Devon Franklin Likens Christian Movies to Horror Films

Courtesy of OWN
Courtesy of OWN

Over Easter weekend, I went to see the film God’s Not Dead, which by all accounts has become a certified blockbuster in the realm of Christian films. Made for $2 million, at the time of this writing it has grossed over $48 million at the box office, which is absolutely incredible. I cannot deny its success. The problem I have is how exactly to talk about this film with others.

There seems to be only two ways to approach Christian films these days. The first is what I call the “kindergarten approach,” where everyone is wonderful and everyone is a winner. This, of course, isn’t true at all in the real world, but since kids are small and innocent and cute, we go along with it and everyone gets a ribbon for trying their best. Sure, it’s not a perfect film, we say, but hey, at least people are getting a dose of God when they go to the movies as opposed to all the other garbage that’s out there. Maybe this movie will convince someone not to be an atheist anymore. And it’s made a lot of money so, you know, it must be good. …

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Then there is the “Christian snobbery” approach, where well-meaning Christians who are sick and tired of seeing Christian movies not stacking up to the quality of their secular rivals simply unload on a movie like this. The acting is bad, the story is lame, predictable and totally unrealistic, and this movie simply reiterates the stereotype that Christians are shallow thinking, unimaginative twits who are afraid of anyone who doesn’t agree with them.

Both of these approaches, while well-meaning, aren’t very helpful. The first effectively sticks their head in the sand and the second is mean-spirited and haughty. I would suggest a third approach to Christian films, namely a “level-headed” one.

While filming my new movie, Holy Ghost (due out Sept 16), I interviewed Devon Franklin, Senior VP of Production at Columbia Pictures and one of the driving forces behind the new movie, Heaven Is For Real. Devon is a friend and an incredibly smart guy, and he’s a very devoted Christian who understands the movie business better than anyone I know. When I asked him for his opinion on the state of Christian films, he didn’t put on rose-colored glasses or laugh at the message-driven slop filling up Christian bookstores. He instead likened Christian movies to, of all things, horror films.

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SOURCE: Charisma News
Darren Wilson

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