“A grieving man receives a mysterious, personal invitation to meet with God at a place called “The Shack.””

Director: Stuart Hazeldine
Writers: John Fusco, Andrew Lanham, Destin Daniel Cretton
Staring: Sam Worthington, Octavia Spencer, Tim McGraw, Radha Mitchell, Avraham Aviv Alush
Release Date: March 3, 2017

Mack Phillips (Sam Worthington) is the quintessential American dad. Living in the suburbs with three kids and a lovely wife, everything seems nice in his white picket fence light. Mack is taking his two daughters and one son on a camping trip, hoping for some quality time.

That quality time is shattered into a million pieces when his youngest child Missy Phillips (Amélie Eve) is kidnapped from the camp. Mack was pulled away after his older children had their canoe tip-over, and in that time the predator took away Missy and took away Mack’s capacity for emotional happiness.

If you think you are going to find out who took Missy, then you are sorely mistaken. If you think you are going on a religious journey of self discovery and forgiveness, then you are absolutely right!

Mack steals his neighbors truck (the neighbor is played by Tim McGraw) and heads up to the camping site where the crime involving Missy took place. When he arrives, not all is what it seems. Yes, I purposely put the ridiculously cheesy line there. That is The Shack in a nut-sell.

Turns out God is a thing, and the person playing god is Octavia Spencer (most of the time). Guess what, she is pretty solid. She is a good God. In an acting sense. Oh! And there is a Jesus too! Jesus is played by Avrnaham Aviv Alush. Oh, you want more! We have the Holy Spirit, played by Sumire!

This is not the movie I expected when I clicked play. The log line on Netflix is: “After suffering a tragic loss, Mack Phillips seeks answers from a mysterious letter urging him to visit a deserted shack Oregon wilderness.”

I WAS DUPPED! WHAT IS THIS NETFLIX. Compare it to the IMDB summary that is at the top of this post. What is this! I was not in the mood to be inspired! I was in the mood to be traumatized! What is this bullshit! You are going to attempt to take me on a religious quest of enlightenment when all I wanted was a murder mystery about a young child!

Now that you know what The Shack is about…wait. Before we get to that. Why the hell was this movie entitled The Shack? Why not The Shed? Why not something that is less goosebump inducing? Like I saw a movie called The Shed (2019) and that was about a vampire. That movie should have been called The Shack, and this should have been called something else.

Entering the trust tree here. I don’t care about The Shack. I just have more quetions.

What is Sam Worthington doing with his career? Are the turn of the 200s, it looked like Worthington was going to be a gut. He was in the blockbuster Terminator Salvation (2009), starred in the highest grossing movie ever Avatar (2009(, and then was the lead in another blockbuster attempt with Clash Of The Titans (2010). *Insert obligatory RELEASE THE KRAKEN* scream.

Worthington had a small part to play in the well received Hacksaw Ridge (2016), but I saw this with all sincerity, what has been be in as the lead that is good? His next attempt at reaching Hollywood status against is Avatar: The Way Of Water (2022), and the only reason people remember him in that now decade old franchise is because of his name, Sully. He has a ton of Avatar stuff coming up and he has 11 movies on his IMDB marked in “Completed”, “Post-Production”, “Filming” or “Pre-Production.”

Here I would like to self BONK myself. Radha Mitchell is incredibly attractive. She is Australian like Nicole Kidman, who I also find very pretty. Is there something in the water down under? The movies I remember her most from are Rogue (2007) and Silent Hill (2006). So maybe not the best movies, but she is very beautifual.

Okay. I am off my horny station.

The Shack is streaming on Netflix. I say skip it. If you are not the religious type, the overeagerness of its arching message will fall on hollow ears. And don’t go into The Shack thinking it is a mystery about a girl gone missing. There is nothing about that. At all.

STANKO RATING: C- (2.0/5 Stars)


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