It’s either brave or stupid. Maybe both. Writing about a movie you haven’t watched, I mean. Multiple people (do I have a reputation, or what?) have pointed out to me that Good Friday (for some) is the release date for The Unholy. Since Good Friday’s a week away I guess we’re getting an early start this year. The Unholy is a new horror movie and although I try not to watch trailers before seeing a movie—too many of them show too much in advance—I already have a sense of what it’s about. This post isn’t really about the movie, however. It’s about the bigger issue. The concern many have is that it’s being released on Good Friday. One thing I’ve learned is that to get attention you have to shock people, no, Donald? Getting noticed is difficult and outrage generally works.
Friday, for many, is movie night. Good Friday is, for some Christians, a day for church. I’ve yet to have an employer (other than Nashotah House) that recognized it as a special day at all. Easter always falls on Sunday so there’s no need to give time off work, at least in this capitalist, Christian culture. But if you try to release a horror movie that day, people notice. Mel Gibson knew that crucifixion could make the basis of a horror film, and people noticed. Sitting over here in the backwaters just outside academe, I took to horror as a means of keeping my book writing active. One reason was that horror gets people’s attention. (It also helps if your books are reasonably priced.)
As a young man I used to spend a good deal of Good Friday in church. Since I was serious about school I’m thinking we probably had the day off in my district. Attending a Christian college, followed by seminary, I suspect these also paid attention to the liturgical year. Then in the real world I learned the truth—it’s just another day. A day for going to work and increasing the profits for whatever company may have hired you. When the day’s over you’ll be inclined to relax, and perhaps watch a movie. Right now going to a theater opens the possibility for horror itself so I won’t be there on opening night for The Unholy, but I think there was some savvy thinking going on, in any case. And it may just be that the movie was titled specifically to fit the occasion.