Cloudy With A Chance of Genocide: Why Noah Should Be A Horror Film

I can’t wait to see Noah.

Already the battle over its biblical accuracy is being debated. This from a story that has already been adapted from and by other ancient cultures. There is not one flood story. There are many.

As with any film based on a Bible story, I was a little skeptical at first. But when I heard Darren Aronofsky was directing it, I immediately felt relief.

If there’s one director who can do the story of Noah and the Flood justice, it is Aronofsky. He’s a brilliant director and the king of making his viewers deeply unsettled, plunging them into the darkness of his characters with a visceral rawness.

And if there’s one thing the Flood story is, it’s unsettling. It’s dark. It’s raw.

What’s disturbing about the Flood story is it’s a story of divine genocide. It’s the story of God literally taking a weapon — the Rain Bow — and assaulting creation in anger and grief.

It’s the story of how God realized the terribleness of those divine deeds and chose to disarm.

A few years ago, I wrote a dark, brooding, and unsettling story about God and his Rain Bow. I offer it again here and hope that Aronofsky’s film really does justice to the story.

Because deep down, the Flood Story is a horror story about God. Click here to download the whole short story.

The Rain Bow (image adapted from Buddhasit @ Flickr)

The Rain Bow
By David R. Henson

The bow had tempted him for ages, and now, holding it in his hand, he understood why. The Rain Bow was as beautiful as it was terrible. He felt its seduction, the thrumming power coursing through its arc; he beheld its splendor, wrapped in shimmering colors as ephemeral as dew on a spider’s web. He had been wise to hide the bow out of his sight for so long, entrusting it to the children of the humans and the Nephilim, the great heroic warriors of old. They never understood its limitless power like he did, never grasped that a thing so graceful could be so destructive.

He had forged the bow in a fit of rage, when the humans had first taken life. In fury, he had ripped a sunbeam from sky, the heat of his anger fracturing its colors and warping it into a gentle curve. Its power had shocked even him and he had cast it out of the heavens as forcefully as it had been made. But as he watched the earth buckle under the weight of humanity’s iniquity, the temptation to take the bow back grew stronger.

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About David R. Henson

David Henson received his Master of Arts from Graduate Theological Union in Berkeley, California, after receiving a Lilly Grant for religious education for journalists. He is ordained in the Episcopal Church as a priest. He lives in North Carolina, is a father of two boys, and the husband of a medical resident.

Connect with David through his Facebook page, Twitter, or Instagram.

  • sjreidhead

    You are a very good writer. What a powerful story! Glad you are an Episcopalian! We need to stick together these days.

  • Y. A. Warren

    It is no wonder that our earth continues to justify genocide, jealousy, and revenge killings. We are taught that this is the model for strong fathers.

    How many centuries after Jesus and Pentecost will it take before we stop teaching about a God based on the ancient jealous, vengeful gods of our ancestors? The Sacred Spirit of the universe was before the Bible and before Jesus and was left at Pentecost for with ears to hear and eyes to see.

    We need to stop looking backward to experience The Sacred Spirit; it is here with us now, especially in people who work toward world peace.


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