Starring Avatar‘s Sam Worthington, resting on a wholesome Christian conceit and titled The Shack, The Shack is on paper the blandest cream-of-wheat of a film. In trailer form, it’s still not particularly appetizing, but at least it’s also kind of insane.
The latest of an rising number of faith-based movies sees Worthington as a man whose young daughter disappears from their camping site. Swept away by The Rapture? Nope. Just a classic creep who snuck her off to his rundown mountain shack to murder her.
Following the tragedy, Worthington is understandably despondent. He sulks through his snowblowing, even though you get the sense he’s the type of guy who used to really find satisfaction in a clean, snow-free driveway. When Tim McGraw shows up at his garage and offers, “How about some dinner tonight?”, Worthington can’t even appreciate what a flattering come-on it is. Avatar is in a very bad place.
But then something odd happens. He finds a letter in his mailbox, yet no tracks are left in the snow. It’s signed “Papa.” It says, “It’s been a while. I’ve missed you.” Yet there’s evidence that it’s not just a spectral Papa John’s flyer: it invites him to meet at the shack.
Worthington goes along with it and, upon arriving, learns the “Papa” is a gender neutral designation. Papa is Octavia Spencer. Papa is also God, and she’s residing in this suddenly well-furnished shack-turned-cabin with Jesus and a beautiful woman. Can God herself heal the loss in Worthington’s heart? And is that lady, like, The Holy Ghost, or just a live-in lesbian lover? If anyone cares enough, they can find out March 3.