Posts Tagged ‘Tolkien’

Car CD for May 2011

May 21, 2011

So, I have just been putting my iThing on shuffle, but Eowyn started asking if there could be a new CD with a hand full of songs. So, if filled it in and here is the fist full of songs we came up with it.

As I listen to the cd, I realize that lots of this is based on books we are reading.

1) Are you going to Narnia (sample)

The 2nd Chapter of.Acts
2) Every Grain of Sand –

 ghost something (Bob Dylan Cover)

3) Bumping up and down (Red Wagon) –

Singable Songs For The Very Young

Raffi

4) Ponies need Shoeing

The Hobbit; Rankin Bass Production; Complete original soundtrack including Dialogue, Music and Songs; 2x LP boxed Set; Booklet; 1977

Glenn Yarbrough

the hobbit soundtrack ( The Hobbit; Rankin Bass Production)

5) Teddy Bear Picnic

6) Old Mac Donald had a Band

Singable Songs For The Very Young

Raffi

7) There aint no bugs on me

8) Down By The Bay / Brush your teeth

Singable Songs For The Very Young

Raffi

9) The Cow by Robert Louis Stevenson – Sean McKinley – Librivox

10) Cows

Philadelphia Chickens

Sandra Boynton / The Seldom Herd

11) Crocodile Fishin’ –

Wild Anamalz

Beau Young

12) 5 Green and Speckled Frogs

Singable Songs For The Very Young

Raffi

13) Less frogs

14) Even less frogs

15) The Witch is dead (Get it through your head) / Something strange is happening to me – )

The 2nd Chapter of.Acts

16) Here Lies A Tree

Pooh

Three Cheers for Pooh

17) Hosanna in the highest – ? – Scripture Rock

18) Psalm 23

1959

Soul-Junk

19) Aslan is killed

The 2nd Chapter of.Acts

20) Lift Up Your Hearts

Christian Songs

Joy Electric

21) Fox in Sox Rap

22) Ill-M-I  (Soul Junk Cover)

Welcome to Diverse City

Tobymac

23) And So It Goes

Dad

Breakfast With Am

24) Icky

Everything Was Beautiful and Nothing…

Breakfast With Amy

25) Son Dancer

Into The Son

Dakoda Motor Co.

26) All good generals

Into The Son

Dakoda Motor Co.

27) Dandelions

Proof That the Youth Are Revolting

Five Iron Frenzy

28) Undignified

Chris Tomlin

545

29) Ron Paul Anthem

30) New World

Music Inspired By The Chronicles of …

TobyMac

31) Bilbo’s Last Song

The Lord of the Rings

J.R.R. Tolkien

So as you look at this list, you might figure out that some of this came thanks to the ad intensive web page http://www.video2mp3.net/ Then a bunch more were brought to the computer by an Ion TTUSB Turntable with USB Record (This thing works great. It just plugs in to your computer and the program records the audio and splits up the tracks)

And, as you may have guessed, lately we have been  reading:

The Chronicles of Narnia

C. S. Lewis

Lady in the Water

M. Night Shyamalan

The Annotated Hobbit

J.R.R. Tolkie

A Child’s Garden of Verses

Robert Louis Stevenson

Pooh Library original 4-volume set

A. A. Milne,

Psalm Twenty-Three

Tim Ladwig

Fox in Socks Book & CD

Dr. Seuss

and of course!

Bilbo’s Last Song

J.R.R. Tolkien

Hanna Q&E Review Show

April 20, 2011


Check out the review for

The theme music is “My Darling Whippoorwill” by Mortal from their album “Wake”

Daffodilie Dash DJing

May 27, 2010
GSS had their Daffodilie Dash. That’s a bunch of kids running in a big circle in the field next to the park. I played weird up beat music at them to influence them to run away, or keep running in circles.
Here is my Play list
  • Chariots of Fire Theme

    Chariots Of Fire

    Vangelis

  • Swing the Mood

    Jive Bunny

  • In the mood by Chickens ?
  • Old Dan Tucker – The DeZurik (Cackle) Sisters – Checkerboard Squares Radio Show Recordings
  • Boom 

    Satellite

    P.O.D.

  • Speed Turtle – Brian Wilson

    Blue Moo 

  • That’s Amore 

    Babe

    Dean Martin

  • Mae East 

    Dreamer

    Continentals

    (Steve Taylor)

  • Kum By Ya 

    The History of God and Man

    Paul Aldrich

  • Runaway 

    Hoodwinked

    Fleming and John’s Myspace page says:

     You can download a bootleg of their Awesome “Hoodwinked” Soundtrack here

  • Kum By Ya – Paul Aldrich
  • Cutest Lil’ Dragon

    Tri-Danielson, Vol. 2

    Danielson Famile

  • Zaceus was a wee little man  

    The Word & Song Bible

    Stephen Elkins

  • Kum By Ya
  • Ill-m-i 

    1956

    Soul-Junk

  • Linus and Lucy 

    A Charlie Brown Christmas

    Vince Guaraldi Tri0

  • Charlie Brown 

    The End Is Now

    L.A. Symphony

  • New Way To Be Human 

    Learning to Breathe

    Switchfoot

  • Anima Fundi 

    Grunt

    Sandra/ Boynton

  • Happy Birthday – Frank Sinatra
  • Kum By Ya
  • Birthday 

    Forefront Records

    Kevin Smith

  • Willy Wonka Theme 

    Charlie & The Chocolate Factory

    Danny Elfman

  • Kum By Ya
  • Pump up the volume – Marrs
  • Get Down/Dive/All Fall Down

    Smash Ups

    Audio Adrenaline; Steven Curtis Chapman, G.R.I.T.Z.

  • Heaven

    Adventures of the O.C. Supertones

    O.C. Supertones

  • Take me to your leader Space Mix (The Space mix is not on the album, It was on a Radio CD I have from college.)

    Take Me to Your Leader

    Newsboys

  • Plymouth Rock

    SMiLE

    Brian Wilson

  • 303 Wise man 

    Return

    Prodigal Sons

  • (Yes, I should have played “The Final Countdown” at the end when I was telling them how much time they had left… Bummer)
  • At this point the “Dashing” was over and this was the sound track to the clean up effort

  • Little House on the Prairie theme

    Little House on the Prairie

  • Lucy Meets Mr. Tumnus

    The Chronicles of Narnia

    Harry Gregson

  • Zurgs Planet

    Toy Story 2

    Randy Newman

  • Ill-m-i instrumental Soul Junk 1943
  • (Hobbit Trot) 

    …Think the Dancers Mad

    Madison Greene

  • Ballad of Davy Crockett / Farewell “Tennessee” Ernie Ford
  • Spiderman theme
  • Melt Down Instrumental

    Meltdown

    Steve Taylor

  • Learn your lessons well instrumental–  (Ripped from the dvd)

    Godspell

  • Old Man Tucker
  • Did I step on your trumpet 

    Ships

    Danielson

  • Tribal Call

    …Think the Dancers Mad

    Madison Greene

  •  

    …of course when we were getting ready and when we were all done, I just played Soul Junk’s 1960 album.
    For more info about the actual Daffodilie Dash
    http://thegoodshep.org/

    The New Car CD for the Kids

    April 19, 2010

    This is what Dad, the three year old and the one year old are listening to these days.

    Exodus 3 – faith comes by hearing

    chip the glasses / over the misty mountains – the hobbit soundtrack (amazon The Hobbit; Rankin Bass Production)

    [Beth] Javanese – Soul Junk 1960 

    Hoodwinked surf theme –  

    Hoodwinked

    I Use The Potty

    Greatest Hits, Vol. 1-2

    forever sweet – Will Carson with Fear and Trembling – Angels Weeping

    Day by Day –

    Godspell

    Stephen Schwartz

    10,000 Years (amazing grace)

    Reborn

    Stryper

    Three Little Birds – Bob Marly

    I Love You – clip from Fancy Nancy (Unabridged) 

    Fancy Nancy

    I’m a Lion – – BEAU YOUNG WILD ANAMALZ

    Onward Christian Soldiers – – God Bless America

    The Whole Duty Of Children – 

    A Child’s Garden of Verses

    Robert Louis Stevevenson

    Parable of the Gracious Master –  (Ripped from the dvd)

    Godspell

    I carry the Tray Like a fancy weightier 

    clip from Fancy Nancy (Unabridged) 

    Fancy Nancy

    Poopsmith song –  Over the Rhine 

    For the Kids III

    Fox in Socks read by David Hyde Pierce

    Green Eggs and Ham and Other Serving…

    Dr Seuss

    (I stuck a chunk from Ill-m-i in the middle because I always put that line in when I read it as well)

    Exodus 4 faith comes by hearing

    My ABC (Though, my 3 year old has let me know that she prefers Cutest Lil’ Dragon )

    Fetch the Compass Kids

    The Danielson Familie

    This Little Light Of Mine 

    You Are My Flower

    Elizabeth Mitchell

    Market Square 

    Now We Are Six

    A. A. Milne

    Holy Holy Holy 

    Speedwood Hymns

    Lost And Found

    Light of the world 

    Godspell

    Stephen Schwartz

    Learn Your Lessons Well 

    Godspell

    Stephen Schwartz

    Half Way Down 

    Now We Are Six

    A. A. Milne

    Cottleston Pie – ThreeCheersForPooh

    Grand old duke of york

    Let’s Move

    Studio Mouse

    Isn’t It funny – ThreeCheersForPooh

    Lines and Squares 

    Now We Are Six

    A. A. Milne

    The Lamp Of The Body 

    –  (Ripped from the dvd)

    Godspell

    Teddy Bear

    Now We Are Six

    A. A. Milne

    Ephesians 6:1-4  faith comes by hearing

    Children Obey your parents 

    The Word & Song Bible

    Stephen Elkins

    When the Saints go marching in –

    Christopher’s Top Picks of the Decade (1/1/2000-1/1/2010)

    January 28, 2010

    It took all month but here are

    Christopher’s Top 20 Picks (with 3 “Ties and an Honorable Mention) of the Decade

    (1/1/2000-1/1/2010)

    1. Lord Of The Rings (1 movie in 3 parts)
    2. The Passion of the Christ
    3. Unbreakable
    4. tie – DISTRICT 9 Pride and Prejudice 
    5. The Exorcism of Emily Rose  
    6.  Signs
    7. To End All Wars
    8. The Village
    9. The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe 
    10. Lars and the Real Girl 
    11. Luther 
    12. B000JLTR8QM. Night Shyamalan’s Lady in the Water
    13. Napoleon Dynamite
    14. In The Bedroom
      Note: “The Bedroom” in the title refers to a compartment of a Lobster Trap
    15. Man On Fire
    16. I Am Legend
    17. The Lost Skeleton of Cadavra
    18. Phone Booth
    19. tie Nanny McPhee Up
    20. tie Danielson a Family Movie (or, Make A Joyful Noise HERE) Food Inc

    Honorable Mention

    Bella theatrical one sheet

    Bella

    Fireproof

    This film was not the best done, or the most moving. Several films not on this list were better films. (The Spider Man films, Inglorious B——-s, Juno, Iron Man and even  Twilight, were all better films.) Still, a church got together and made a good film with a great message, and I think that should be applauded.

    (Why You Should Go See) DISTRICT 9 – Question Entertainment Christian Movie REVIEW (spoilers)

    September 28, 2009

     

    district9_poster-689x1024

    District 9 

    Signs

    The Boy vs. The Cynic

    John Reuben

    Did you see the District 9 Tribute over at “Lunch Bag Art“?

    C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia Prince Caspian Q&E Review Show

    January 20, 2009

    Also, you can read the full review/analysis of The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe

    ABIGAIL ROONEY’s jewelry from www.liasophia.com/abigailrooney

    B00005JPH2 The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

    B000HC2LVM The Chronicles of Narnia – The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

    0061231657 The Chronicles of Narnia Book Set

    0066238501 The Chronicles of Narnia in one volume

    M. Night Shyamalan’s Lady in the Water

    December 7, 2008

    J.R.R. Tolkien wrote an essay called “ON FAIRY-STORIES”. It was Tolkien’s ideas on what fairy tales were and how they can effect, or impact, our lives. He then wrote a story about an artist called “Leaf by Nigel” to illustrate the concepts in the his essay. Having read “On Fairy-Stories“, M. Night’s fairy tale and film, could have been re-titled “Lady by Shyamalan .” You could read this review, or you could just read On Fairy-Stories and then go see the “Lady in the Water”.

    What Is It?

    As with Shyamalan’s “Signs” and “Unbreakable” this movie is about the genre invading our day to day life. This is a Fantasy Fairy tale. It’s about sea nymphs who inspire people to use there God-given gifts. But there are monsters whom can sometimes hurt the nymphs when they are out of the water. With the bed time story read under the opening credits, the invasion begins. A local apartment foreman/janitor (Paul Giamatti ) discovers a sea nymph named…. “Story“ (Bryce Dallas Howard who played Ivy in The Village) lives in his pool.

    How Was It?

    In my humble opinion, it was wonderful, with both meanings of the word. The bedtime story itself seems a bit silly at times, but it’s supposed to be something made up by someone’s grandmother. A more sophisticated tale would have taken away from the point of the movie. The characters are fun and interesting, and you learn to care about them very fast. Though many of them represent something, they still come off as real.

    Is It Good For Children?

    This movie is scary at times, capturing the true dark nature of the “un-Disney-fied” fairy tales. For some children this could inspire bad dreams and the fear of bumps in the lawn. (That’s what the monsters look like when they are hiding.) There is also a teen girl who is, at times, dressed inappropriately. She is not very “alluring” or shown as positive, but is lacking as a positive role model for young girls. We also saw more of the sea nymph’s legs than we needed. Finally, they use God as a cuss word a couple of times.

    Though, when the nymph first comes to the Janitors house, he is not sure why a young lady is there, and tells her that he might be old fashion, but he does not want her to spend the night. The above are things to consider, however, it is a good story with a good message.

    You can check Screenit.com for a complete break down of what is on the screen.

    What About Spiritual Issues?

    Spirituality is more at the forefront of things then in “The Village,” but less than “Signs.” Still there is a lot here, and it’s good stuff. The story is something that inspires us to be what God intended. To fight for others; to give over our pain; to grow; and even be sacrificial. There are also a lot of little comments to suggest that God is working in this.

    From here on in, all the Spiritual information will be SPOILERS!

    The main character was a doctor who gave that up when someone broke into his house and killed his family. He does not share that with anyone. He then finds (and gives) healing by admitting his loss, and his disconnect from God because he saw God in them, not unlike Mel Gibson‘s character in “Signs.”

    There are also “Three creatures with one name” who are supposed to live in the trees. They are supposed to stop the monsters that attack nymphs when the monsters break the rules and attack when they are not supposed to. After the Nymph is attacked when she should not be, the creatures do not come. The janitor comments on the lack of justice when the “Three in one” doesn’t help. It turns out that it wasn’t a lack of justice, but that the human characters were not doing what they needed to do and that’s why they did not see the justice come from above. These creatures are though to be evil because they may have killed there parents. All we know about them for sure is that they are the rule keepers. There is also a great character who is exercising half his body. His right arm is 4 inches thicker than his left. He calls himself a scientist and describes working out as his experient. Like many scientists, when you are just looking at the physical world you will only be a half developed human. At the end he finds that there is more than physical strength.

    The nymph reveals a list of people who need to be assembled to help her. Their qualities are listed, but the main characters need to figure out who fits each role. They mistake a group of burned out metal heads for the group they needed,What they really needed was a loving group of sisters. So though the group of dead beat friends looked right, they were just a poor substitute for a loving family.

    A writer (played by M. Knight Shyamalan himself) is prophesied over. He is told that he should write the book he’s writing because it will inspire people and change the world in positive ways, but that he will be killed for the things he writes in his book. He is left with the decision to be martyred for doing what he is called to do, or to be safe, but not fulfill his calling. There is also a man who lives in a depression, as he only sees the bleak reality in this world, but longs to return to the faith of a child. There is so much to learn in this film.

    What Is Your Recommendation?

    Like I said in the beginning, read J.R.R. Tolkien’s “On Fairy Tales.” Go see “Lady in the Water.” Then go out for dinner and have a great conversation about magical stories inspiring us to seek God and His will. This is why I added it to my list of “Must See” movies.

    Bonus Question:

    If it’s so good, why are all the reviews so bad?

    (other than this one of course)

    I think there are two reasons.

    One, the movie is not about the fairy tale it self but about how we deal with fairytales. So focusing on the fairy tale will cause you to miss the point.

    (Just like: most people who didn’t like “Signs” say the stuff about the aliens was dumb. That is because “Signs” is not about the aliens, it’s about the family.)

    Two, A minor theme in the film is “People who review movies, by and large, are idiots who don’t understand movies.” It’s a very rare person who can be told something like that and still enjoy what they are watching. Usually it’s only the Christian’s who can have what they believe slammed for 92 minuets and still say they liked the movie.

    Of corse, there could also be those who heard the message and actulay grew with the chalenge. But I doubt it.

    Did you know that “Citizen Kane,” heralded by the critics and film teachers as the best film ever, opened to bad reviews.

    The Chronicles of Narnia: The Lion The Witch and the Wardrobe

    November 13, 2008

    chronicles_of_narnia_the_lion_the_witch_and_the_wardrobeWhat Is It?

    Do you need this part this time?

    C.S. Lewis – One of the greatest Christian writers of all time. The Chronicles of Narnia – His critically acclaimed and beloved fantasy series for children. Now the first of seven is a movie. If you are not breathless by now, you have missed something.

    How Was It?

    This is a fantasy kid’s film, but in the words of C.S. Lewis “I am almost inclined to set it up as a canon that a children’s story which is enjoyed only by children is a bad children’s story. ..”

    This is not Lord of the Rings” in the intensity of battles or hard edge, though it is reminiscent in it’s meticulous eye for detail, it’s seamless special effects and it’s creation of a beautiful work of art that is
    a credit to the work it’s derived from. Tilda Swinton as the White Witch was just an amazing thing.

    Didn’t C.S. Lewis Say That He Did Not Want This Movie Made?

    Both Lewis and his friend J.R.R. Tolkien hoped that their stories would never be turned into movies. The reason was not, as some would hold to, that they wanted to egotistically hold to the power of ownership, or the sanctity of books. It is my understanding that they both saw theater and movies as unable to be realistic enough to capture people into their worlds. The fantasy effects they saw were so unable to make you believe that what you see is real that it only offered a constant reminder that this is not real. This would just keep the audience from actually entering the world the way they could when reading it and seeing it in there mind. (If you don’t believe me, try watching the BBC / Wonder Works version of Narnia from the 1980’s)

    Here we have a photo realistic lion that talks. You do not giggle at the riggings but gaze in awe at the illusion so well preformed it allows you to forget that it is an illusion. My opinion is that neither Lewis nor Tolkien would look at the recreations of there worlds and raise any objections based on their original fear of their books blossoming into film.

    Was It Good For Kids?

    There is some violence and some brutal looking monsters. (Spoiler) The execution of Aslan is very creepy, though instead of showing us the knife marry into his flesh, we get a more intimate and emotional shot of the great lion’s eyes widening and then shutting in defeat.

    You can get a complete breakdown of what is on the screen at Screenit.com.

    If your child is at the maturity level where this film would be entertaining and not disturbing, then it’s not only good for kids, it’s an excellent introduction to fantasy. The fantasy world in this film, is not our reality
    with the hidden magic revealed, but rather, a separate world that the children enter into, out of our own. In Narnia they find a sort of who’s who of the fantasy of man. From witches and elves to the collective creatures of Greek mythology, they are all represented among the ranks of this land.

    Entering through the wardrobe becomes very much like opening a book. You can see all of time’s collective imagination within the pages. You can live a life time in another county, but only be gone a few hours from our own. You can see and experience things you have not or could not experience here.

    Still, like any great fantasy, it comes down to “what can you bring out of that world into our own?” This question is artfully heightened by the idea of the magical land being something we travel to and from with it’s own time and nature. We can see within the scope of the story that talking animals, harpies, minotaurs and magic do not exist in our world. The children exit Narnia looking much the same as when they first entered.
    What do they have that they didn’t before; the thrill of the fantastic and the life lessons of the story. They come back looking the same, but acting very different. This is a healthy view of Fantasy. It connects with us on a level of longing, but brings to us lessons about the real world. This will not only aid in the enjoyment of these alternate realities, but it will help people to get more out of the stories with positive messages and protect themselves from the ones with negative ideals.

    C.S. Lewis has Aslan himself explain this concept to the children in “The Voyage of the Dawn Treader.” This book end’s with Lucy being sad that she has to go back to her own world and no longer see Aslan:

    “But you shall meet me, dear one” said Aslan.

    “Are—are you there too, Sir?” said Edmund.

    “I am,” said Aslan. “But there I have another name. You must learn to know me by that name. This was the very reason why you were brought to Narnia, that by knowing me here for a little, you may know me
    better there.”

    What About Spiritual Issues?

    This world offers us many spiritual lessons. The first (that Lucy will need to learn over again in future adventures) is that we must stick to what we know is true even when others refuse to believe. She has been to the other world, had an experience with Narnia, but is tormented by those who just think it’s too wonderful to be true. Then there is the lesson of authority. Most of our theaters are populated by celluloid children whose adventures teach them that rebelling against the adults and authorities will bring victory. Here we have a refreshing contrast. Not only are we shown the value of authority and doing what is asked of you, we see the contrast of incorrect authority. We do not have the rebellion, but we do not have the equally evil opposite of blind obedience to whoever is around. We find a great leader in Aslan, worthy of allegiance. We also see an abuse of power and authority for control and personal gain within the White Witch.

    Rising even higher, we come to the idea of (spoiler) self sacrifice. These scenes, where the just is given up for the unjust, are telling and emotional. Few films achieve an alliance between the message and the feelings. This also leads us to the character of Aslan. Not only did C.S. Lewis mean him to be a type of Christ, the film seems to use visuals and dialog to support this idea even more.

    (Spoiler) After Aslan’s resurrection, the lines are changed from the book. Where the book we find out that there was other magic that the witch didn’t know about, in the movie we find out that her evil was blinding her to the deeper meaning of the magic that she knows about. There are many spiritual themes illustrated here. They all seem to be done well.

    What Is Your Recommendation?

    As a great fantasy adventure, as a moral tale, as an intro to understanding fantasy, as a spiritual parable, this film is more than worth watching. The fact that it is able to do all of the above, effortlessly, while sucking us into a world beyond our own but echoing of our own, makes this one of the best films. I hope you get to share this with your family and that it sparks many discussions on all the levels that it addresses.

    All this and KIDS that can ACT!

    (If you would like to learn more about the nature of Fairy Stories, I suggest the “On Fairy Stories” by J.R.R. Tolkien. You can find it in the Tolkien Reader.

    C.S. Lewis’ The Chronicles of Narnia Prince Caspian Q&E Review Show

    B00005JPH2 The Chronicles of Narnia: Prince Caspian

    B000HC2LVM The Chronicles of Narnia – The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe

    0061231657 The Chronicles of Narnia Book Set

    0066238501 The Chronicles of Narnia in one volume

    A Look at Horror, Monster and Scary Movies

    October 11, 2008

    It’s beginning to look a lot like….

     

    We are in an odd season. Here we are celebrating things that “go bump in the night”. TV and movies have joined the festivities. So, with little hope of finding “Harvest Party the Movie”, what is a Christian to do?  

    If we look in the Bible, what do we see in regards to evil and monsters?

    From Cain and Abel to the martyring of the two witnesses in the book of Revelation, we see all manner of evil acts by all manner of people. The prophet Daniel sees a vision of monsters attacking the world, John sees a great dragon chase a woman to devour her baby.  Even the living creators that encircle the throne of God have a monstrous edge to them. So if the Bible does not shy away from evil, and even monsters like demons, dragons and Satan himself, what do we do with modern depictions of them?
     

    First, the Bible tells us in Ephesians 5:11 “Have nothing to do with the fruitless deeds of darkness, but rather expose them.”   As Christians, it is not only our duty to avoid participation in evil, but to show evil for what it truly is.

    Film writer/director Scott Derrickson told World Magazine “Horror is the genre with the most sensitive moral compass. No other genre defines good and evil better. No other genre allows for spiritual and religious  ntent more than horror…The danger of the genre is that it can easily cross over into exploitation”   So what is being shown to us in the movies?

    In “The Screwtape Letters” CScott Derrickson.S. Lewis said that demons (the teachers of evil ideas 1 Timothy 4:1) either want us to believe that they do not exist or be obsessed with them. We see this in film today. Most movies that include monsters and images of evil are either harmless because we do not believe in “real” evil. Movies like Scary Movie” and “Casper” just use these images as something to laugh or cue at. Or, in “Tim Burton’s Nightmare Before Christmas“, darkness is just there for goth teens to say “cool” under their breath. Then there is the other side, focused too much. Movies like “Freddie vs. Jason” and “Scream” present killings and evil in a pornographic manner for us to revel in.  

    So do we ever see anyone get it right?

    Movies that present evil as something hideous and terrible, and at the same time, not something to revel in? J.R.R. Tolkien said that the best “fairy” stories are not primarily concerned with the fairies themselves, but he people in the stories. The magical element helps us to see a bit of the human condition. The same is true of the best monster movies. It turns out that monsters of the 20’s, 30’s, and 40’s  were just that. The idea of many was that turning from God and His natural order produces monsters.

    Dracula  was a parody of Jesus, an anti-Jesus who was stopped by the power of Christ. It was a graphic llustration of the biblical fact that those who are living in their sins are dead, though they live. (1 Timothy 5:6) Frankenstein was trying to take the place of God and create a person in his own image. Dr. Jekyll was trying to separate himself from his evil side without God. Instead he created and fed a monster who was a personification of his “fleshly lusts” (thus the name “Hyde”). Movies made about these characters don’t allways stick to the source material, and thus the original symbolism. (While the 1940’s version of Dr. Jekyll and Mr. Hyde expanded on the Biblical symbolism, “Mary Riley” is  Jekyll and Hyde story that tones down the human nature – sin stuff.) Some just take the monsters and use them for cheap thrills with no real meaning (“League of Extraordinary Gentlemen”, “Van Helsing”).  

     

    You can see a biblical use of monster symbolism in the vampire flick “The Addiction.” Here being a vampire is only the full realization of your sin nature. A philosophy student (played by Lili Taylor) deals with the problem of evil in the world as she fights her longing for blood now that she is a vampire. She goes through every philosophy of dealing with her sin nature from Buddhism (with Christopher Walken) to Hedonism
    (one of the grossest scenes in the film). Finally (Spoiler) with quotes from “R.C. Sprol” she takes communion and Jesus Christ is the answer to vampirism and our sin nature.  

     

    In “Deceived” a group of scientists, clergy, and military men are trying to contact aliens. Here they are trying to use these communications from the aliens as a source of salvation outside of God (though the more they interact with the alien’s messages, the more they are driven to horrible and sinful acts from greed/lust to
    murder).  (Spoiler) The source of the transmissions is demons and Biblical salvation is the only way to protect yourself from its influence.  

     

    In M. Night Shyamalan‘s “The Village” the people are surrounded by woods where horrible creatures live, but  he movie is really an experiment in human nature. It explores the question: “Is society the cause of evil, or is man inherently sinful?”.

     

    In his earlier film, “Signs“, the monsters are aliens in the sky. As Mel Gibson and the rest of the cast worry and wonder about the creatures’ existence, M. Night’s movie asks the question: “If there is something evil coming to you, is God there to take care of you?”.  

     

    Aforementioned filmmaker Scott Derrickson invites the audience to consider if it’s possible that a spiritual world could exist in the courtroom drama/demonic thriller “The Exorcism of Emily Rose”.  

     

    Then, on the other end of the scale, there is the Frank Perettie adaptation of “The Hang Man’s Curse“. A highly trained Christian family takes on a school that is plagued by cult activities and its curse. The feel is on a par with “Buffy/Angel” style production and speaks to the issues of suicide and the sanctity of life.

    Also from Perettie, The Visitation is a “direct to video” horror… e r… creepy film. A Midwest town is put on the map when miraculous signs start invading their benign existence. From supernatural healings to the likeness of Jesus’ face in the stained tile of the bathroom wall, everyone is touched by the accompanying message : “He Is Coming.” Revival meetings start. One pastor (Randy Travis) believes this may be demonic. One former pastor (Martin Donovan) believes this may be linked to the ritualistic murder of his wife. One mom  (Kelly Lynch) is fearful her son (Noah Segan) is in danger and the son, along with most the town, believes that a messiah has come for them… and maybe he has.

     

    You could go back a couple more years to “Bless the Child.” Here a little girl is anointed by God to lead many to Him. Thus a demonically powered cult (with a “new age” cover) tries to destroy the girl. It’s a b movie with
    it’s heart in the right place. The problem with this one is that it is not clear if the girl is a “type” of Christ Biblically pointing to Him with similarities) or a “new Christ” (blasphemously replacing Him).

     

    Finaly, we have “Pirates of the Caribbean – The Curse of the Black Pearl”. Here we get a ghost story with pirates, and Johny Depp… how cool is that. Once again, going against God creates monsters. There are plenty of refernces to Biblical Christianity to say we are going with that world view. The Pirates have stolen gold from heathen gods, and now, they have wealth and power, but no pleasure. The greed for wealth has poisoned everything else, creating creatures that are not dead, but they are not really living. There is also
    a great conversation that goes in very well with Matthew 6:21.

    What is Your Recommendation?

    Maybe this October 31, you will want to have a little “truth about evil” film festival while you and your friends enjoy popcorn and snacks, as you hand out full-sized candy bars (with invitations to your church youth group and “Do You Want To Know God Personally” books strapped to them) to any spooks that happen to interrupt, as they pass by. Who knows, a “Hey, whatcha watchin’?” may turn into one of the most important conversations of their life.