They say the first step to recovery is admitting you have a problem. Okay...here goes...yup, I'm a movie-holic. There, I admit it!
I recently grabbed a copy of Ted Dekker's Thr3e DVD. I'll get to the movie in a minute. Before it even started, I was glancing at my wife with big buggy eyes shaking my fist and shouting "Yes!" as loud as I dared with the kids fast asleep in bed. Why, pray tell. The trailer for HOUSE, the joint project that Dekker wrote with Frank Peretti.
Now, I'm not going to try and start one of those online debates about who is better (Peretti or Dekker, I see it on almost every post about House), but I have to say that I haven't been this excited about a Christian release in quite some time. Thr3e was good enough, it was a great book by a good author, but House is SO much better for our cause that it has me salivating with anticipation and begging the heavens that it shows in a nearby theater.
So, why am I so excited? Well, first off... if you haven't read House, you should. Rarely do two masters of a genre even try to work together (and if you read all the extras about the project you'll hear about how much of an adjustment for both of them that really was), but even less rarely does it result in such a great Speculative Fiction story. If you want a "haunted house" story, then this is a great read. Now we get to see it in the movies!
Now, Fox Faith releases are typically shown in limited release. House opens in October (I believe) and I don't know how many theaters will host it, but this is the sort of work that can attract folks outside the Christian audience. I was pleasantly surprised enough to find the local blockbuster (which only has 1 copy of Peretti's Hangman's Curse or The Visitation) had a whole row of Thr3e available. How much better will House do?
House will feature true "horror" imagery. I won't give away the story for those who haven't read it, but there is a very dark character with supernatural powers, a labyrinth of haunting rooms and hallways, demonic creatures rising out of black fog, etc. These are the sorts of "images" that your unknowing secular audience is going to see, say "wow", and consider watching. The ultimate story in House is a Christian story. But, like most of their work, it isn't preachy so people will be able to enjoy a chilling tale while walking away with a positive message of hope, love, and faith.
Simply put, we need more publicity for the genre like this.
Thr3e was good enough in and of itself. Some of the plot variances from the book were very noticeable, but also done very well and in a way that HELPED the movie avoid a lot of unnecessary back story conversations that would have dragged down the action. I would recommend it for two reasons: 1, rent or buy it just to show everyone that there IS an interest in supporting Christian film (and also fiction since these are all adapted from books) and 2, it's a good, clean movie.
I imagine everyone who pens a novel at least entertains the hope for a few moments that maybe one day, his or her story could become a movie. Well, if the Christian community stands behind our Spec Fic authors when their books become movies, we are all doing our part to make that possibility a little more likely when something we publish makes it into print.
(Another great example is Robert Liparulo. A rookie author, his Comes a Horseman has already been optioned as a film. I believe his follow-up GERM has been as well. These are books being optioned into movies WHEN they're published, not years afterwards.)
So, thank God for Fox Faith because every new film they produce from our lost genre is one more step in the struggle to break this baby open and prove to the publishing world that WE WANT SPECULATIVE FICTION!