I’ve made it no secret that I’m a Christian on my show, Victims and Villains. In my experience, horror has always frowned upon in such religious circles for numerous reasons. Largely, my guess, is that it centers around subjects we don’t fully understand or have misconceptions about. Honestly, that’s what drew me here to The Farsighted. My entry point was meeting Justin and Blaine, hosts of Grindhouse Messiah, and realizing maybe I didn’t have to feel bad about being a Christian and having a love for the horror genre. Perhaps it’s the misconceptions of the genre or rather the stigma that surrounds some of its subjects that makes horror is forbidden territory within the church. Or at least that’s how it feels sometimes in addressing it.
I grew up in the church. Equally, I grew up diving into the fascination of films. After my grandmother died, I turned to the movies and their history to cope. I was utterly fascinated with how these movies get made, how they digested along viewers, and some of the time, the “curses” that come with their subject matter. Back in the day, E! True Hollywood Story helped out beautifully with this new found obsession. Or coping mechanisms, however you define it. Due to the stigma, that I grew up with in the church, I wouldn’t go near certain movies. Specifically horror films that dealt with deeply rooted spiritual issues. Once again, emphasizing the subject of stigma surrounding such things.
Now as an adult, I’ve come to do my own research and education. I’ve come to the conclusion, sadly there are just some things we don’t talk about in church. Even if it is the Bible. That’s why I’m incredibly grateful for a series like Cursed Films. Its first season has now wrapped on Shudder. As the title implies, the series focuses on the films who have carved out a legacy for being cursed. Though the series is on the shorter side, it more than makes up for it. Recounting the superstitions surrounding The Exorcist, The Crow, Twilight Zone: The Movie, Poltergeist, and The Omen. Writer, director and creator, Jay Cheel, invites viewers on a ride that debunks much of the mysteries surrounding these five films for decades.
Cheel sits down with some of the most influential people who brought these tales to life. He doesn’t just stop there he also interviews legitimate witches to understand things from their point of view. As well as also their beliefs on such films. The Omen is a terrific example showcasing how Cheel goes above and beyond to help audiences understand the depth of these curses. Inviting on religious scholars, people in the church and once again the witches. Cheel compiles an all-encompassing narrative to give viewers the well-rounded and amazingly researched documentary possible. He doesn’t just stop at these films, oh no. For Poltergeist, he looks through the entire trilogy and showcases how the “curse” effects people who worked on the first three films in the franchise.Not necessarily how the curse is exclusive to the first film.
Overall, Cursed Films: Season One is honestly some of the best entertainment to come out of 2020. Which is ironic for as “cursed” as this year feels from COVID-19, quarantine, racial tension hitting an all-time high, murder hornets, and more. Jay Cheel creates an all-encompassing, enlightening and versatile first season that immediately will leave viewers wanting more. Cheel interviews a plethora of people from all walks of life to give the more intelluctual docuseries possible. Plus each episode is only a half hour. So it’s easy to digest or binge. Pick your poison. Whether you are a fan of film or horror, or both, this is an absolute series for you to invest your time into.