The idea of Christian horror films creates controversy, and with the recent release of Pray 3D, like Jason of Friday the 13th fame, the debate is likely to come back to life.
Pray 3D is the latest offering (directed by Matt Mitchell) from Cross Shadow Productions, and is available through www.gobmg.com/product/dvpr3d; www.ChristianCinema.com and others.
It is the third in a trilogy revolving around the character of bestselling author Laurie Curtis, whose family is repeatedly hunted by the masked creeper, who first haunted the screen in Pray and Pray 2. With a storm heading toward their sleepy town of Smithfield, Laurie and husband Michael attempt to enjoy a quiet dinner with friends. Laurie’s trepidation is kept somewhat at bay by her newly installed security cameras monitoring the house, the kids, and the babysitters, and allows her to keep tabs on all that is going on at the house while she is away through her cellphone. But the growing storm isn’t the only thing that threatens the safety of their home, and as Laurie looks on in horror, she realizes that she and her husband will not have enough time to rescue the children and their sitters.
With plenty of handheld action and ambient audio, this film has a great low budget indie feel to it, and the babysitters’ cellphone cameras, as well as the monitoring security cameras, are put to great use as we travel the darkened halls of the Curtis home, with evil lurking around every corner. The scary music is just right, as is the nice montage music from indie band Dutton (www.duttonband.com). It should also be mentioned that the storm effects are quite effective and well done, and there is exceptional work with the sound effects.
The actors do a creditable job of their own in this film, and especially fun to watch is Vinc Mills as husband Michael Curtis, who brings a nice light-hearted touch to counter the tension of the rest of the film. Newcomer Elliana Esquivel does a great job as babysitter Sloane, bringing in elements of confidence, level-headedness and, of course, pure terror, as she resists the terror stalking her within the house.
With that said, this film puts an additional onus on itself by the fact the producers want to create a horror film for the entire family – at least aged 12 and up. Not an easy thing to do, especially with seasoned horror fans accustomed to plenty of blood, gore, and other R-rated elements to create the scares. But if you go into it with that in mind, I think the filmmakers do a reputable job of creating a scary film for junior youth groups to enjoy watching together (preferably during a storm with the lights turned down low; or better yet, when babysitting with their friends), and it comes with a Bible study that the group can work through together with their youth leaders.
For more info, visit the website www.crossshadowproductions.com. Pray 3D: The Storm is in 3D, of course, and comes with 3D glasses (as well as a 2D version and a 3D TV option).
The Christian Worldview:
There is mild violence, and several scary moments, but this is not a typical horror/slasher movie. (A lady screams; a face in the window; a man lurks in the shadows; man grabs girl in a car and she hits him; man watches girl from shower.) Pray 3D is scripturally weaker than other Christian horror films, in that the power of good over evil is not explored too deeply, and other than the characters professing Christianity, Biblical principles are not developed. A better choice would be Cross Shadow Productions’ Paranormal, but this film is not recommended for the younger audiences and is more along the lines of PG-13.
Learn more about the author Dale Ward
Watch the official trailer for Pray 3D: The Storm
For more details about Pray 3D: The Storm , check out Christian Film Database