At work we have the opportunity to say a little about ourselves on a shared document for our teams. This is a fairly new thing, so people I’ve worked with for years have no reason to look at it. A couple of new hires, however, have noted that I watch horror movies and this has led to some budding friendships. Since we’re all remote workers it’s mostly a matter of a line or two in an email about whether I’ve seen this or that film. One of those recommended was the Hulu original Pure. It’s actually pretty good. The idea is a bunch of teenage girls are brought to a retreat center for a purity ball with their fathers. This kind of thing can get very creepy very fast, given the incestuous overtones for such a thing. Not only is it a religious event, it’s based on the story of Lilith.
The pastor preaches his first sermon about Lilith, but the girls from cabin 4 sneak out at night to meet some guys. (Their presence is explained at the end of the movie.) That night the girls summon Lilith, whom the minister’s daughter says is a demon. The summoning works. Lilith begins to interfere with services as the girls are tempted by the guys who are hanging around. At the end, Lilith “possesses” Shay (the lead girl) and frees them from being controlled by the men in their lives. The message is a refreshing one, and Lilith ends of being, well, somewhat as Shay puts it, “One man’s demon is another’s angel.”
Religion and horror make a good couple. I’ve never seen a movie that features the story of Lilith before. The thing is, she’s not the scary part of the movie. The religious believers, the fathers who try to control their daughters rather than giving them support after listening to them, are. Parenting is tough, no doubt about that. None of us are born into life with all the answers. We quite often find ourselves not knowing for sure what we should do. I couldn’t imagine being a parent claiming to have the solutions for all problems. I’m a guy who watches horror for a form of therapy! What I do think, however, is that we can try to be reasonable, loyal, and supportive. I learn as much from being a parent as I teach. The same was true of being a professor. Humility, along with a willingness to continue learning your entire life is the only way that makes sense to me. Although not a major studio production, this was one of the scariest movies I’d seen in a long time.