I love Frank Peretti. He is my favorite author, Christian or secular. He is so detailed in his writing that he completely draws you in. When I heard that someone was making his book The Visitation into a movie, I knew I had to see it.
The story takes place in a small town in Washington State. Antioch is a little one street town where everybody pretty much knows everyone else, so when weird things start happening and a stranger shows up, delivering shocking miracles, the whole town takes notice.
Now the book was written back in 1999, so it has been quite a while since I read it. I didn’t remember many the details, but I did remember that the story was very suspenseful and that I was fooled for a while by the stranger and his so-called miracles. The book is a true supernatural and psychological thriller.
I am sorry to say that except for a few of the names of the characters and the town named Antioch, the rest of the movie is completely altered. In Peretti’s book, the stranger is announced as Jesus. The movie says, “He is coming.” Christianity is all but missing from this film. I think Jesus’ name was only used once. The demonic is very strong, but it seems to go away at the end of the movie by itself except for the help of a flying Bible. The characters are very two dimensional and there is no development of relationships between these flat characters.
Robby Henson directs the movie. He is a secular director who has done a Civil War saga and a murder mystery along with a soon-to-be-released slasher-type movie. You could see the secular style to this movie. Frank Peretti took painstaking time to develop the town and the characters in order to draw you in to their lives and how the stranger affects them. None of this was used in writing the screenplay or directing the storyline.
I am disappointed in not only the movie but that someone like Randy Travis agreed to star in it. I am also disappointed that Frank Peretti let his phenomenal novel be torn apart in such a reckless fashion. Peretti is a genius in his craft. He deserved better. We deserved better. If you want to experience the greatness of The Visitation read the book. Don’t wait for the movie.
Dodie Greer is a freelance writer from Western New York. She works with kids and is a single mother of one. She has done interviews and reviews for publication for about 5 years. She also dabbles in play writing for her local church and is working on her first screenplay. You may contact her at: HYPERLINK mailto:email@example.com firstname.lastname@example.org
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