NPR could stand for Not Pro-Religion. It’s the taxpayer-subsidized network with the Wiccan-priestess reporter. On Friday’s All Things Considered, NPR promoted a new horror movie in which “it’s not the Devil that’s scary.” Instead, “the religious horror is religion itself.”
NPR is pushing an “atheist’s take on Catholic horror.” Those teachings can be “terrifying.” (Disclaimer: NPR reserves the right to spare Muslims all of these criticisms.) The director’s name is Rodrigo Gudino, and reporter Beth Accomando explained the plot:
ACCOMANDO: Leon's mother just passed away and for the first time in decades, he returns to her house. It's cluttered with memorabilia that remind him of his mother's strict and terrifying religious teachings. Statues of angels and the Virgin Mary watch ominously over Leon and he starts to feel a supernatural presence in the house.
(SOUNDBITE OF FILM)
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: When communicating with the dead, it is not necessary to resort to elaborate techniques or...
ACCOMANDO: In Rodrigo Gudino's film, it's not the devil that's scary.
RODRIGO GUDINO: I wanted to get away from that, present a religious horror film where the religious horror is religion itself.
(SOUNDBITE OF FILM)
UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Believe or suffer. This is the message we've been handed. Our God is a loving god, but he is also a god of wrath and anger.
ACCOMANDO: As Leon confronts his childhood fears, he never turns to religion or faith for guidance. He looks to reason and science. So the film becomes an atheist's take on Catholic horror.
GUDINO: The protagonist is someone who has rejected the religion of his mother and has done so as a Western rationalist. And, in fact, that's really the only way he could come to terms with some of those things unless he was going to admit that maybe his mother was right.
The film is titled The Last Will and Testament of Rosalind Leigh. The Catholic-bashing atheist is finding supporters. Gudino reported at The Huffington Post no one walked out at the chi-chi Cannes film festival, and “afterwards we were approached by distributors and festival programmers eager to spread the word.”
NPR is always eager to spread the atheist, anti-Catholic word:
ACCOMANDO: Gudino is quick to point out that although his mother raised him Catholic, she never forced her beliefs on him. But growing up Catholic can introduce you to horror at an early age, says Gudino. His first memory of being horrified was by Gustave Dore's etching's for "Dante's Inferno."
GUDINO: I remember looking through that. Those are very, very early in my memories, you know, of ever being terrified. And they're, you know, obviously religious. They come from the Catholic faith.
ACCOMANDO: Add to that growing up Catholic in Mexico.
GUDINO: Their representation of Jesus as a suffering figure is quite extreme in some cases. He's bleeding and bruised and cut open and things quite grotesque, you know, when you're in other parts of North America, he's a resurrected Christ. He's very clean and respectable. But here, they don't shy away from showing his suffering side.
ACCOMANDO: Growing up with an institution like the Catholic Church does make you want to challenge it, he says. It leaves a lot to be desired as a religious institution, yet he still feels its influence.
GUDINO: To this day, I sometimes walk into churches and I feel the terror of that, the terror of being confronted with a god, you know, and like this thing that might be there, like in that space that's not human, you know. But I guess I have an active imagination, too, right?
ACCOMANDO: And so, too, does the character of Leon, who may not believe in God but he definitely feels his mother's presence in the house and even an atheist can be unnerved by things that go bump in the night. For NPR News, I'm Beth Accomando.