Leo Grin, at the conservative site Big Hollywood, complains of “Hollywood’s love affair with Satanism”:
“Modern Hollywood wants us to believe that supernatural forces of Darkness are frighteningly real, even while they dismiss all supernatural forces of Light as laughable superstition.
Hollywood is cheating in the horror movie arena just as they do in the political and social arenas. They are, by turns, scaring us and seducing us with deeply anti-Christian mythological monsters, while simultaneously mocking anyone who believes in the corresponding existence and power of supernatural forces for good. It’s yet another attempt to scrub any trace of God from our popular culture, spitting in the faces of the upwards of eighty percent of Americans who identify as Christians, and in the process disappointing the near one-hundred percent of theatergoers who don’t want to drop thirty bucks on a movie where villains and nihilism conquer all.”
Well, to me, an effective horror flick needs to either end with the monsters triumphing over the heroes or, even more effectively, it needs to end with the heroes believing themselves to have won, only to reveal that the monsters are, in some form, still around or could come back. Otherwise, it implies it or they have been thwarted, and therefore no longer could even theoretically pose a threat. You can’t really have a happy ending in a horror story; at best, you can have a temporary reprieve for the heroes.
Also, it has always seemed to me that this scenario Grin describes–real monsters, no God–would be the most effective to scare religious people. I mean, if the purpose of a horror movie is to be scared, what could be more effective for scaring a pious person than the idea that there is no God? (And, of course, I think the inverse would also be true: movies like The Exorcist or The Omen, which are premised on the idea the Bible is true, should be much more frightening to atheists than to Christians.)
Then again, I may be wrong about that. After all, the bleak, near-nihilism of H.P. Lovecraft’s cosmic horror stories–especially the Great Old Ones–was inspired partially because, as an atheist, he found the “Christian” horrors wholly unbelievable and hence, not scary.