'The Shack' Is An Unbearably Plodding Drama About A Man Who Spends A Weekend With God

You're better off reading the book it's adapted from.

The Shack (PG13)

Starring Sam Worthington, Octavia Spencer, Tim McGraw

Directed by Stuart Hazeldine

Octavia Spencer’s turn as a Neil Young-loving God is the best thing in this unbearably plodding and mawkish allegorical drama based on the best-selling Christian novel by William Paul Young.

Sam Worthington stars as Mack, a family man who has a falling out with God after his daughter was murdered after being kidnapped during a camping trip. But he’s about to reverse his un-friend status with the Almighty when he encounters the Holy Trinity (played by Spencer, Israeli thesp Avraham Aviv Alush, and Japanese singer-model Sumire) in an idyllic cottage, the kind you find in Grimm fairy tales. (Can God list this property on Airbnb?)

Over the course of the weekend — or a butt-numbing 132 minutes — Mack gets to work out his guilt, grief and anger issues. It’s therapeutic for him, but torture for some folks, especially the secular crowd.

The Shack is like a Bible study guide masquerading as a Lifetime Movie-of-the-Week. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but it should at least come with half-hour intermissions, during which the audience can break into small discussion groups and share their feelings over cookies and coffee.

Alas, that didn’t happen at the screening I attended.  (2.5 stars) 

Photo: Shaw Organisation 

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