American-style (Republican) Christianity
The Lock In
In an amusingly fifteen-years-too-late effort to ride the crest of the Blair Witch wave, Christian “comedian” Rich Praytor has made a found footage style scare movie about a porno magazine unleashing a demon into a church youth group’s overnight lock in. If you’re not familiar with the concept, the film’s press release is happy to help:
During the lock in, members of the youth group are “locked in” the church to have fun, play games, and get to know one another. In spite of the youth pastor’s attempt to intervene, the boys must come to terms with the pornographic images themselves in order to be truly freed from the demon.
The demon is a metaphor for the true damage pornography can have in the lives of youth. There are never graphic or pornographic images shown in the movie. The producers of the film felt that it was important to tell a Christian story about real issues but to keep the images family friendly so anyone could be entertained without fear of exposure to questionable pictures.
THE DEMON IS A METAPHOR YOU GUYS! And THAT’S how you know this film is going to be smart. In keeping with the pimp-it-like-it’s-1999 theme, the film’s site has an about page that jacks (heh) Blair Witch‘s fake viral angle:
In the spring of 2010, a church lock in at First Baptist Church was organized by Pastor Chris. In the first hour of the lock in, one of the students, Justin, had an unusual “incident” and was “inconsolable.”
It was reported that he calmed down and kept to himself for the remainder of the event.
Two days after the lock in, Justin reportedly broke down to his parents that he experienced something “evil” at the lock in. He also claimed he captured everything on tape.
After watching the footage, the parents met with church leaders to discuss criminal charges they were considering filing against the church for child endangerment, neglect and torture.
A special hearing was immediately organized to find out what was on the tape.
Two pastors, six elders and an unknown number of overseers met at an undisclosed location to view the footage of the tape. It was reported that two of the elders resigned their duties immediately after viewing the footage.
Pastor Chris, after viewing the footage, turned in his immediate resignation to the church board.
A undisclosed settlement was made between the church and families involved.
The footage was officially released in May of 2013 in full cooperation with the families and individuals involved.
Holy Moly Pictures would like to thank the families and the First Baptist Church for their cooperation in releasing the footage to the public.
This is starting to seem like a lot more work than is merited just to keep teenaged boys from touching their penises—it merits mentioning that The Bible contains no prohibition against masturbating. Also, a porno magazine? Isn’t that more than a little quaint? Anyone who wants to look at pictures of naked people can do so for free on his or her phone.
Praytor has a more than glancing familiarity with beating (heh) dead-horse tropes. Here he is keenly observing, perhaps in homage to the comedy stylings of the early 1980s, that white people and black people are OMG LIKE TOTALLY DIFFERENT!
Tell me you laughed once during that.
And so here we see, as we do time and time again, that American Christianity’s great power lies not in spiritual redemption, but in turning every unique and powerful cultural expression it appropriates into a lame and bathetic puddle of insipid goo. These are the people who claim sole possession of the spark of the divine, and yet they can make nothing that doesn’t utterly blow. You’ve waited long enough for the money shot (heh) - here’s the trailer, in all its lookin’-like-it-was-shot-on-VHS glory. Smart money bets that the totally predictable morphing effect at the end ate about 90% of the film’s budget, as it costs very little to get kids to run through hallways and yell a lot.
You can avoid seeing The Lock In and just go on with what you were already going to be doing anyway starting on January 9th.