Think Christian: “Looking for Good Samaritans in John Carpenter’s Halloween

I know I’m posting this after October 31st, but because the David Gordon Green/Danny McBride Halloween is still doing well in theaters, I hope it still has relevancy.

For me, the scariest part of the original Halloween occurs when Laurie Strode (Jamie Lee Curtis) pounds on her neighbor’s doors, looking for sanctuary from the pursuing Michael Meyers. Instead of sheltering a needy teenage girl, neighbor after neighbor turns out the light on her, leaving her to her fate.

Scenes like this illustrate what horror movies do best: they take normal parts of our lives and reveal the anxieties underneath them, displaying onto the screen our fears about what happens to children at summer camps, that our mistakes as parents will come back to haunt our parents, that we are not the good people we think we are.

For Think Christian, I wrote a bit about how Carpenter’s Halloween plays with ideas about neighborliness and about how those are the same fears working in the familiar Parable of the Good Samaritan:

The parable of the Good Samaritan somewhat mirrors Halloween, in that it too addresses a fear of others and asks what it means to be a neighbor. Most wouldn’t consider the parable a horror tale, but remember what happens in it: the senseless violence of random thieves robbing, stripping, and beating a Jewish man; the neglect of the fellow Jews who ignore the man; the creeping terror of a Samaritan—a perceived enemy—discovering his helpless body.

You can read the whole thing here. Check it out, and let me know what horror movie best captures your mundane fears!

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