Movie Review: The Shack
Entertainment

Movie Review: The Shack

My perspective on the controversial book-to-film adaptation.

64
Pinterest

(Disclaimer: This probably contains spoiler alerts! Well, not probably...it does.)

The Shack was a rather controversial book amongst the Christian community, as some have deemed it heretical and unbiblical. For the past several years, I've been on the anti-Shack train and was very skeptical when anyone praised the book. However, I decided to give the movie a chance but didn't expect to actually like it. I was surprised by how much I not only liked the movie, but how much I loved it.

Here's my version of the plot: Mackenzie Phillips (aka Mack) had a rough upbringing and is still experiencing emotional scars from his past, but he is happily married to Nan with three children: Kate, Josh, and Missy. While on a family camping trip, Missy (who is the youngest, probably no more than six) is abducted and, it is later discovered, murdered at a shack in the mountains. The whole family is of course struggling to process through this horrific tragedy, especially Mack. He blames God for what has happened and even himself for not being able to rescue his precious daughter in time. He later receives a letter in the mail from "Papa", his wife's nickname for God, telling Mack to meet at the shack over the weekend. And Mack does.

The tragedy that occurs is, of course, disturbing and evokes heavy emotion as you see the impact on each of the family members. Though the pain and struggles they face are hard to watch, one of the greatest themes in this movie is healing and the movie depicts this journey for Mack specifically.

Ultimately, Mack meets God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit, which is where much of the controversy originates. "Papa" is primarily portrayed by Octavia Spencer and can also change his form as he pleases. At first, I was uncomfortable with how each of the Trinity were portrayed. But then I realized: what beautiful imagery to depict how God sees us and to better understand his nature and character. I am not saying that God is a black woman because I do not believe this is an accurate depiction. My point is we often attribute things to him that he isn't and accuse him for not being who we think he should be. The Shack helps clarify common misconceptions about the likeness of God.

Through the portrayals of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, Mack begins to understand the true God's character: God is good, he is at work through the pain, and he can redeem unspeakable sorrow.

The acting was, by no surprise, amazing and Sam Worthington did a remarkable job with the intense role as Mack Phillips. It was so easy to believe that he was actually the character experiencing pain and brokenness.

So many of the scenes were powerful and moving and yet, there is just enough humor to lift some of the somberness, a majority of which is supplied by Octavia Spencer's wit. She really was the perfect actress to play that role! The movie never drags and moves along at a steady pace, which is quite commendable for any film that exceeds over two hours.

One of my only criticisms occurs at the end of the movie. Mack finds healing and transformation, but the narration conveys that he no longer feels sadness about the death of Missy. While I absolutely believe that Mack could experience such a dramatic transformation, I do not think that the entirety of that sadness would completely go away. Joy can reign, but I would think that there would always be a hole in their hearts on this side of heaven. Just my opinion and it's a pretty minor critique!

This movie definitely gave me a lot to reflect on and had powerful imagery, amazing special effects, and stellar acting. While there were mixed reviews on the book and movie, I give it two thumbs up!

Bottom-line: If you're debating seeing The Shack, I would highly encourage you to go for it! I think it's worth seeing in theaters, but if you want to save a few bucks, definitely check it out on RedBox, iTunes, etc.


Report this Content
This article has not been reviewed by Odyssey HQ and solely reflects the ideas and opinions of the creator.
Taylar Banks

May 25, 2020: the day that will forever be remembered as the day George Floyd lost his life at the hands of cops.

The day that systematic racism again reared its head at full force in 2020.

Keep Reading... Show less

The worlds of beauty and fashion often collide, whether for good or bad. In both, underrepresentation has always been, and remains to be, a major unresolved issue. After the recent killing of George Floyd, many people are rightfully enraged, compounded by the fact his death in police custody wasn't an isolated incident.

Police brutality against Black people is not new, and isn't going away till we start dedicating resources to fighting it. Many of us, as individuals, have only begun in the last week scratching the surface of what it means to educate ourselves on race, historical race relations, and how to be an ally to the Black community.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

Feel A Lil' Better: Because You Can Still Connect While Disconnecting From Social Media

Your weekly wellness boost from Odyssey.

No matter how good (or bad) you'd describe your health, one thing is for sure: a little boost is ALWAYS a good idea. Whether that's reading a new, motivating book, or listening to a song that speaks to your soul, there are plenty of resources to help your health thrive on any given day.

I don't know if you've heard, but there's a lot going on right now, particularly in relation to George Floyd's death, Black Lives Matter, and public protest of racial injustice in the United States. While we can all agree that this deserves conversations, change, and actionable good, social media arguments with Great Aunt Linda are not where social change begins and ends. Spending too much time scrolling through your phone has never been healthy, but now it's even more addicting — what does that one person from my hometown say about this? How can I further education within discussions? Am I posting enough?

Keep Reading... Show less

I don't know about you, but reading is at the top of my to-do list this summer... especially with all the social distancing I'll still be doing. If, like me, you're hoping to pick up a romantic page-turner (or a couple dozen), here are 23 romance novels by Black authors you'll absolutely LOVE reading.

Keep Reading... Show less
Lifestyle

22 Black-Owned Etsy Shops With The Perfect Gifts For Everyone In Your Life — Including You

Treat yourself and your loved ones while supporting Black creatives and artisans.

R-KI-TEKT, Pontie Wax, Lovely Earthlings, and blade + bloom on Etsy

The world is taking action against the injustices and under-representation plaguing Black lives, and one small but impactful thing you can do to actively make a difference is support Black-owned businesses.

Etsy is likely one of your go-to sites for gift-buying, but have you ever paid attention to which independent artists and sellers you're buying from?

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

True Self-Care Is HARD, That Face Mask Isn't Actually Going To Solve Your Problems

There's a line between self-care and self-destruction.

Anyone who hasn't been living under a rock for the past few years has seen something somewhere about self-care whether it was on Facebook, Twitter, or their Instagram feed. Oftentimes it's pictures of celebrities or influencers sipping green smoothies or slathering on mud masks with #selfcare. It's posts like these that made me realize that "self-care" has become the ultimate buzz word, soaring in popularity but in the process, it's lost most of its original meaning. It's time to set the record straight and reclaim the term.

Although self-care has been around for quite some time, within the past few years it's been misconstrued and commodified as our capitalist society tends to do with things it thinks can be profited off. Self-care is now being peddled as something that can be bought and sold on the shelf at Target rather than something that takes real work to achieve. This fake self-care movement is not only enabling people to over-indulge themselves, but it has created a crutch for people to avoid the responsibility of taking true care of themselves. Instead of doing the work that needs to be done, many people fall into the trap of rewarding themselves for doing nothing at all — this can quickly become an unhealthy coping mechanism, especially with corporations cheering us on (to buy their next product). Long, hard day at work? Just grab your third iced coffee of the day! Fight with your SO? Buy that 50-dollar face mask, it'll make you feel better! This is how self-care becomes self-sabotage and self-destructive.

Keep Reading... Show less

Minorities are consistently under-represented in our day-to-day lives, notably in the world of fashion. It's likely you're looking for a way to support black artists. Whether that's the case or you're just a fashion-lover in general, these brands aren't just some of the best black-owned fashion brands — they're some of the most innovative brands of our time, period.

From luxury staples to fun accessories and loungewear, these brands aren't just stunning names you should definitely be following on Instagram, each honors the founder's roots in unique ways with the power of storytelling through artistic expression that manifests in pieces we can't wait to wear.

Keep Reading... Show less
Health and Wellness

10 Home Items You Need For Stress Relief, On The Days You 'Literally Cannot'

Fill your home with peaceful, calming coping mechanisms.

I'd like to think that 2020 is teaching us a lot. Or will teach us a lot. Or will be a story we tell at parties one day. Ultimately, this year has been — and is probably going to continue to be — a bit of a mess.

At the beginning of the year, Australia was on fire and we mourned the death of Kobe Bryant. Then, coronavirus (COVID-19) took our spring and shut us in our homes, inciting panic over public health and sparking political upheaval at every decision made by local and federal officials alike. Now, a week after George Floyd's death at the hands of Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin, a nationwide conversation is reignited with protests regarding racial injustice in the United States. There is an enormous amount of tension, hurt, and change that is upon the American people.

Keep Reading... Show less
Facebook Comments