Jaws was perhaps best known for its successful attempt to scare the living wits out of all cinema goers at the time, as well as its suspenseful, terror-inspiring theme song. Daa na. Daa na. Daa na…

I know it did for me! I was 16 and lived in Mt. Isa, a town the middle of a desert. But after the movie I had to walk home in the dark…  that first sit on a toilet…  I was traumatised! The fear that this movie had instilled in me was incredible. To this day I hate swimming in the ocean… and it all stemmed from this movie.

With all the advances in cinematography since 1975, this movie is not that ‘realistic’. But if you were to show this to a younger child today, it would have the same affect. Why a younger child… well, children are exposed to a variety of experiences at an earlier age now days. Such is the innocence of childhood now.

Needless to say, movies do affect us in different ways. They are designed that way. We are getting more and more realistic as technology advances. It is hard to determine what is real and what is not, visually. Films like Avatar were on the table many years before the technology could pull it off. It makes what you see, believable.

I love movies. I’m also an adult that has traveled and experienced many aspects of life. I have established and formed a moral basis to work upon… but am smart enough to know that a movie can affect that moral compass of mine. I have to work at correcting what a movie may draw me into, or redefine a difference conclusion. For me it just strengthens my position. But for many, they fall for the influence.

Think that through from your own experience at the movies. Have you ever cried because a movie captured your emotions? Titanic, Pursuit of Happyness, The Notebook, Schindler’s List, Saving Private Ryan, Twilight… What made you laugh? The Life of Brian, Crocodile Dundee, Ground Hog Day, Wall-E… What scared you witless? Psycho, The Silence of the Lambs, Alien, Predator… Who hasn’t seen a movie that through the plausible story line an  injustice is righted through gratuitous violence? Rambo, Die Hard, The Godfather,  Terminator, Gran Torino…  And what delighted you from a pure technology feast of cinematography? Avatar, Lord of the Rings, The Matrix, Batman Begins, Harry Potter, Inception?

Movies are designed to solicit an emotion… be it fear, shock, laughter, sadness, tears, unbelief, anger.

Movies are designed to influence.

Why do companies pay big dollars for product placement in movies? Simply because it is a great and effective advertising medium. Take the movie Twilight. The advertisers were: American Eagle Outfitters, Chevrolet, CNN, Jeep, Nike, Porsche, Rainier, The North Face, University of Alaska, Volvo, Zippo. Yes, it works. That’s why they do it.

Movies are designed to indoctrinate.

Why so many American war movies?  War films have often been used as ‘flag-waving’ propaganda to inspire national pride and morale, and to display the nobility of one’s own forces while harshly displaying and criticising the villainy of the enemy, especially during war or in post-war periods. During WWII, the US President called the film makers to ‘help out to win the war’. Then there was 911 and the war on terrorism… sound familiar?

Why so many vampire movies, witchcraft movies, spiritual movies? Think about it.

But you know what really, I mean really, scares me?

When we allow a movie to change our reality … when we can not tell we are being influenced, manipulated or indoctrinated.

Just like Jaws influenced my young and impressionable mind and affected me, what movies affect you? Do you know?

Do you have an experience like mine? What subtle ways do you think movies affect us?

2 Comments

  1. I agree with your comments but right now, when considering such things as Twilight and Christians, the movies are just a means to an end. If I was counseling you pete,[ha ha] I would immediately invite you to think about asking the Lord to get rid of that spirit of fear left in you by Jaws so long ago and yet still active in your life re. ocean swimming it seems. It illustrates the point that Satan uses any means at his disposal to spread his message – OK most Christians can accept that – but what they don’t realise is the extra step after that, one that is far more powerful – the actual ability of a movie’s message – given the right legal conditions etc. – for the demonic to begin having influence on the Christian viewer’s life. This can be seen all over the world. Look at the Goths for example. Is that just a group of people who like wearing dark and different clothes and make up just for fashion reasons? They would be insulted for anyone to think “just that” instead imploring that it is a “lifestyle”. A lifestyle is a far more serious and powerful thing than just a fashion observation. A lifestyle can be examined far closer and the question asked by any mature or half-intelligent Christian of that lifestyle eg. Goth “is this a lifestyle honouring the Lord Jesus Christ, displaying humility, holiness and Godliness etc etc? Or is it one of rebellion, pride, disrespect and low self-esteem lived by a lot of sad and wounded and lost people? I don’t need to supply the answer to that but if it is more like the latter than the former, who is the author of these things?
    Whether it be a ouija board, a horror movie or pornography, Christians would mostly agree they shouldn’t indulge in such things. Satan, not being a fool, seeks then to deceive more easily by being more subtle and secretive and introducing his purposes gradually. As with Twilight and all the other fads over the years, entertainment, the god of this age, is a great way to kick it off – who doesn’t like to be entertained? And only an old fuddy-duddy wowser would complain about such things. Then, before you know it people are hooked all over the place including Christians because they want to see how it ends or whatever. This is the emotional pull and power of the movie and story-telling in general since the first story was told. But this is a means to an end; the end in Twilight-like ‘entertainment’ is different for non-believers and believers. For Christians it is to shift worldviews into one of sanitation of the occult and – let’s be honest – a denial of the Biblical verse that says “Christ is all sufficient”. And when ignorant Christians wrongly state lies such as “Oh but I’ve got the Holy Spirit in me so I am not affected” [thus I can do anything I like regardless of the consequences] then already, that statement alone is evidence of a victory for Satan. This Christian now is, in effect saying, “I only want Christ in my life – but gee the dark side can be really entertaining so every now and again I like to briefly visit”! It is a tragedy of the ignorance of Christians for them to get into Twilight because they think it is just entertainment, it is even worse if they still do so knowing the origins of vampism. Yet both are treated the same in the spirit world – it is granting permission for the demonic to step in and be given some power in our lives, though evidence of this is rarely seen or noticed at first. If we dare to ring Satan’s door bell, he ALWAYS ANSWERS and with glee begins to offer us an irresistible afternoon tea! There are lots of Christians gorging themselves on cream cakes now who are going to have to lose a lot more than weight in the future because of it!

  2. Of COURSE they affect us! Every single movie we WATCH affects us. Do we believe we can separate the spiritual from everyday life? We are TAKING IT INTO our very SPIRIT! Our MIND! It becomes PART of US! People just lower their standards because they have become submerged by society’s decaying morality.

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