Prometheus rated O -

Hi,
I went to the Catholic Movie Review site and found it was rated O. Are you going to see it and if so, would you confess it? I love horror movies, many of which are O rated, and I always confess it, but the priest called this “venial in nature.” What do you think?
Thanks so much
maryann

Did the priest explain why it would be venial in nature? I am not quite sure that such authority rests with him.

It is gory. I saw it. I have nothing to confess on that count.

He used “venial in nature” for all my sins that were confessed including O films.
Another priest just said for me (maybe because I’m scrupulous) “it’s never a mortal sin.”

I would listen to the advice of your spiritual director and/or priest.

That being said, I was not aware that any movie save pornography could be inherently sinful.

What is the argument against watching horror films?

probably because theses movies sometimes have evil spirits working in them. the themes of these movies are not things of God and a lot of times are more of the evil rather then God. I hate horror movies so not many ideas come to mind. But I saw a trailer for a horror movie in theaters yesterday, and if it causes me to want to ask for the intercession of St. Michael its a movie probably to avoid.

I saw it and didn’t feel it was really that scary, but disturbing. I looked away for the more violent parts, which happened a couple of times. I can see there being an issue because there are themes of creation that do not involve God.

I have a few thoughts to offer here.

It may be that the reviewer simply saw no edifying story-line underlying this film, nothing “edifying” in a Christian sense.

And what is “edifying” in a Christian sense can cover a vast and diverse amount of ground.

The Exorcist generated an insane amount of controversy—I can remember hearing that local Baptist ministers in my hometown were fulminating against it from the pulpit, telling people that they would go to hell just for seeing it. In the big-city theaters where it premiered, there were reports of people running from the theaters in delirious panic and having to be put in mental care facilities for short periods.

It is also true that The Exorcist is held up by many, even today, as the worst horror film of all time. It’s certainly NOT fare for impressionable children or adolescents.

And yet, I think The Exorcist had a good story, one with a resolution that confirmed and upheld a Christian world-view.

We’re planning on seeing it tomorrow - three friends, all Catholic dads, all sci-fi fans.

The guideline I like to use to explore whether something is a sin is whether it causes or could realistically cause you to fall away from God. A movie that is so utterly convincing in its portrayal that you doubt Scripture or think that Christ never existed, that would certainly be sin to watch (or at least, to watch without leaving once you figured out what was going on).

As the sci-fi genre goes I take it as thought exercises - gedenken, so to speak, so that whenever I read or watch sci-fi, I know that it’s not going to reflect authentic spiritual realities. My expectation is that if there’s a morality present, I don’t expect it to be my own, and so I take the story for whatever entertainment value it has but leave it otherwise.

Reading the review, there’s lots of offensive material in Prometheus, but I’m not surprised. The franchise is bleak and nihilistic, and much of the story is meant to illustrate man’s insignificance. It’s quite a step from our belief that we are created in the Image and Likeness of God. If that’s a challenge for you, don’t see it. It personally doesn’t bother me, but my faith in Christ is solid here, and I believe our origin and our end is in Him. I don’t entertain seriously any notion that some alien race created us and abandoned us.

/**** SPOILER ALERT /
I don’t recall the Catholic movie rating for “Mission to Mars” (1994?) which featured a benevolent and transcendent alien creator race, but major differences include the darkness of the later movie and the level of violence - I’m a little sorry I read about surgically removing an alien in Prometheus, but in the older film one character commits suicide by taking his space helmet off, boiling his blood instantly, while another is ripped in two by a Martian tornado.
/
***** END SPOILERS ***********/

I think the review focused more on the violence and on the creation story arc than on looking on the morality in the film itself. In Scott’s Alien franchise, the protagonists are ALWAYS thrown into desperate defense against an overwhelming foe, and the virtue of self-sacrifice - whether to save one’s friends or all of humanity - is a central plot point in each film. Significant also is the nature of greed, and the intrinsic downfall brought by hubris. The Weyland-Yutani Corp plays God by colonizing and redeveloping planets, but the attempt invariably ends in destruction, whether upon themselves or upon people who are otherwise innocent (poor families escaping what we assume is a fairly inhospitable earth). In the Alien/Predator franchise, the bad guys don’t win, and while the aliens play by their own rules theirs is understood to be mindless, animalistic and destructive, in other words not a morality to be praised.

If I have problems with the movie, I"ll walk out, but I’m otherwise lookign forward to enjoying a movie that really needs to be seen on the big screen.

I think you may be wrong to paint an entire genre with such a broad brush. There are Horror movies on the Vaticans movie reccomendation list.

old.usccb.org/movies/m/missiontomars2000.shtml

Curiously, they don’t seem to have much of an issue with it. Maybe there’s some sort of subtlety I’m missing, but the two movies seem to cover the same issue.

This is the spoiler for the movie: en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Mission_to_mars

I saw it, and no, I will not be confessing it. I see and own many movies that are rated O by the USCCB. I disagree with their opinions 99% of the time.

A-I – general patronage;
A-II – adults and adolescents;
A-III – adults;
L – limited adult audience, films whose problematic content many adults would find troubling. L replaces the previous classification, A-IV.
O – morally offensive

These are the classifications. I’m not sure one needs to confess seeing an "O"movie, at the same time, I don’t think “O” means “Bring the Family”

I think we should be prudent.

I saw for example, The Cider House Rules even though it was “O” but it was extremely morally offensive. I found it morally offensive. It was basically a pro-abortion propaganda film. Someone not convinced on the evil of abortion could possibly decide that abortion is permissible.

Is promethius extremely violent? Again, prudence is necessary.

I wouldn’t say extremely violent, but rather more disturbing. I didn’t feel that my beliefs were ever in jeopardy, but I’m not typically one to be swayed by a movie. I wasn’t offended, but I guess someone could be. I’ll list some things that might be offensive to you. Don’t read if you don’t want to read a spoiler.

POSSIBLE SPOILERS

An alien commits suicide in the beginning by drinking some kind of substance that breaks apart his DNA.
In this movie, God did not create us, we were created by a bunch of aliens.
The main character gets pregnant with an alien and gets a c-section by a surgery machine to get it cut out. (probably the most disturbing part in my opinion) How she got pregnant is a complicated story, but there wasn’t anything inappropriate shown on screen, and nothing freaky is implied–consensual act with her human boyfriend/partner (doesn’t say if they’re married).
A couple of guys were rather violently killed by some alien snake things. I didn’t look when this happened, but it was the only time I felt the need to look away.

That’s certainly a useful guideline, then, how much to protect the morally immature. As far as spiritual maturity goes, that’s another story. You could say that the spiritually mature won’t be threatened by this movie … or alternatively that the spiritually mature really have no need to watch this movie.

It is important to note that the rating assigned to a film by the Catholic News Service (and before it, the USCCB Film Office)** is the opinion of a layperson**. It is therefore about as far from an infallible judgment as you can get.

Hopefully, the reviewer gives a thoughtful analysis based on Catholic moral teaching which leads to his rating. The reviewer’s cautions should be given careful consideration - and if anything he mentions is something that could tempt you to sin, then you should probably avoid the movie in question.

Catholic film critic Steven Greydanus of Decent Films has disagreed with the USCCB/CNS ratings before. On his site, he gives positive reviews to at least 2 films which received Os from the USCCB – the first Matrix film, and Terminator 3. And he is not known for being lax.

I rarely look at the CNS reviews or ratings any more. I saw Prometheus last weekend and frankly I am surprised by the O rating. I was not super impressed with the movie, but an “O”? I think more like A-III.

And today I saw Rock of Ages. Oh, yeah, I’m goin’ to Hell.

Saw Prometheus tonight in 3D. Yeah, this was meant for 3D. It was just very well done. The scenes on the ship and in spaceflight are incredible, and there’s a genuine feeling of claustrophobia in many parts. It really enhances the movie.

I can also say that this is a horror movie more than a challenge to a theist outlook. Perhaps the most horrifying part of the plot is that no answers are given - perhaps with the assumption there are none to be had. One character conveys her faith but it is a struggling faith, rather than a solid Christian faith. She does yet cling to it, we are not told how, and the forces that oppose her faith as as amoral as the forces that oppose the humans.

it is bad to paint with a broad brush. But glorifying death, (not myrter or death of the faithful) isn’t a good thing and I know many horror movies that do, atleast I think they do anyway. They may glorify other things that are immoral. Like pre marital sex, or just have sex in the movie just to have it. Any movie in general that glorifies something that is contrary to catholic teaching it is not a good thing. I don’t like horror movies so I can’t speak from experience.

BUT a great horror genera that if done effectively can be great for our faith. That are exorcism movies. If they show a victory over the evil one, and they keep a focus on the evilness of the evil one, then even though the movie is shot in a way to make you jump out your seat many times, it doesn’t do all those things that other horror movies do. Like saw movies, hollowed movies do. Freedy Jason. Haunted House movies where people get killed it goes on and on and on.

the movie was written, I think co-written, by the guy who wrote Lost. So this was fully expected.

Lost worked this way if you don’t know

they open up with a few questions.

they answer one question, (like where were the pilots) and when they answered it they opened up 5 more questions (the black thing)

there were also questions that just came out of nowhere and where left unanswered. (polar bear?)

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