The Shack is currently playing a pivotal role in redefining what a religious movie is. With a production quality of an actual (because it is) Hollywood movie and by staying close the to the source material in defining the screenplay. Thankfully, there no dragons or vampires in this creation.
The Shack: Synopsis
Mackenzie Allen Phillips’s youngest daughter, Missy, has been abducted during a family vacation, and evidence that she may have been brutally murdered is found in an abandoned shack deep in the Oregon wilderness. Four years later, in this midst of his great sadness, Mack receives a suspicious note, apparently from God, inviting him back to that shack for a weekend. Against his better judgment he arrives at the shack on wintry afternoon and walks back into his darkest nightmare. What he finds there will change his life forever.
My only gripe
The only complaint with the characters is that some of them get less interaction time, so our connection (or potential) to that character is lessened.
This is most apparent with the helpful neighbor Willie played by Tim McGraw – his character is only in the first act of the movie and then in the final act for a short time to wrap everything up.
This issue also occurs with Mack’s (played by Sam Worthington) family. In the first act of the movie (prior to getting to the shack) he seems to have a great family setup. However, we never really learn anything about his older daughter (Kate Phillips played by Megan Charpentier) and his son (Josh Phillips played by Gage Munroe). Coupling this with the fact that after Missy’s (played by Amélie Eve) death the family begins to break apart reducing our potential to learn about them further. The family is then all but removed from the remainder of the film until the last couple minutes of the final act.
Instead of the onscreen cemistry we are required to use our own knowledge of family to create the emotional connection.
Mack’s journey and his quest to find forgiveness, understanding, and redemption is ultimately a story that everyone can relate to.
Movie by The Numbers
The Shack has generated $16,100,000 in revenue from 2,888 in just 3 days. It is currently #3 sitting behind Get Out and the newly released Marvel Blockbuster Logan.
It was great to be able to watch this type of movie and not be completely bombarded with indoctrination. Instead we are presented with an option to learn and take away what we will. Thats not to say there are dives into theology it just doesn’t shove it down your throat or present it as a “we are right and you are wrong”.
My favorite part of the movie has God (played by Octavia Spencer) “relaxing” on a chair on the porch of the shack with large oversized sun glasses on. Mack walks up to the “her” on the porch says something to the effect that he cant believe shes taking a nap. She replies, “You cant imagine how much I’m doing right now”.