Movie Review: The Shack

The Shack is a touching movie, but it comes nowhere near to the book of the same title, which the movie is based on. Some concepts are best left to books, especially when the subject matter is one as deep and sentimental as our relationship to God, which is what The Shack is all about. That being said, the film contained excellent acting, visuals, and stayed extremely true to the message of the book. Movie expert Chris Ligori says that every movie needs to have at least one visually stunning scene that actually takes your breath away, and The Shack actually had three. Without giving too much away about the plot and the ending of the movie, I will tell you the premise and then highlight the three scenes that you should watch for if you chose to watch this movie.

The Shack, as I said, is based on the best selling novel of the same name which was written by William P. Young and hit the shelves in 2007. The premise is that a man who has been separated from belief in God goes on a journey, due to mysterious circumstances, that put him in the presence of God, Jesus, and the Holy Spirit. This sounds pretty metaphysical, and it is! If you are looking for an action packed thriller, this is not it. However, the movie is not slow. The plot moves along quickly and although there is a great deal of heart-felt dialogue it is interspersed with a mystery-driven plot and a clear goal.

As you watch The Shack, keep an eye out for these three visually stunning scenes. The first one comes when the main character, “Mack”, (played by Sam Worthington)is in a rowboat in the middle of a lake. This scene was filmed in Vancouver, Canada, and Mack’s troubled psychology is perfectly portrayed by a leaking rowboat and then rescue by Jesus. This was one case when watching the movie was definitely better than reading the book! It included Worthington’s best performance through out the movie. As an actor, he was somewhat hard to get behind because he seemed to mumble most of his words. But in this scene, he was worthy of a Grammy.

The second scene to look for will be a scene where Mack discovers that judging others is God’s job, not his. This scene takes place in a dark cave with a stone throne, and the visuals again perfectly align with the psychological battle that is taking place.

The third scene to look for as you watch this movie is the last scene where Mack has a reunion, which I won’t go into details about because it will spoil the movie! But I will say that the director of this film, Stuart Hazeldine, was faced with a very challenging scene to put together, and he pulled it off with acclaim. Hazeldine chose to depict spiritual energy as wispy colored lights, and the effect is breathtaking.

If you choose to see The Shack after reading this review, I hope that you enjoy it! I recommend reading the book before you watch the movie. As you watch, look for the scenes that I mentioned. If you have already seen the film, what did you think?

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