The Veritas Project consists of the Springfield family—their job is to work with local law enforcement undercover in order to discover the origins of unusual happenings in small towns. Their next job is to go undercover at a high school that seems to be haunted by the curse of a teen who hung himself inside the school one night. Seemingly random deaths keep happening that are tied back to the hanging and to dark happenings at the school. Will they be able to get to the bottom of it before it’s too late?
Production Quality (1 point)
Like many early 2000s productions distributed by Fox Faith, Hangman’s Curse has its high points and its issues that keep it from being all it could be. For example, the video quality is unnecessarily grainy and there is poor lighting throughout. However, the sets, locations, and props are realistic and appropriate. Audio quality is fine except for the cheesy soundtrack and the cheap sound effects that are dubbed on top of the normal audio. There are also a lot of very juvenile horror-related special effects that are actually quite annoying. Finally, the editing is fairly choppy as scenes end abruptly, off-screen content is referred to often, and transitions do not flow well. In the end, it’s possible that this production team’s budget was not ready to handle a sci-fi\horror film, so they might should have rethought this effort.
Plot and Storyline Quality (.5 point)
Though Frank Peretti knows how to craft an interesting enough Christian horror\sci-fi plot, Hangman’s Curse crams too much content into a short amount of time. This stunts character develop and forces dialogue to be rushed and packed with information. Sometimes the premise of this ‘horror’ concept is hard to believe and is even a little silly at times. We are supposed to treat the issue as serious, but it is difficult to do so because it all seems too shallow. There are too many very cheesy half-attempts at horror that are more annoying than effective. Like too many sci-fi plots, this one relies too heavily on the ‘twist’ and the concept revealed near the end rather than actual character development. It’s hard to care about what’s going on when it all rushes by so fast all in the name of solving the mystery in under two hours. In the end, some will find this story interesting, but it does not appeal to every audience.
Acting Quality (2 points)
The casting and acting of this film are definitely its strong suit. Though there is nothing truly dynamic about the cast members’ performances, they are also not detracting or negative. Their emotions are mostly believable and their line delivery is professional. This should be the baseline for acting in Christian film.
Frank Peretti has always been a genre pioneer in Christian entertainment. He went where other Christians were afraid to go and opened up a whole new world for both writing and movies. While there is nothing inherently wrong with his work, this particular film does not capture it well, and this could be due to the early days of Christian productions. Perhaps if this film were made today, it would be better.
Final Rating: 3.5 out of 10 points