Wheaton College’s most famous alum, horror director Wes Craven, has long been the poster boy for reactivity and rebellion visa vi fundamentalist abuses of the Law. In other words, baggage with a capital B. Well, Wes is back in the limelight this week with the release of Scream 4 (yawn…) and as per usual, he himself proves more compelling than his films. Hard not to feel for the guy. And his comment about Protestantism being relatively ignored in Hollywood – the experience of Protestantism, for better or worse, as opposed to the caricature of it – is undeniably astute. In an interview with The NY Times Magazine he had the following to say:
I feel like studios are more inclined to push the envelope with sex and violence than with religion. Why?
I think being Jewish has been covered really well but almost nothing about being fundamentalist Protestant. For years, I’ve had a movie in my mind called “Total Immersion” that looks to my life as a kid where you’re immersed in this different worldview from almost everybody around you. In high school, we would give away rulers to our friends that said, “Jesus loves you.” I couldn’t put together the concept that Jesus loves you, but if you don’t love him back, you’ll burn in hell forever. I worried, I’m rejecting the Holy Spirit, so I’m definitely going to burn in hell.
Does any part of you still feel that?
I remember going to a funeral at a very fundamentalist church, and I just had to get out of there. I went out in the parking lot and just sobbed. I think there was a sense of loss of that little boy not knowing if he was right or wrong. Everything I grew up with I had to walk away from.