Flash Movie Review: The Shack

FROM my experiences I know every person treats religion differently. I also am aware of the differences between someone who is religious compared to a person who is spiritual. Some years ago I knew a man who went to temple every day to pray. He followed his religion’s customs and traditions fully, handing them down to his children. The interesting thing was after he died his wife stopped following the rituals; not totally but she became more relaxed about the structure shall we say. I know another person who partakes in all the customs of her religion, but her actions are not of a religious person. Just because you attend services and donate money to charity does not automatically make one religious. In other words you have to practice what you preach. This person discriminates against a variety of minorities; I am talking blatantly speaks out against them. I just sit and wonder how they can justify their actions based on how much they talk about their religious participation.     THOUGH I understand the circumstances were devastating for the individual I still find it curious when they suddenly become religious. I have experienced this myself on some level at a time when I felt there was no hope of me coming out unscathed. It took place one of the times I was being chased by a group of bullies after school. Hiding behind a couple of garbage cans on the back porch of an apartment building, I could hear them below me. They must have been looking up at the porches of the 4 storied building before running up the stairs to only check on the top floor they could not fully see from the alley. I remember praying to God to keep me hidden from them until they came down the stairway and were long gone. Due to this experience I have gained insight or maybe it is sensitivity to the actions taken by someone experiencing tragedy, like the family in this inspirational fantasy drama.    DEEP into depression from a tragic event Mack Phillips, played by Sam Worthington (Clash of the Titans franchise, Avatar), one day received a letter in his box without a postmark. It was from someone he stopped believing in. Based on the bestselling book this fantasy movie also starred Octavia Spencer (Hidden Figures, The Help) as Papa, Radha Mitchell (Man on Fire, Looking for Grace) as Nan Phillips and Tim McGraw (The Blind Side, Country Strong) as Willie. I appreciated the idea behind this film’s story and felt the cast was certainly capable to bring the story to life. My issue lies with the director; the pacing was slow to the point I felt the story was dragging. Add in the script being stacked in favor of manipulating the viewers’ emotions to shed tears, I did not find this a pleasant movie watching experience. If the story would have been told in a more even handed way, allowing the audience to come to their own conclusions, I feel the film would have been better all around. Sitting next to me through this picture were a couple of friends who are more religious than me. Asking them what they thought, they felt the same way I did about the movie. The story was a sad one that did not give them a sense of comfort due to the poor writing and direction.


2 ¼ stars    




About moviejoltz

From a long line of movie afficionados, one brother was the #1 renter of movies in the country with Blockbuster, I am following in the same traditions that came before me. To balance out the long hours seated in dark movie theaters, I also teach yoga and cycling. For the past 3 years, I have correctly picked the major Oscar winners... so join me as we explore the wonder of movies and search for that perfect 4 star movie.

Posted on March 7, 2017, in Drama and tagged , , , , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 8 Comments.

  1. While the movie was good if you didn’t read the book you will not follow the movie.
    As when reading a book we all a sign our own mental cast of people.
    I was disappointed that some key parts were left out. Thus making a broken connection with the viewer. Like the book is was a tear jerker.

  2. I read the book and I know this has been in the works for some time and the author had a terrible time getting producers that would stay true to the book. I read the book and listened to the audio version as well, so I’d been through it several times but its been several years since. The characters were as I imagined but there was so much more to the story that was left out. For example according to the film it implies he killed his father, but I do not recall that in the book. Perhaps it was his intent, I don’t know, I will have to dig it up and re-read that part. It also doesn’t go into how the body was actually found and how for a time, because he was able to lead authorities to her body, that he was implicated in her death even if only for awhile. That would have made a much longer movie. It was abbreviated to the point that like you said, it didn’t allow the audience to take the journey to reach the the conclusions made. Still the visuals were pretty much as I had imagined them to be, but like any book condensed to a movie, it is hard to get it all in. There have been many more criticisms of the book even by Christians that they chafed at, such as all men being equal in God’s affections but I won’t debate that. In that regard, it may raise additional questions than it answered.

    • Thanks for your insight and review that compares the book and film. I am hearing more disappointment from people who read the book and then saw it. Thanks again.

  3. I really liked the movie, but I appreciate another point of view

  4. I have read the book, and it is much better. I agree with the comment above about wondering about the boy poisoning his father because in the book I thought I remembered him just drugging him so he could get away. That changes things a lot, and I feel it is a major error in the movie. I liked the movie because I was with someone who was able to forgive her father after watching it. Your right that the book was much better, and maybe I would have had a different experience watching the movie with someone else.

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