Don’t judge a book by its cover


By Father Guillermo Trevino

I need to start off by saying that I hate horror films. I can’t stand them and get scared very easily by even thinking of them. However, sometimes life calls us to stretch ourselves and, I must admit, I have stretched myself in this department.

In August 2015, my little sister, Jennifer, asked for an autograph from Tobin Bell who plays “Jigsaw” in the Saw horror film franchise. I stood in line patiently until it was my turn at the Wizard World Comic Con in Chicago. Tobin Bell, seeing me in my clerics, asked, “Are you a priest?” I said, “Yes.” Bell asked, “A real one?” I said, “Yes, from Davenport, Iowa.” He politely asked, “What are your doing here?” I mentioned that my sister wanted an autograph for her birthday.

Bell asked if I knew Latin. I said, “Kind of.” Then, he told me a story of filming in Mexico where he played a priest in a film and that he had to learn to pray in Latin. Bell asked if we could pray the Our Father in Latin. I said “yes” and mumbled through as best I could remember: “Pater Noster, qui est in caelis…” and every line got echoed by him. I was in awe and so were the people in line behind me. I was praying the Our


Father with Jigsaw! He smiled at the end and signed a poster reading: “Happy Birthday to Jennifer Love From Tobin Bell “Jigsaw” 8/21/15.”
I share this story because it is so easy to judge horror films, actors and those who like them. However, even if it is not one’s cup of tea, by stretching oneself, one is able to see the beauty, even in horror. I have met many celebrities through my comic con adventures but not one had I ever prayed with – until that day.

This brings me to my next point. A new horror movie that came out, three weeks ago, “A Quiet Place,” has done very well at the box office. The film spiked my interest for two reasons: one is that the writers of the film — Bryan Woods and Scott Beck — grew up in Bettendorf, which is part of the Quad Cities where I also grew up. Two: Bishop Robert Barron called it “The Most Unexpectedly Religious Film of the Year.”

I had to see the film and so I went on Sunday, April 15, with a friend. Without giving too much away, Beck told “The Courier” out of Waterloo, Iowa: “As much as this is a horror film, it’s also a film about family.” This film really focuses on family life. The family has to be silent because the monsters are blind but at any hint of sound, they arrive in an instant. Without spoiling the ending, this film demonstrates an amazing example of a parent’s love for his/her children. That is all I will say; I highly recommend it. For a person who hates horror films, like me, take away this lesson: we should be open to anything. God uses our fears to spread his message, if we pay attention.

(Fr. Guillermo Trevino serves at St. Alphonsus and St. Mary parishes in Davenport and St. Peter Parish in Buffalo.)

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