“The Shack” is a Highly Effective Faith-Based Film

<em>The Shack<em> 2017

This is the film that finally answers the question, “Papa, can you hear me?” Octavia Spencer plays “Papa,” who quite possibly created the heavens and the earth. And the answer is “yes” in Stuart Hazeldine’s moving faith-based fantasy drama The Shack (B). Sam Worthington is an effective Everyman, and if viewers can get past his accent inconsistencies, they will appreciate his journey from desperation to hope in the wake of tragedy. The film offers a parable in the vein of The Wizard of Oz within the confines of what seems like standard-issue melodrama; and despite some mawkish moments and a bit of a “preaching to the converted” mentality, this spiritual tonic somehow washes down with grace. The diverse cast including familiar faces such as Tim McGraw and Graham Greene and game new talent such as Aviv Alush and Sumire is uniformly committed, and the film’s contemplative pace gives oxygen to its major messages. You’ve never seen many Christian themes depicted quite like this, and even the big budget effects and imagery are quite memorable. This film provides a positive and reassuring message to be cherished about heeding ancient calls to address and learn from contemporary pain.

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