In the past 10 years, a new genre of movies has taken flight in Hollywood and beyond: Christian movies. For example, movies such as God’s Not Dead (and its sequel), the Kendrick Brothers’ films, and movies such as Heaven is for Real and Miracles from Heaven, have made enormous splashes in the box office. This proves that Christians not only love films that are in line with their beliefs, but are willing to show it. Among the many Christian movies that have been released recently, a few stand out from the crowd. For example, Beyond the Mask was produced with unprecedented production quality and storyline, while at the same time broaching into new territory as a Christian Adventure movie. This year, Beyond the Darkness (with a similar name, yet unrelated) is being released.
Beyond the Darkness is a breakthrough in many senses. It’s the first time that a Christian movie has dared to cross the lines of fantasy/thriller. It has fully employed the powers of special effects. It has helped set the standard for quality amongst independent Christian films. In other words, it has raised the bar. Combining action, heart, and special effects in a way that has never been achieved before, Beyond the Darkness, by DRC films, is truly a one of a kind movie spectacle. However, details on the movie have been incredibly scarce. The DVD release date is currently unknown, and audiences have been, for the most part, left in the dark when it comes to updates on the film. In fact, there’s a good chance that you, as a reader, have never heard of Beyond the Darkness before. If you have, you haven’t heard anything about the movie in the recent months.
Recently, I had the pleasure of chatting Danny Carrales, the director of the movie, and the owner of DRC Films. In the past, Carrales has directed movies such as Final Exit, Escape from Hell, and Pilgrim’s Progress: Journey to Heaven. While not perfect, each subsequent movie was better than the one preceding it. These movies give viewers a sense of Carrales’ style as a director. He is a risk-taker, but not a foolish one. He continually ups his game, both in production quality and overall ambition. Most importantly, with every movie he makes, Danny seeks to glorify God. He makes movies that are not only meaningful, but incredibly fun to watch. Beyond the Darkness is no exception.
When production on the movie began, it was expected to hit theaters and DVD in 2013. In an interview with Christian Film Central in 2013, Carrales said, “it’s June 11th, and I thought we’d be finished months ago.” Obviously, that didn’t happen. One of the reasons was the enormous number of special effects used in the film, which drastically increased the time it took to complete the post-production. As Danny describes it, “It’s a very ambitious film. There are 970 special effects. There might be one shot with an effect in it, but there could be multiple effects within that shot, so actually there are thousands of special effects in the movie.” When I asked him what the budget originally was, he laughed and said that whatever it was, it doubled by the time they had completed the piece.
There are two aspects Danny Carrales will look at to determine whether he will consider Beyond the Darkness a success. First, he’s “praying that God will use the film to touch people’s lives for His glory and His honor.” If it achieves that, then it is a successful film. His first and foremost goal is to help draw people closer to Christ. However, there is an elephant in the room, and that is the financial aspect. The studio used all the resources God gave them, and so they really need the film to be a success financially, especially if DRC Films wants to continue producing films.
The release date of Beyond the Darkness, though never definite, was inevitably pushed back many times. Besides the gigantic task of post-production, the movie had a hard time acquiring promotional backing. A ministry that Danny had partnered with for years, and that had helped him in the release of some of his previous films, changed leadership and decided to no longer promote Christian movies. He didn’t mention what the ministry was called, but he did say that he is working with another ministry, which he’s hoping will back his film. Danny said, “I’ll be honest with you, I wish I could give you an exact answer [on a release date]… it all depends on the ministry.” He later told me that they’re “looking at an Easter DVD release date.”
Currently, Beyond the Darkness is available for pre-order on Carrales’ website, Reel Christian. The movie has been released in a few theaters already, but for now DRC Films is relying on individuals (such as you) to bring the movie to their towns. On the website, there is a page that has all the details. Basically, you need to ensure that at least 100 people will buy tickets, and then the movie can be shown in a theater near you. It sounds tough, but it’s the only way to watch the movie at this moment. After the theatrical release is concluded, DRC Films will plan on a joint DVD/Bluray release.
A trailer for the movie was released around a year ago. Meanwhile, Danny says that his team is working hard on a few new trailers, varying in length. He wants to emphasize the heart of the movie, as well as the action. As the first trailer was aimed at the thrill-seekers, it is likely that he will create a trailer that is more family-oriented.
Two things are for certain. First, Beyond the Darkness is going to be the the first Fantasy/Thriller Christian Movie EVER. Second, it is going to be GREAT – beyond good. Though there have been many efforts to depict angels and demons on screen, this will surpass them all. Sure, the movie was made on a relatively low budget, but what they did with that budget is unbelievable.
Danny said that the best way for readers to support this film is to wholeheartedly promote it. Engage with its social media, comment on the articles about it (like this one), and pray for God to use it in mighty ways. The next step would be to bring Beyond the Darkness to a theater in your town. It will take a large commitment, but it will be worth it.
There has never before been a time in history when culture was manipulated by media as much as now. Film is a powerful medium, and many have abused its power. It’s time to regain a foothold in the industry. It’s time to be a force against the undertow in the name of Christ. It’s time to be a light in the darkness. It’s time to go beyond – beyond the darkness.
You can find out more about this film here:
Josiah is a web designer and entertainment enthusiast. He enjoys researching Christian entertainment specifically, and he writes on his blog (JJyay Web Tools). Though his obsession is creating original material, he also finds time to enjoy the company of his family.