If you were ever wondering what Sam Worthington was doing in-between Avatar movies, you’ll find the answer in The Shack. The Shack is an adaptation of the book by William Paul Young that sold millions of copies to the same crowd that bought the Heaven Tourism genre. But this review is not a rebuttal against all of the arguments made in The Shack because there are too many to go over in a short video. Rather it is a review of the movie. Spoiler Alert.
The main character is Mack who grew up in a home with an alcoholic father who was also an elder in the church. Fast forward and now Mack is a supposedly seminary trained father of three children. One day Mack takes his children on a camping trip. But oh no! While he saves his son from drowning, his youngest daughter Missy is abducted. The FBI is semi-competent in this movie, and they locate a shack where they believe Missy was murdered by a serial predator.
Understandably still in pain from the loss of his daughter, one day there is an ice storm and Mack finds a letter in the mailbox that was not delivered by the post office. It’s a message from “Papa” the name Missy used for God inviting Mack to the shack where his daughter was killed. Enraged but ultimately curious, Mack steals his friend’s truck to revisit the shack. But when Mack arrives, he enters a new world. Up until this point, The Shack is a compelling story about a man dealing with loss. At about 45 minutes into the movie, The Shack goes off the wall and stops being a serious movie when God the father is portrayed as Octavia Spencer. Yes. That Octavia Spencer. And then the Holy Spirit is portrayed as an Asian woman named after a Hindu god. Both God the Father and the Holy Spirit are depicted with the wrist wounds of the crucifixion.
From there we get a twenty-minute-long conversation between Mack and the god of The Shack. Or what I would call, a massive exposition dump. And that’s really what this movie is, a narrative communication of a heretical author’s machination. From there, Mack goes on a vision quest in which he eventually learns that he does not want to judge humanity and so must forgive his father and even the man who murdered his daughter. Both of which are either in Heaven or going to be. The vision quest ends with Mack being offered a chance to return to his life or spend eternity with God. He chooses life and wakes up in a hospital after having wrecked his friend’s truck. Because apparently Mack can’t drive and never made it to the actual shack.
This movie is an absolute pile of heretical manure. Put simply, The Shack’s blasphemous portrayal of the Holy Trinity is the baseline of theological concerns. From there we have a god of lollipops and rainbows. The god of the Shack is a god that does not punish evil. It’s a god that believes the fundamental problem in man is that they don’t see God as good. The most obvious heresy in The Shack is universalism. The Shack combines unlimited atonement with irresistible grace, and it’s a wonder how Satan would not still be in Heaven. Yet despite its overt universalism, The Shack maintains that what we do in life has eternal consequences. What a joke.
This is a horrendous movie that I do not see how anyone outside of the Hillsong Cult could enjoy.