Posts Tagged ‘supernatural’

Frank Peretti’s The Visitation

January 26, 2009


What Is It?

Ralph Winter made a lot of money when he produced the critically acclaimed X-Men Movies, and more money when he produced the critically disdained Fantastic Four movies. After X-men, he was looking for other work that could be brought to screen. Literary work that, like comic books, would have a built in audience to make the movie an immediate success (moviegoers would then tell their friends , thereby spreading the movie’s fan base) . This search led Winter to the supernatural thrillers of Christian author Frank Peretti. The rumored goal here is to make two low budget films (2003‘s Buffy-esque “The Hang Man’s Curse” and this film) to prove to Hollywood that there is money to be made in Peretti’s books. This realization of profit will be Winter’s ammunition to make a big budget version of Peretti’s mega hit “This Present Darkness”.

So, to the subject at hand

… This is a “direct to video” horror… e r… creepy film. A Midwest town is put on the map when miraculous signs start invading their benign existence. From supernatural healings to the likeness of Jesus’ face in the stained tile of the bathroom wall, everyone is touched by the accompanying message : “He Is Coming.” .

Revival meetings start. One pastor (Randy Travis) believes this may be demonic. One former pastor (Martin Donovan) believes this may be linked to the ritualistic murder of his wife. One mom  (Kelly Lynch) is fearful her son (Noah Segan) is in danger and the son, along with most the town, believes that a messiah has come for them… and maybe he has.

How Was It?

This comes off like a good episode of the WB’s “Supernatural” with a side of “CSI” for spice. It’s a little rough at the beginning . Some of it is cool. Other parts, particularly the “shocking” bits, come out flat. As the film goes on, it finds its pacing and starts to entertain in a worthwhile way.

Is It Good For Kids?

The movie is very clean. Still, this may be disturbing, especially (spoiler) the child abuse crucifixion scene. Though this film is fiction, it deals with demons and the spiritual realm . The idea that some of this may “be possible” may be scarier than the actual movie.

There are also some allusions to sexuality.

What About Spiritual Issues?

They are monumental. This film deals with spiritual warfare. It clearly shows Satan as evil and Jesus as the only real and logical answer to that evil. The only issue here is that it may overemphasize evil. Still , instead of totally reveling in it, we see the that evil is there and that it needs to be dealt with.

What Is Your Recommendation?

It’s not “The Exorcism of Emily Rose ”, “The Green Mile” or “Signs ” but it’s still fun. If you are looking for something to rent, and you are free of younger kids, it would be worth picking up. And hey , if you like it, you can support the prospect of bigger, cooler movies, with a Christian theme, hitting the theater.

Did I mention that the screen play was done by Brian Godawa who also wrote “To End All Wars “? (I can’t believe you haven’t seen “To End All Wars ” yet!)

B000BZISXK The Visitation

1595541209 The Visitation by Frank Peretti

1581345283 This Present Darkness by Frank Peretti

B00021R7BM To End All Wars


The Exorcism of Emily Rose

November 21, 2008


What Is It?

This is a bizarre movie about a court case. It is a standard format. We see the lawyers chosen and hired. Then the case goes on, each side presenting their interpretations of the situation followed by a scene of the event they were describing with the slant of the particular presenter.

This becomes interesting when you find out that the court case is a negligent homicide case against a Catholic Priest. It seems that under the Priest’s council, Emily Rose and family decided that her condition was not epilepsy, but demonic possession. They then stopped her medication in favor of an exorcism…. An exorcism that didn’t work. Soon after, she was dead. And now the priest who tried to save her puts his freedom on the line simply to use the court procedure to tell Emily’s story. A story that is based on a true court case that happened in Germany

How Was It?

I am impressed. This took the indie-film making credo and used it to its highest degree. It used plenty of special effects, but never relied on them. Rather the tense and scary mood of the film relies on its cast, script and director to deliver the goods, with effects added as spice.

This movie takes you to places you may have never wanted to go, but gives you reason and hope for bringing you there. I had read that the goal of writer director Scott Derrickson was to make believers question their beliefs and doubters doubt their doubts… I only know my reaction, but he has a firm shot of making his goal a reality with this film.

Is It Good For Kids?

(Spoiler) It is true that most of the horror effects are similar to those used in “Batman Begins.” With Batman’s “Scarecrow,” similar effects were done much more graphically and intense. But as I mentioned earlier, there was a lot more than special effects going into the horror feel.

(Summary without Spoilers) This is a scary movie and will give kids nightmares.

For a complete breakdown of what is on the screen, check

How about Spiritual Issues?

Everything in this movie is a spiritual issue. (Slight Spoiler) The judges final ruling has a lot of Christian symbolism (More of a spoiler) Within the letter that Emily wrote to the priest, she explains that she believes that God is allowing this so that Emily can, sacrificially, show the world that the spiritual realm is real.

(Total Spoiler) In the closing arguments the prosecution asserts that all of this can be explained away by scientific means. The defense then offers a compelling summary of the movie. She explains that whatever you believe, there is either a God or there is not, a devil, angels, demons, or there are not. She tells you that you don’t have to believe everything the way the priest does, but would you consider the idea that there is a supernatural realm. The lawyer and the movie ask us to take some time and just consider: Is it possible that these things exist?

This is a perfect Pre-Evangelical movie.

What Is Your Recommendation?

If you can take creepy, see the movie, bring friends, and plan on going out for dinner afterward because you will have a lot to talk about. (It’s scary, not gory. You will be able to eat.) You are made the jury, now you need to go deliberate.

You can now watch the FULL MOVIE on Hulu!