Cage is horrifying! It's so unintentionally hilarious, it's easy to forget it's an argument in favor of paganism and human sacrifice.
The Omen (2006)
The same year brought a much better remake, with Liev Schreiber and Julia Stiles making the unhappy discovery that their son Damien is Not Like Other Kids (i.e. he's the Antichrist). Thick with religious dread, the movie plays quite well as a cautionary tale for parents who are a bit too anxious to have children.
Last year's remake established firmly that Carrie's mother had her own interpretation of the Bible and its teachings, which made life much more difficult for her daughter. In this twisted horror movie, the dysfunctional family that prays together might end up stabbing together.
The Believers (1987)
This thriller portrayed a Cuban religious cult in the most unflattering light possible, making them responsible for a serious of sickening child murders in New York City. Critic Roger Ebert called it "awesomely silly, tasteless and half-witted," and who are we to disagree?
The Serpent and the Rainbow (1988)
Wes Craven's movie about voodoo in Haiti is sober-minded and seriously creepy. Bill Pullman goes in search of the origin of the zombie legend, and instead wakes up buried alive, making a strong argument for staying home and watching horror movies if you want to learn about zombies.
The Seventh Sign (1988)
Turning to the trusty Book of Revelation -- perhaps the most adapted book in the Bible -- Demi Moore stars as a pregnant woman who rents the apartment over her garage to Someone Who Is Not What He Seems. This may be the first time a garage apartment played such an important role in the fate of the Earth.
The Prophecy (1995)
We love Christopher Walken, and he's rarely been in better form than he is here, as the angel Gabriel, who has decided to rebel against God. In a movie that also stars Viggo Mortensen as the Devil, this is spiritual horror that is sometimes silly and sometimes just plain creepy.
As the turn of the century loomed, it inspired a mad rush in Hollywood to make apocalyptic movies, which evidently left little time for anyone to research, say, what "stigmata" actually means. Religious inaccuracies aside, Patricia Arquette suffers grandly, with a great deal of pain and blood and nightmarish visions -- and the spectre of a diabolical Gabriel Byrne.
End of Days (1999)
Another 'end is nigh' thriller, Arnold Schwarzenegger plays an alcoholic bodyguard who must save the world by keeping Satan from impregnating a woman during the last hour of the millennium, or else the Antichrist will be conceived (see The Omen). Oh, dear; when you have to rely on the Terminator for salvation, you can be assured that many things will blow up in huge fireballs.
The Mist (2007)
Spirituality is a dividing force in this adaptation of Stephen King's novel, as the loudly-religious Mrs. Carmody (Marcia Gay Harden) advocates human sacrifice as a means to survive a monster attack. Remember that on your next trip to the supermarket...
The archangel Michael comes to Earth to save mankind from God, who has decided he has had His fill of horror movies that rip off the Bible and decided to exterminate the human race. After watching this ludicrous movie, we can't say we blame Him.
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