House, Christians and a R rating

Posted by WBFJ | | Posted on 10:22 AM

If you clicked on this post thinking I was going to talk about the doctor everyone loves to hate then I am sorry to disappoint you (that post would take way too long to do). No, instead I am referring to the newest Christian movie headed to the big screen - House.

The movie is based off of the book by Frank Peretti (This Present Darkness) and Ted Dekker (Three) and to be honest - is a horror story.  I don't want to give away the ending (which is rich in truth) but the entire story is a dive into the sinfulness of man and the wages of sin...very dark stuff.

Now that the book has been created into a movie it faces a new challenge - an R rating.  

Many Christians (like myself) have been convicted about movies bearing this mark and have since dismissed the idea of ever attending a movie with that rating.  After all, why would I intentionally fill my mind with things that God hates (blasphemy, sexual immorality, gratuitous violence etc.) but that is a blog for another time.

Here is the dilemma I face.  

1) I do not watch R rated movies.  The last one I saw was The Passion of Christ and even then I struggled with the rating.
2) I LOVE Ted Dekker.  I have ready every one of his books and seen the first movie Three.  I also enjoy Peretti and was really impacted by the truths in the book House.
3)  There is some debate whether this movie truly warranted a R rating or whether it was another hit at the Christian market from the MPAA (the people who rate movies)

The producers of this film (and Ted himself) have come out saying that they do not understand why it got the R rating because the MPAA has not given a specific reason why.  They have instead stated that the story itself was "too intense."  I'm assuming the story of sin and redemption is a just a little too much for them (enter sarcasm here).

You would think that if movies like The Grudge and The Ring can garner a PG-13 rating when they involve stories of evil spirits and "intense" scenes and subject matter that a title like House could do the same.  In fact, the producers of House took special steps as they tried to depict a horror story in a way that would be true to the feel but without the use of gore, language or sex.  

So, I guess I could be trying to justify my desire to see this movie...or am I correct in questioning some of the details?  I'm curious what your thoughts are on this movie or just R movies in general.  If you want to see Ted Dekker's blog on this whole debacle (yes I said debacle) then you can head to TED's BLOG.

You can also view the trailer to HOUSE at the movie's website (


Comments (1)

I see the "R" rating as a good thing. I know a lot of nonbelievers who wouldn't be caught dead watching a "Christian" movie but they all want to see this. The "R" rating, while it may be a moral dilemma for some Christians, could be a great way to reach people with message of the movie/book who otherwise would never have given this film a second look.