It can be hard for Christians to find scary movies to watch for Halloween. Most horror movies contain unnecessary blood and gore, too much swearing, and over-the-top violence just for the shock factor. Horror movies suitable for Christians are few and far between, but NEFARIOUS is one of them. A must-watch for older teens and adults!
On the day of his scheduled electrocution, a convicted serial killer gets a last-minute court-ordered psychiatric evaluation. The killer surprises the psychiatrist with his claim that he is in fact a demon… and further claims that before their brief time together is over, the doctor will have committed three murders of his own. Starring Sean Patrick Flanery as Nefarious and Jordan Belfi as Dr. James Martin. Directed by Chuck Konzelman (God’s Not Dead). Based on the book, A Nefarious Plot, by Steve Deace.
NEFARIOUS is certainly not your standard horror fare but it’s just as dark, creepy, and disturbing. The unpleasant feeling will stay with you long after the movie is over. And the worst thing is, the story is more realistic than any ordinary horror film. The dialogue is very well-written and thought-provoking about what is happening in the world today.
“We desensitized you, redirected your worldview to the point that you can’t even recognize evil when it’s right in front of your face. More to the point…you can’t even feel it when you’re doing it.” –Nefarious
This movie is actually more of a psychological thriller, so not a lot of action; but there is one shocking scene at the beginning and the horror gradually continues to build, with one action scene toward the end. The climax of this movie is the execution, which is painful to watch because it plainly shows how executions via electric chair are carried out (if you’ve ever wondered).
I don’t want to say too much about this movie, because you have to experience the shock and suspense for yourself. But the overall theme is very similar to The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis. One of my favorite scenes, and quite telling, was when Father Louis came in to give the prisoner his last rites, and how the demon reacted upon seeing him. (It’s probably not what you expect!)
Sean Patrick Flanery and Jordan Belfi are both amazing in their respective roles. Sean Patrick Flanery deserves an Oscar for his masterful acting as the evil and manipulative Nefarious / Edward. Jordan Belfi, who plays psychiatrist Dr. James Martin, represents much of the arrogant condescension found in the academic and scientific professions.
Dr. Martin: “If your [spiritual threats] are meant to intimidate me, it won’t work. I’m an atheist.”
Nefarious: “Do you really think your atheism with save you, James?!”
Tom Ohmer has a more understated role as the Oklahoma prison warden. Cameron Arnett (Eleanor’s Bench, Saved by Grace) makes a brief appearance. Glenn Beck plays himself as a talk show host.
WARNING: This movie is rated R for some disturbing violent content. Abortion is described graphically and callously. There is one suicide and another attempted. A man’s finger and hand are broken. Capital punishment of a serial killer is depicted. The whole movie is unsettling and emotionally upsetting.
NEFARIOUS isn’t afraid to delve into controversial topics and this movie perfectly illustrates the nature of evil. The devil can wreak so much destruction in our personal lives before we even realize – until it’s too late. Even though it’s difficult to watch, every Christian teen and adult should see this movie because it opens your eyes to the spiritual battle in which every person is engaged – whether they know it or not.