Do you get a thrill out of watching scary movies? Perhaps watching them keeps you up at night and freaks you out. You may be concerned about the morality aspect. Is it a sin to watch them?
In the podcast of Father Simon Says, Fr. Richard Simon addresses this question. He expresses that it’s essential to be aware of the content one consumes, as it can influence one’s mindset (“garbage in, garbage out”). He advises against allowing children to watch movies that glorify evil or could potentially give them nightmares. While he does not label watching these movies as inherently mortally sinful, he warns against films with suggestive content, especially modern violent movies that have sexual themes. The acceptability of watching such movies, according to Fr. Simon, depends on factors like the movie’s level of violence, the degree of fear it instills, and the viewer’s age and disposition. He shares personal experiences, mentioning that he wasn’t affected by watching “The Exorcist” but was disturbed by “Ordinary People,” a movie about neglected children. His main message is that while some might find horror movies harmless, it’s essential to be aware of their impact, especially on children.