Fear, faith, and films

Yes, we see that the horror film “Paranormal Activity 3” is atop the movie box office. That’s sad, given the satanic elements of the plot and crude language, but not unexpected as Halloween approaches.

Still, October has been a surprisingly good month for inspirational fare in theaters. And since we embrace The Christophers’ motto that “it’s better to light one candle than curse the darkness,” we’d like thank those who have worked and risked to bring alternative fare to the screen such as “Courageous,” “The Way,” and “The Mighty Macs.”

In fact “The Mighty Macs,” the story of a women’s basketball team from tiny Immaculata College that got a shot at the national title in 1972, also has a diocesan connection.

Theresa Shank Grentz, the longtime University of Illinois women’s coach, was a player on that historic team that won three consecutive national titles despite not having a home court. A Catholic, Grentz has been actively promoting the movie. She even has a bit part in the film, portraying a nun in a chapel scene.

Catholic News Service reviewer Joseph McAleer called “The Mighty Macs” an “old-fashioned, family-friendly film that is “‘Sister Act’ without the singing and ‘Rocky’ with basketballs.” It is rated A-1, general patronage. The film, he said, treats Catholicism with respect as it offers lessons in friendship, teamwork, trust, and perseverance.

There are plenty of frightening tricks in theaters and on television. Avoid them, and send a message to Hollywood by supporting the inspirational treats, if you wish. Capsule reviews of all recent films are found on our website, The Catholic Post movie reviews. — Thomas J. Dermody

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