Gilbert Speaks On Films: The Shack, The Red Turtle, Maggie

11 Oct

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Yes, my dear followers, I am serving up a tasty dish of reviews of three different films that I watched over this past weekend. All three have won the honor of being included in “Granny’s Insomnia Theatre” collection. Each has its own special message. So what does God have to do with animation or zombies? Find out after the jump.

The Shack

As all my readers know, I am against organized religion although I am a devout believer in GOD, so when I happened on this little gem during one of my insomnia episodes, I was expecting to quickly change channels the more evident it became that this might turn out to be a bible thumping over the head type of film. The Shack is a 2017 Christian drama based on the William P Young novel. The film stars Sam Worthington, Octavia Spencer, Graham Greene, Radha Mitchell, Alice Braga, Sumire Matsubara, Aviv Alush and Tim McGraw.

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Mackenzie (Sam Worthington) is a married man and father of three, who had suffered extreme physical and emotional abuse at the hands of his drunken father. We are led to believe that Mackenzie harbors a secret. He poisoned his father by adding strychnine to his liquor. We’re never shown if the boy succeeded in killing his father. As an adult, Mackenzie is a kind and loving husband and father even though he does not share the closeness to God, that his wife Nan (Radha Mitchell) does. Nan is on a first name basis with God and calls him Papa.

Tragedy strikes when Mackenzie takes his children: Kate (Megan Charpentier), Josh (Gage Munroe) and little Missy (Amelie Eve) to the campgrounds for the weekend. Through a series of events, Missy becomes a victim of a serial killer. The viewing was held with a closed coffin, and whatever faith Mackenzie had in God died with Missy. When Mackenzie receives a note from Papa asking him to meet at the shack where Missy’s body was found, Mackenzie borrows a truck, absconds with his friend’s gun and goes to the shack. There at the shack, he meets three people who are more than what they appear to be: Papa (Octavia Spencer) (Aviv Alush) and Sarayu (Sumire Matsubara). It is up to these three strangers to help Mackenzie heal.

The Red Turtle

The Red Turtle is a 2016 French/Japanese animated fantasy. This film is a co-production between Wild Bunch and Studio Ghibli and is produced by Toshio Suzuki and directed by Michael Dudok de Wit. The film deals with a man who is set adrift by a storm and wakes up on a deserted island. The island is rich in resources and also has a dense bamboo forest. The man builds a raft from the bamboo, but all his plans to escape are hindered by an unseen sea creature. After one of his rafts is destroyed, he comes face to face with a female red turtle. When the turtle comes onto the land, the man flips it on its back in anger.

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The man feels remorse and tries to revive the turtle. The shell splits and a woman is revealed. They soon fall in love and have a son. As the boy grows, he makes friends with other sea turtles. After a tsunami destroys the island, the boy tells his parents that it is time for him to explore the world. .

Maggie

Maggie is a 2015 post-apocalyptic horror drama directed by Henry Hobson and stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Abigail Breslin and Joely Richardson. The zombie pandemic has hit the Midwestern United States and people are trying to deal with family members who have been bitten. Unlike the majority of zombie films where the change from human to flesh eater is instantaneous, this film has the Necroambulist virus move at a slower rate, which gives its victims weeks before they have to be quarantined…a nice word for killed by the government.

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Wade (Arnold Schwarzenegger) finds Maggie (Abigail Breslin) in a hospital after searching for her for several weeks. He takes her home, but her stepmother, Caroline (Joely Richardson) sends Maggie’s half-siblings to stay with an aunt while she and Wade wait for Maggie’s disease to enter the acute stage. Dr. Vern Kaplan (Jodie Moore) warns Wade that it might be better to shoot Maggie when the time comes instead of taking the quarantine treatment which is a painful death.

We see a different Arnold Schwarzenegger in this film. There is none of the Terminator response to danger that Schwarzenegger is so famous for, instead, we watch a loving father prepare for the day his first-born will hunger for human flesh. There are several townsfolk who have the disease, and even though the infected must be turned into the authorities when they are close to becoming a full-fledged zombie, some don’t. Wade is forced to kill a neighbor and small child who are roaming the woods. When the sheriff reminds Wade that Maggie is showing more and more of the physical signs of rot, Wade brushes him off. This film proves that we are able to find beauty in a horror film.

Conclusion

All three films are special in their own way and each one had a message. In “The Shack” we are reminded that GOD is not about religion: never was and never will be. Bad things may happen in life, but we are never alone. GOD walks that trail of tears with us, but more importantly, he celebrates our joys. Love is love.

The Red Turtle was a film about hope, nature, and the unspoiled world. The man who is human has fallen in love with the female turtle. It a fairytale that shows how two different species share a connection and a loving bond for the world they inhabit.

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Maggie gave the apocalypse a face and a name. Maggie wasn’t a mindless zombie, but a frightened teenager who contacted a horrid disease after being attacked. We watch her deal with the slow rot that the disease brings on as she continues to interact with friends and her family. She knew what would happen to her in the end, but she trusted her father to remember her humanity.

I saw hope in all three films. Hope is how we deal with a world gone mad with greed. Watch all three films.

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