It’s Halloween weekend, so time for some varied spooky links!
First up, “Kill the Moon”, one of the scarier episodes of Doctor Who in the past year (featuring moon spiders!) gets reviewed at First Things, exploring the pro-life implications of the episode. Alexi Sargeant says “The episode proposes something like a moral absolute: deliberately ending a nascent life can never be justified, not even by widespread popular consensus.” Read the entire piece here, but be cautioned. As River Song would say: spoilers. I’m not sure I would agree 100% with the assessment—from what I remember, the episode tries to have its cake and eat it too: it’s unambiguous about the position that killing the unborn creature is wrong, but it also tries to make the case that choice is a moral good as well. So it comes off rather muddled. But, that’s Doctor Who. It operates in a world of moral absolutes while at the same time attempting on the surface level to embrace a relativistic worldview. See my take on the Doctor here.
Next, the always interesting Steven Greydanus writes about “Vampires, demons, and the cross: Catholicism and horror” at Crux. An examination of spiritually serious horror films, he shows how the genre can point to the truth about the devil and the occult. Read it here.
Over at the Dappled Things site, Karen Ullo writes about “The Catholicity of Monsters”, focusing on Frankenstein, The Hunchback of Notre Dame, and Dracula. “The monsters live inside each and every one of us: malformed, lonely, hopeless, vengeful monsters with their fangs latched deep into our hearts. Once we recognize them for what they really are, we know, deep in our bones, that it is only Christ crucified who can drive them out.” Read more here.
And here at Ignatius Press Novels, we posted this classic story by Robert Louis Stevenson: “The Body-Snatcher”. The story of how a conscience can be dulled even to the most horrific of actions, it’s a tale with particular resonance for our own times. In it, a young man begins the gruesome harvesting of bodies for medical research. Once he discovers the truth about how the bodies are obtained, will he continue or will he repent? Read it here.
Also here, from this past June when the great actor Christopher Lee passed away, my article on “Christopher Lee and Morally Serious Horror.”
Happy Halloween, and have a Holy Feast of All Saints!