Is First Reformed a Scary Movie?

First Reformed is a movie that has been making waves in the film industry. It has been praised for its thought-provoking themes, brilliant cinematography, and outstanding performances.

However, many viewers have been left wondering whether this movie falls under the horror genre. Is First Reformed a scary movie? In this article, we will explore this question in depth.

What is First Reformed?

First Reformed is a 2017 drama movie directed by Paul Schrader. The story follows Reverend Ernst Toller (played by Ethan Hawke), a pastor of a small church in upstate New York. Toller is struggling with his own demons as he tries to guide his congregation through their own personal struggles.

The Elements of Horror

To determine whether First Reformed can be classified as a horror movie, we must first understand what makes a movie scary. There are several elements of horror that are commonly used to elicit fear and suspense in viewers.

  • Gore: This refers to the depiction of graphic violence or bloodshed.
  • Jumpscares: These are sudden loud noises or visual cues that startle the viewer.
  • Suspense: This is the feeling of anticipation or tension created by the uncertainty of what will happen next.
  • Fear: This is an emotional response to perceived danger or threat.

The Horror Elements in First Reformed

While First Reformed does have some unsettling scenes, it does not rely on traditional horror elements to create tension and fear. Instead, it uses psychological horror to explore deeper themes such as environmentalism, faith, and despair.

One of the most disturbing scenes in the movie involves Toller drinking drain cleaner as an act of self-punishment. This scene is not graphic, but the implications of what is happening are unsettling. Other scenes, such as Toller’s visions of a dystopian future and his conversations with a troubled young man, are also disturbing but not traditionally scary.

The Verdict

So, is First Reformed a scary movie? The answer is subjective.

While it does contain elements of horror, it is more accurately described as a psychological drama. It explores deep themes in a thought-provoking way and uses unsettling imagery to create tension and suspense.

In conclusion, if you are looking for a traditional horror movie with jumpscares and gore, First Reformed may not be for you. However, if you are interested in exploring complex themes through the lens of psychological horror, this movie is definitely worth watching.