Barton, Elizabeth

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I’ve always been drawn to the horror genre, but this is my first time writing it. The idea for Omni only came after watching The Conjuring franchise. The question of “is this Christian propaganda?” came to mind every single time I watched it. The “demonic” horror genre overall has these Christian undertones, actually relying on the idea of a monotheistic “God” in order to propel their story forward without advertising the film as a “religious” film. In response, Omni is an attempt to use these tropes to subvert the genre. The characters in the film are loosely based on the relationship between me and my childhood best friend. I was interested in the idea that we began in the same place, literally next door to each other, and diverged when it came to our adult life paths. I ended up a total religious skeptic and she ended up fully invested in religion. She once told me that God is “omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent”. To her, this idea was comforting. To me, it was horrifying. I wanted to play on this idea that God is everywhere by also making God… everything! So, spoilers, the childhood best friend of the protagonist is God. This kind of ever-present power manipulates the world around the protagonist in order to get her to pursue God. The majority of the film recreates a “demonic” film where a malevolent presence is stalking her. In the end it’s revealed that “God” has simply recreated these conditions in order to make the protagonist seek absolution and actively pursue God rather than run away from him. Overall, there have been films in the past who’ve attempted to subvert the religious horror genre, but I’ve yet to see one who takes the idea of “God” as truth and makes whatever that presence is the malevolent force all along! The effect of this is simple: I don’t want to critique people’s religion or faith. I only want to point out the flaws in the production of religious horror as a norm for consumption of a nation that does not have a national religion.



screenplay, religion, horror, Honors College


Barton, E. (2023). Omni: An exploration of religion and horror. Honors College, Texas State University.


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