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May 26, 2024

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God wants you to be kidnapped! Or at the very least, Christians are particularly equipped to endure a kidnapping because their faith in God keeps them patient and strong. This is the experience of Ruth Peterman, an ordinary Minnesotan woman whose life was turned upside down when she was kidnapped by two incompetent thugs who used her as bait to try to procure money from her husband, who works at a bank. We can’t find a lot of information on Ruth and her alleged kidnapping, nor can we find much of any info about the production of the film HELD FOR RANSOM, which is loosely based on her story. Her character has been renamed Eunice for some reason. Eunice is abducted from her own driveway in broad daylight and held for days by two criminals she names “Bill” and “Jerry”, who are continually stunned by her calmness and strength while being kept prisoner in a farmhouse in Minneapolis, Minnesota. She engages her kidnappers in lively conversation, attempts to convert them to Christ, and listens to hymns on the radio, while her faithful husband works with the FBI to ensure her safe return. Most of the dialogue in the film appears to be improvised for some reason, lending a weird gonzo tone to an eerily calm crime film set in the ultra-polite northern midwest region of the USA. There is a 20 minute section of the film that seems to be barely connected shots of cars driving around Minneapolis at night. It would be an otherwise straightforward crime film with an inspirational message, but bizarre production choices such as these and a luridly saturated color correction that make HELD FOR RANSOM a strange artifact of faith-based filmmaking. The message of the film is that faithful Christians need do no more than sit back, relax, and pray through the toughest moments in their life. Apparently Ruth’s faith was so inspiring it caused her real life kidnappers to write to her from prison, begging for her forgiveness; you’ll be begging Ruth for forgiveness too if you don’t add HELD FOR RANSOM to your watchlist!

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