Bowing to the Dark Side


Joshua Hoffine is a photographer who is known for his unorthodox use of creepy and fearsome. He loves to creep people out. And in his newest series of photographs, he uses his own daughter as a prop in his highly disturbing images.

He has featured other children in past works. “They loved it,” he told The Huffington Post via e-mail. “It was like a giant game of dress-up for them. … They also knew we were making a scary picture — and loved the idea of scaring the audience as much as I did.”

What is it with human beings and choosing to be frightened? What is it about darkness and monsters and Satanic images that draws many of us in? How many of you clicked on the link I posted above because it contained the words “disturbing images”?

There’s something about the twisted unknown that sucks most of us in like a tractor beam. But why do we insist on exposing our children to these nightmares? Why do we allow them to watch the same TV shows we do: CSI, local news, The Walking DeadDexter…

One of my thoughts is because the other side can sometimes be so… cheesy. It’s almost as if we’re faced with the decision of Fringe or the Hallmark Channel, or Paranormal Activity 5 or The Smurfs 2. Something sinister inside me prefers the former of those two sets of options. Why? Because it’s edgy, it’s creepy, it’s – dare I say it? – rebellious.

Filling our minds and hearts with images of dark and sadistic replications is not what God intended. In fact, He never intended for such mediums to exist in the first place. Monsters and vampires and zombies, when you get down to it, are nothing more than reflections of demons and their activities amongst the world and its populates.

Now, am I saying it’s more godly or “Christian-like” to tune into the Hallmark Channel or buy admission to The Smurfs or other silly nonsense? No. I’m saying that there are more uplifting and encouraging things to watch and engage in that balance darkness with light quite nicely, and the heroes come out stronger in the end, or their legends live on in the lives of their followers.

But what do you think? Do you think it’s okay to saturate or even “treat” ourselves with images of horror and violence? Is it okay to involve our kids in our twisted tastes? Do you think Hoffine’s art is appropriate? Can it even be called “art”? What draws you to view such images? Share your thoughts below.


About Andrew Toy
I'm in the beginning stages of starting my own publishing company that's unlike anything you've ever heard of in the industry. The direction of AdoptingJames is taking a 90-degree turn and will be more writing/publishing-focused. Stay tuned for huge updates and exciting news!

18 Responses to Bowing to the Dark Side

  1. I have a cousin who refused to have a TV in his house after he had his first child. He said that he wanted his child to learn from books and not have his mind, heart or the measure of his self worth effected or dictated by the junk that the world puts out there. Today I look at all of his children as they walk tall and confident in their successes and see what a great decision that was.

    • We won’t get rid of our TV or movies (though I’ve discarded many), but we plan to really limit the amount of time spent in front of it and closely regulate the content.

      • Yeah, it would be hard to get rid of TV because that is how we communicate and learn about the comings and goings of the world now but it’s definitely a lot different now than it was when I was a child. You are smart to just monitor and regulate the content for your children verses using the television as a babysitter to occupy their time.

  2. tistheczn says:

    I love how you throw in “the local news” so nonchalantly. When I was younger I used to say I was going to start a good news only station, and I was told no one would watch it. Saddens me.

  3. I believe it all boils down to where our heart really is. Philippians teaches us to think on things that build up. If we strive toward that then we can resist the drawing of this world as it seeks to pull us into its mire. Thanks for the post. Definitely something to think about.

  4. C L Smith says:

    You’re so right. SInce Eve’s moment of weakness we’ve always been drawn to forbidden things. That is scary in itself. Thank you for sharing.

  5. Angie says:

    Perfect description of the human condition. The saddest part, is that instead of striving to be better, we often use the excuse that we are “only human.” Thank you for the reminder! God bless!

  6. Morgan says:

    This seems particularly twisted given that he’s not only using children, but his own child. Unnatural and borderline WRONG. but thats my opinion…

  7. I heard a pastor once say that many of us are drawn to these dark movies because it gives us a false sense of salvation, without requiring anything of us. We get to go through hell and back, and feel redemption when its over, but don’t actually have to do anything to get there.

  8. You are SO on point! I am allergic to choosing fear and putting myself in positions to be scared out of my mind. Ughhhhhh … not me! Plus, since God doesn’t give us a spirit of fear and a lot of the “scary” movies feature the occult and/or demonic portrayals, I choose to not even allow them to enter my mind. It takes a LOT to get our mind cleansed once we expose it to scary or negative or violent … so for me, why would I? GREAT post! Thank you … 🙂

  9. hoboduke says:

    That is one ugly kid living under the stairs. Parents should let the kid out to the park.

  10. Silvie says:

    You are so right. Thank you for the visit and the follow. 🙂 Silvie

  11. We conger up our own demons; giving them life by fearing them; perhaps here to punish us for a past wrong-doing. A clear conscious would leave the images of demons powerless, perhaps even entertaining to see how little we have to fear from them as they attempt to draw us in.

  12. I clicked the link because it said disturbing images. I was just curious I guess, though I’m not one to watch super scary creepy horror movies.

  13. I love this, even tho I’m terrified of clowns and almost didn’t read it because of the picture.

    My child has never been afraid of the monster nder her bed, or anything like that.

    These are fears that children learn from their parents. Someone one time told my daughter the boogie man would get her if she didn’t do something and I was so mad. Thankfully she had no idea who this strange boogie man was

    I think all of the scare tactics are just ridiculous.

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