Here is a movie that has the potential to frighten a lot of viewers. It makes use of eerie and weird music, suspenseful moments, and things that go bump in the night. It is supposed to be based on true events that occurred in 2010 in Amarillo, Texas.
Ashley and David live with their three daughters on a farm. The story opens with David receiving a phone call and being ordered to return to Iraq. “I can be ready,” he says to the caller. Although he served before in Iraq, he is given a special assignment. Breaking the news to his wife is difficult. “You just got back,” she tells him. “I’m sorry, I didn’t volunteer for this,” he tells her. “You did,” she says, “when you signed that bottom line.” David then breaks the news to his daughters as well, telling them at dinner.
The movie features some heart-breaking scenes as David says good-bye to Ashley and his three girls. Previous to his departure we see David fixing things around the house, installing some lights, as a powerful song titled I am a warrior plays. It is obvious that his leadership will be missed while he is away.
After he leaves Ashley brings a box of religious books into the house, not realizing that one of them, with a red cover, is a book of witchcraft. After one of the girls says she picked up the book and got a creepy feeling, she claims a big gust of wind hit her. “You probably just left one of the windows open,” replies her sister. Slowly, things begin to escalate as noises are heard, lamps shake, knocks on the door come with no caller present, and Jaina, the daughter that started reading the book, feels that the bed covers were ripped away from her and she was bitten.
A bit of comfort comes to the girls when the family receives a DVD from Dad, who tells them he loves and misses them, and reads them a story just like when he was home with them. Ashley is seen getting a gun and placing it near her bed. However, a glass moves by itself and a thunderstorm adds to the creepy atmosphere. Mixes in with the creepy moments are songs about the savior, with the line, “God saved me.” One of the daughters tells her mother, however, that she feels as if something is watching her. When the power goes out, Ashley prays in Jesus’ name. She sees a book move and calls the priest. The demonic attacks continue with one of the girls saying she felt something bite her and saw a “pumpkin man.”
The movie continues the contrast with Ashley singing Jesus name above all names or reading the 23rd Psalm but the continued torment of the demons. Ashley continues to pray, not being able to figure out what she might have done to let the spirits in until she learns of the book of witchcraft.
Although there are scriptures read, and Christian songs are played, such as Amazing Grace, the concerning thing is that even with these spiritual applications of prayer and God’s Word, the evil continues. It is not until the dad returns home-and goes through the house performing an exorcism and quoting scriptures from Ephesians 6 about spiritual warfare that victory comes, and it doesn’t come immediately. Objects still move and an evil voice is heard chuckling. Before this, the priest had visited and admitted he had never heard of such things, let alone faced it. His attempts at prayer and sending the evil out of the house results in utter failure.
David, through prayer, is finally able to see Jaina set free, but it doesn’t come easy. One thing that is a positive take away from the film is the statement on David’s T-shirt: Faith, Family, Flag, Freedom. Thankfully, without giving the ending away, Jesus is acknowledged by Jaina in the end.
Although the quoted Scriptures and Christian songs are to be commended, this film is frightening and creepy, and includes some jump scenes. It also seems that the word of God and prayer is failing for a long while, although a statement at the end indicates that Ashley later realized she wasn’t where she should have been spiritually at this time, that she was living a lukewarm existence.
Due to the frightening scenes including lights flickering and creepy voices heard, as well as a few brief scenes of demonic figures in the house, we are not able to award our Dove seal to the movie.
The Dove Take:
We are glad that Christian songs and Scripture are included in this movie, but its emphasis on the frightening scenes and demons places this film outside of our Dove seal of approval.