If this movie were a Christmas gift, it would be the equivalent of receiving a pair of socks. Possibly useful, not the worst gift in the world, but ultimately not what you really wanted. It is wholesome and has some good moments, but everything about the production was disappointing.
Christmas on Salvation Street follows a pastor’s family as they move to an underprivileged neighborhood to work at the local mission. Unsure of exactly why he was called there, the pastor searches for God’s purpose while simultaneously trying help his eldest daughter come to terms with the transition. Christmas on Salvation Street stars Joe Pacheco (The Morning Show, Bent), Catherine Lidstone (Proven Innocent, Super Single), and Israel Matos.
Unfortunately, the very start of the film made me want to reach for the remote to turn it off. It opened with a church choir singing and shots of the congregation watching them. There is nothing inherently wrong with this, except for the fact that it lasted over two and a half minutes. This was followed by a sermon from the pastor that lasted over three and a half minutes. While this may not seem like much time on the surface, in terms of a film opening, it’s an eternity.
The acting that followed was a real mixed bag. There were a few actors, like Catherine Lidstone and Reatha Grey, who gave good performances. However, there were others (who shall remain nameless), whose performances were completely cheesy and fake. It’s honestly amazing how much an actor’s performance impacts the quality of a film.
The cinematography and editing were average. It was on par with most of the independent films nowadays, but could not begin to compete with major Hollywood productions. I was also extremely distracted by some of their song choices. Much of their background music didn’t seem to line up with the appropriate mood of the scenes they were accompanying.
Last but not least, there is the content of the film to consider. Overall, it was a wholesome movie that emphasized love, mercy, and faith in God. It was evident that this film was made with good intentions, which goes a long way with me. With that said, it wasn’t a memorable storyline, much of the film was super cheesy, and it played into a few stereotypes that could potentially be offensive.
Christmas on Salvation Street proved to be a movie that, despite giving a good effort, contained enough poor choices to render it a film worth missing.
WHAT AGE GROUP IS IT FOR?
I would reserve this film for children over the age of 13. Although there wasn’t any cursing, violence, or sexual content; it wouldn’t hold the interest of anyone younger.
LOOKING TO SHOW IT AT CHURCH?
Personally, I would advise against showing this at church. Although there were some good messages, there weren’t many scenes that could be isolated from the rest of the film and inserted into a message. Therefore, the film would have to be shown in its entirety. With it’s truly average production quality and use of stereotypes, I highly doubt that people would walk away with a positive view of Christian film.