‘Nefarious’: A Wake-Up Call to the Reality of Evil

Evil exists. In fact, it’s so prevalent that we are often blinded to its reality. But a recent movie, now streaming, brings that reality to the forefront.

Nefarious is the story of a death-row inmate who claims to be possessed by a demon. Prison officials bring in a psychologist to evaluate him to determine if he is insane or if he is competent to be put to death. Billed as a horror movie, Nefarious does not meet the traditional criteria. There’s no blood and gore. There’s no creature or entity that will jump out and scare you. But this movie will scare you in a way that not many do today. It scares you with the truth.

In fact, the demon speaks a truth many don’t want to hear. It’s a wake-up call to be cognizant of evil and its insidious effects on our society and in our personal lives.

Through poignant dialog, we are given a glimpse into the hatred and loathing for good that the demon feels. We see his glee at sin. We witness how he relishes violence and death. And we watch as he recoils in the presence of a priest.

The truth he speaks will chill you because his words are spot on. They are worth contemplating and then contemplating again, for evil never takes a holiday. It is always there—sometimes loud, sometimes quiet, but often seductive. And if we are not careful, it will consume us.

At one point, the demon and the psychologist talk about murder, contrasting what society allows versus moral law. When discussing end-of-life “options” for death, the demon replies, “The law. That’s right. Death with dignity. Euthanasia. Assisted suicide. That certainly sounds better than murder, doesn’t it?”

Even the demon knows that hastening the death of an elderly or sick person is murder.

The same goes for the preborn child. The demon also states that abortion is murder, saying, “Can you imagine the agony the carpenter [Jesus] feels when we rip a child to pieces inside its own mother’s womb?”

He and Satan’s legion of demons embrace the people who partake in these murderous actions because, he says, “Our plan is to hurt [God]. To punish Him, and we do that by destroying what He loves, which is you.”

When we partake in evil, we do destroy ourselves and others. We destroy our relationship with God.

The psychologist continues to look for a logical or rational explanation for the inmate’s behavior, denying the existence of God and demons. And when he states that he is an atheist, the demon sneers:

You think your atheism will protect you. “Oh I don’t believe in angels or demons, heaven or hell, so you can’t hurt me.” Hell is full of pathetic trash who thought exactly like you do. Boldly proclaiming their ideas on how they feel the universe operates, never once contemplating the possibility that they could be wrong.

And therein lies the reality. A disbelief in God does not make Him fictitious. His existence remains a reality regardless of whether or not someone believes in Him. The demon says these words with pride in the fact that he has not only won people from God but that once those in hell realize their mistake, it is too late. His words are a warning for us all to reevaluate our actions.

The demon gleefully continues, “Slowly with your movies, your TV, and your media, we desensitized you, redirected your world view to the point that you can’t even recognize evil when it’s right in front of your face.”

As we look around the world today, we see how very true this is. The media strives to shape our beliefs. It reports half truths or only one side of the story. It glorifies sin. It vilifies morality. It attempts to ostracize those who proclaim and teach the sanctity of life. It hammers away at the mantras that many of us tire at hearing. Things like “my body, my choice,” “death with dignity,” or “gender affirmation” are repeated so often that their brainwashing effect, especially on young people, is ubiquitous.

And as the demon said, he understands “the value of patience.” Daily programming from TV and social media turns brains, especially developing ones, into mush. People no longer see value in good. They get swept along with the tide of “wokeness” and lose sight of the reality of sin and evil.  

Indeed, at one point, the demon says, “There’s evil everywhere, and no one even cares.”

This is a tragic commentary about society, but it’s one we must acknowledge. The “you do you” mentality is pervasive. People don’t want to get involved in others’ “business,” or maybe they fear speaking up for the truth, so they dismiss evil and couch it as personal “choice.” They justify their inaction by claiming that things like abortion and euthanasia are allowed by the law so they must be right. They look at young people living as the opposite sex and instead of compassionately helping them discover the reason for their gender dysphoria, tell them it’s okay to maim their bodies because they should “be true” to themselves.

They forget one of the most fundamental laws of life—that we must care for and protect our brothers and sisters and help them attain heaven. Anything less than this is tantamount to hatred of them.

Yet despite the pervasiveness of evil and sin, we must always have hope. As the movie shows, no one is ever so far lost that he cannot be forgiven or turn to God. No one has committed so great a sin that God turns His back on him. His mercy is infinite. We need only admit our sins, turn from evil, and ask God for forgiveness.

But if we persist in our disbelief, in our evil actions, and in our hatred for Him, He will give us what we want—and that is eternity without Him. This is what the demon longs for. This is why temptations are all around us.

And so we must fortify ourselves. We must reject evil in all its fashions. As GK Chesterton once said, “Unless a man becomes the enemy of an evil, he will not even become its slave but rather its champion.”

So let us wake up to the reality of evil and not become its champion but its adversary. We can only do that by changing our lives, proclaiming the truth of Christ, and becoming fishers of men.

This article first appeared in The Stream at stream.org/nefarious-a-wake-up-call-to-the-reality-of-evil.

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About the author

Susan Ciancio

Susan Ciancio is the editor of Celebrate Life Magazine and executive editor for the Culture of Life Studies Program.