Are you familiar with the concept of a “Hell House”? Have
you heard of Hell
House Ministries? Well, Firm Films is, and has, and they obviously like the idea,
because they’ve picked up the movie rights from pastor Keenan Roberts, creator
of the ministry.
For those of you not in the know (which included me, until earlier today), a Hell House is a sort of Halloween haunted mansion which conveys the fire and brimstone angle of many evangelical churches. A demon tour guide apparently leads the group from room to room, which not only shows some scary as hell (ha-ha) stuff, it also demonstrates ways to win a quick ticket there, for the interested. Abortion, gay marriage, drug use, rape, etc. The tour ends with Jesus leading an instructional prayer of the salvation persuasion. A potential movie would focus around the controversy brought to a small town when it starts up a Hell House, including the exclusionary and hateful feelings felt by pro-choice and gay-rights groups.
This is a dangerous fire (no pun intended) that I really hesitate to stick my foot into. At first, I just cringed at the entire idea; but then I thought very carefully, and came to a conclusion. If on the outside possibility this movie is handled exceptionally well, it could really provide an interesting look into the ever widening chasm between the religious right and the social liberals/progressives. Heaven knows (again no pun intended), there’s quite a lot of possibilities there for a really introspective piece. However, if it is handled poorly in any myriad of ways it could easily turn into an attack piece on either (or both, I suppose) of the two groups. Thoughts? And please make them reasonable thoughts, not just random attacks on groups that you disagree with. Oh wait…this is the internet. Nevermind.