Christian film "Suing the Devil" has met some challenges since its release, having suffered an online atheist "mob attack" and heavy pirating. However, the film's writer/director Tim Chey says the attacks and theft are worth it and that it is all in a day's work for the evangelist.
Chey told The Christian Post that recently the producers of the film received an email from a group called "anonymous Atheists," who said they would "mob attack" the film on IMDb, the largest film site on the Internet.
Within three days, the film's score dropped from seven to four.
"We tried contacting IMDb, but they turned deaf ears to us. The problem with a low score is it stigmatizes the film," Chey said, pointing to other Christian movies that have also received an unwarranted bad review. Some of these include "Courageous" and "Facing the Giants."
Many of the comments accompanied by low ratings on IMDb do not focus on the film's cinematographic merit or the deeper message, but rather bash those who view the film, referring to them as "Bible-thumping God botherers," and the "born-again loser crowd."
Chey ascertains that he and the producers responded to this attack in the same way Jesus Christ would: love thy enemy.
"Leave the vengeance to the Lord. The world is blind. They pick on the only film in Hollywood that brings 'light' to a 'dark' world. But we don't battle against flesh and blood, but against the principalities of the enemy," Chey said.
Chey admits that he himself was once a nonbeliever, converting to a life with Jesus Christ in his mid-thirties. Due to his experience as a non-believer, Chey argues that "mob threats" such as the one on his film do not intimidate him.
"We had over 72 people come forward to accept Christ after a screening of the film and that made me rejoice. I told my wife it was well worth all the attacks," Chey told CP, pointing to Paul the Apostle, who also suffered attacks from judgmental critics for his faith in Jesus Christ.
Just this past week, The Los Angeles Times announced that "Suing the Devil" had been illegally downloaded "100,000 times on more than 50 illegal sites," making it one of the most heavily-pirated films on the internet.
According to the Film's Facebook page, the slanderous IMDb attack came from "a group of atheists who illegally downloaded the movie," as the movie does not come out on DVD until April 2012.
Although most would express chagrin at this loss of profit, Chey confirms that the pirating is, in fact, the work of the Lord.
"The story and title of 'Suing the Devil' appeals to the secular masses. They watch the film expecting a horror film and they're hit with the Gospel," Chey said.
"I love 1 Corinthians 9:22: 'I become all things to all men to win some to Christ.' I've become a filmmaker to win some to Christ," he added.
This is not Chey's first film success. His previous production, "The Genius Club," reached over 89 million homes when aired on national television.
"That's evangelism!" Chey exclaimed.
"Suing the Devil" is an independent Christian film which was released in theaters in August 2011. It stars the character Luke O'Brien, a down-and-out law student who sues Satan for $8 trillion dollars. The movie portrays the "spiritual battle" between good, represented by O'Brien, and evil, represented by Satan (Malcolm McDowell) in a courtroom setting.
"Suing the Devil" has won a 5-Dove Award, the highest possible review by the Christian film review association. It also held the second highest grossing average of any independent film in the United States, and was America's number one Christian movie for two weeks straight in August 2011.