We’ve all been there, slogging through the five depressing stages of trying to convince yourself the latest Christian movie is anything but a total dumpster fire. We get it. You want to support Christian art, you want wholesome entertainment, you want to avoid supporting Hollywood whenever possible. We feel you.
But it’s time for an intervention. We’re your friends. And we’re here to help you recognize when you’re stuck in one of these five stages of trying to deceive yourself into thinking the Christian movie you’re watching isn’t all that bad:
1.) The denial stage: “This movie is really good. It’s kind of like the Christian version of The Godfather or The Dark Knight, but better.” In this stage, you’re in total denial. You’re constantly recommending the movie to friends and family or even your pastor. You’re always telling anyone who will listen that it’s the Christian equivalent to classic films like Empire Strikes Back, Blade Runner, or Shawshank Redemption, when it’s more like the Christian equivalent to Battlefield Earth, Krull, or Children of the Corn V: Fields of Terror.
2.) The comparisons-to-torture stage: “Well, it could have been worse. For instance, I’d rather watch this movie than gouge my eyes out with a dull spoon.” In this stage, you compare the film to various torturous activities that you could be doing instead, making the movie sound better than it actually is. There probably aren’t many Christian movies that are worse than waterboarding, a tub full of spiders, or cutting off any of your limbs, for instance. There are some, sure, but not many.
3.) The “at least it didn’t have Kirk Cameron in it” stage: “At least it didn’t have Kirk Cameron in it.” In this stage, you cite the fact that the film doesn’t have Kirk Cameron in it as evidence that it’s not a bad movie. Never mind the fact that it stars an actor who should have hung up his acting chops 30 years ago and/or Kevin Sorbo: the mere absence of Cameron deceives you into thinking it’s a winner. (If the movie does have Kirk Cameron, you probably just moved right into step 4.)
4.) The watching it ironically stage: “Ok, so the movie is bad, but it’s so bad that it’s actually good if you watch it ironically.” If you’ve reached this step, it’s a good sign that you’re progressing through the five stages. You at least admit that the movie isn’t a quality production on its own terms. It’s only bearable if you watch it with tongue lodged permanently in cheek, much like Dragonslayer or Batman and Robin.
5.) The acceptance stage: “I now recognize that this movie is probably one of the worst productions ever to be created. Maybe the next Christian movie that hits will be better.” Finally, you’ve reached the acceptance stage. This is good. It means the healing can begin, and you can prepare yourself for the next faith-based film to hit. Try to take the next one with a grain of salt, OK?
Yeah, yeah, Christian movies. We get it. The folks who made Camp Manna get it too, and that’s why they focused on making a film that’s inspired by the coming-of-age camp movies you loved in the ’80s and ’90s, first and foremost. You just might be able to escape the five stages altogether. Camp Manna is out today. Check out the trailer here: