A new faith-based movie in theaters this month gives parents what the director calls a rare treat: a live-action comedy that is appropriate for the whole family.
The PG-rated Camp Hideout hits theaters Sept. 15 and tells the story of a troubled teen named Noah who goes to church camp to escape two clueless "bad guys," only to be tracked down. It has been described as a combination of Home Alone and Ernest Goes to Camp, with faith elements. Toward the end of the film, Noah discovers faith and hope.
Director Sean Olson told Christian Headlines the goal was to make a movie "you can take the whole family to and not have to worry about going to Common Sense and figuring out what you should and shouldn't watch." Olson previously directed F.R.E.D.I. and Max Winslow and the House of Secrets.
It stars Corbin Bleu (High School Musical), Amanda Leighton (This Is Us, Trolls: The Beat Goes On!) and Christopher Lloyd (Back to the Future series).
There is a "nostalgia feeling" to the movie, Olson said, referencing movies he watched growing up like E.T., Back to the Future and The Sandlot. He discovered "there was a lack of space on those types of movies now for kids."
"The animated movies are the ones that kids are watching now," he said.
Camp Hideout is the first release from Called Higher Studios, which bills itself as the "world's first Christian fan-owned movie studio." Unlike Hollywood studios, Called Higher Studios allows ordinary people to invest in its company in order to spread the gospel through film.
Producer Jason Lee Brown of Called Higher Studios said he got the idea for the film after his kids watched Home Alone.
"They watched that movie over and over and over," Brown told Christian Headlines. "And I quickly realized, 'Okay, to speak to someone and to plant seeds, the first thing you've got to do is get their attention.'… We went on this journey to develop a movie that was fun and entertaining for kids so that we could get their attention and then plant little seeds of the gospel and faith in there."
Olson said the film has a powerful message.
"What [Noah] learns," he said, "is that there are people that love him, that care about him and that it's not too late for him to be saved."
Learn more at CampHideoutMovie.com.
Photo courtesy: ©Called Higher Studios, used with permission.
Video courtesy: Called Higher Studios YouTube Channel
Michael Foust has covered the intersection of faith and news for 20 years. His stories have appeared in Baptist Press, Christianity Today, The Christian Post, the Leaf-Chronicle, the Toronto Star and the Knoxville News-Sentinel.