Cornelius Barlow is a devious politician who has had a vendetta against organized religion ever since his daughter was killed by a cult. Instead of eradicating religion, however, once he becomes President of the United States, he decides to make his own united religion by bringing all faiths together and by forcing them to work together. Unfortunately, this doesn’t go as simply as he planned as he faces opposition from a secret resistance who claims that they know the only truth of salvation: Jesus Christ. Will their numbers be able to survive the coming persecution?
Production Quality (1.5 points)
One Church is one of those Christian suspense films that bites off more than it can chew in the production department. This is evident by the shaky camera work, the loud soundtrack and sound effects, and the inconsistent audio that is sometimes muted. There are also a lot of tight shots and a weird aspect ratio, along with some randomly blurry camera shots and odd camera angles. Some scenes also cut off very abruptly as if this is an early cut that wasn’t finished. However, not all is bad in this production as there are some elements that are fine throughout, such as the sets, locations, and props, which keep this production from being below average. Even still, if the funding and resources aren’t there for a good suspense plot, it’s better to not make it.
Plot and Storyline Quality (0 points)
While this is an interesting attempt at a different type of plot, it’s based too much on far-fetched concepts and ‘bad’ characters that are total strawmen and get worse as the film progresses. The premise also progressively become more unrealistic, and large time jumps hurt any hope there was of plot and character growth. Time is mostly spent on montages, which leaves characters shallow and the purpose of the film unclear. One thing happens after the next in very rapid fashion, and expository dialogue is used as a shortcut. There are too many vague ideas that are started without backup or follow-through, and sequences of boring activities are used in place of actual conversations between characters that could help us get to know them as people. In the end, the story ends in a very awkward and abrupt fashion that makes it even more unclear why this movie was even made.
Acting Quality (1.5 points)
For the most part, the acting is fine without any major problems, even though it’s underwhelming and vanilla at times. Sometimes, dialogue is slightly mumbled, and line delivery is under-performing at times. It seems like some cast members become more and more dramatic as the film goes on, and other case members don’t do enough to make up for these poor performances. However, the early acting does enough to keep this section average, which rounds out an overall blah movie.
The JC Films team still hasn’t found itself in movie-making. They are disjointed and disconnected from both reality and relevance in the film world. They have a lot of ambitions and want to try different things (sometimes), but they have no foundation or basis for what they do. This likely won’t change until they begin retaining real screenwriters and actually put their funding and resources to good use.
Final Rating: 3 out of 10 points
Yes, the version you watched was literally a rough cut, never intended for final review. It was the only product that JCFilms had because the editing on the film was not paid. Since then, Tri- Rahn Pictures has taken over the project, normalizing and correcting
and it has DVD distribution and is on Multiple VOD and SVOD platforms. – Bill Rahn, Director
Thank you for letting me know about this background! I’m willing to re-review the movie if you have an updated copy 🙂
Heck, I thought it was a good movie. Not being argumentative but with the government having just taken a heavy hand and closing churches…not a political statement…but it DID happen, I feel like this concept isn’t really all THAT far fetched.
This film used some actors from Liberty University, but it’s really a JC films (That’s Jason Campbell, not Jesus Christ) film. I’m sure lots of experience was gained, and it keeps Liberty active in film making. If you want true university made films, that would be Unusual Films, part of Bob Jones University. By Liberty using a partnership, the films are more frequent, and gives students more opportunity during a degree program to be part of a film.
Thanks for pointing that out Larry! I’ll edit the review for accuracy 🙂