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Christian Analysis of American Culture (CAP Ministry)
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Entertainment Media Analysis Report
A service to His little ones through you in His name by His Word
(2007), PG-13 ["Hard" R-13*] (1hr 23min)
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(While the Scriptural references are certainly not subjective, my commentary may be and sometimes is somewhat subjective.)
Cast/Crew Details Courtesy Internet Movie Database
Production (US): Scarecrow Productions Inc., Bluestar Entertainment, Ghost House Pictures Distribution (US): Columbia Pictures, Sony Pictures Entertainment, Screen Gems
Director(s): Oxide Pang Chun, Danny Pang
Producer(s): Lou Arkoff, Rhonda Baker, Joseph Drake, Nathan Kahane, Kelli Konop, Jim Miller, Andrew Pfeffer, Sam Raimi, William Sherak, Jason Shuman, Robert G. Tapert, J.R. Young
Screenplay by: Mark Wheaton
Story by: Todd Farmer
Cinematography/Camera: David Geddes
Music: Joseph LoDuca
Film Editing: John Axelrad, Armen Minasian, Oxide Pang Chun, Danny Pang
Casting: Betia Hovedskov, Nancy Nayor, Kelly Wagner
Production Design: Alicia Keywan
Art Direction: Ken Watkins
Viewed At: Driftwood Theater 6
Again I must apologize for the lateness of this report. But until ministry funding increases manifold such delays are inevitable.
"I see dead people" could be a tag line for The Messengers if The Sixth Sense had not already said it. In The Messengers, The Sixth Sense's Cole Sear is teenage Jessica (Kristen Stewart). She sees dead people. No one else does. Maybe the age difference between six or seven year old Cole and teen Jessica is the answer, but I wonder why Cole didn't spout "You don't believe me" and "You never listen to me" like Jess does. Therein lies the dissonance created by such programming. The child is placed in unbelievable situations and barks "Why won't you believe me!" thereby emboldening viewing youth to try the same, just as justified as the movie character no matter the situation in reality, expecting it to work just like in the movies. Then when the end of the movie comes and the "truth" is revealed to the parents they are portrayed as functionally under the children. That is Hollywood -- stealing childhood from children.
Jess's parents, city dwellers Roy and Denise (Dylan McDermott and Penelope Ann Miller), cannot make ends meet in the city. Roy buys an old farm in the boondocks near where he used to live, packs up his family and moves to the haunted-looking old farmhouse where he plans to grow sunflowers.
Part of the reason they cannot make ends meet in the city is because of a wrongdoing of Jess. The wrongdoing was so bad that her toddler brother, Ben (Evan Turner) stopped talking. Out here, in the fresh country air they feel they can renew Jess "not as punishment but as a new start" and drive the rebellion out of her. Mom is reluctant but willing. Jess is ripped about having to leaver her friends.
But Jess finds a new "friend" in local hand, John (John Corbett) who happens along when Roy is attacked by blackbirds. John scares them off with shotgun blasts. As a conversation after being saved from maniacal birds might go, John ends up being Roy's back-stabbing farmhand.
As life progresses, life becomes less and less secure and comfortable for Jess as she sees more and more unexplainable things and events, even apparitions that no one else sees. One of them crawls on the ceiling looking as though it crawled up out of the well. The long black hair floating on the water is missing, though.
It seems the previous papa, who still lives, had done some dastardly deeds to his family who are now dead but undead and are trying to give a message to Roy's family through Jess about the guy who previously perpetrated the heinous horrors on his family. Why is left to the imagination. I suppose to exact revenge on the creep. It's a movie. Not a very good one.
Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
Violence comes for the most part in the form of attacks on the living by the non-living and by birds. In the first few minutes there is a rather long sequence of horror perpetrated on the first family by the dad/husband which might be rather creepy and graphic for some. Shock effect is sometimes effective judging by the waves of jumping bodies in the audience. Violence also comes as unseen forces demolish the contents of the house. Toward the end of the film John impales Roy with a pitchfork but the actual impalement is not seen, just the thrust of the pitchfork at an off-camera object then the shock and pain on Roy's face as his body collapses from the implied impalement. [Prov. 16:29]
Profanity pelted the speakers 13 times, three times by a teen. Teen malcontentism bellowed with comments such as "You never listen to me" and "Why won't you believe me" with examples of arrogance toward parental authority and concern. A teen tantrum served a an icy topping to the occasional "It ain't good enough no matter what 'it' it" teen attitude. [Eph. 6:1 - 3, Col. 3:20] The writing itself was somewhat expensive to the Impudence/Hate (I) investigation area score. It often placed the teen in a dissonant posture with episodes of placing the teen in an unbelievable situation expecting her parents to believe whatever she said and of placing the daughter functionally above the parents. [Ps. 12:8, Luke 17:2]
Sexual Immorality (S)
This film is unusually lite for PG-13 films in terms of sexually immoral behaviors and imagery. There were an example of camera angle and/or pose to force the viewer on private parts and excessive breast exposure. The crux of the matter is that they each involved a teen girl in this film for teen girls. Now you know one of the major sources of influencing and leading astray our young girls into more and more dress with less and less coverage and lowering of natural inhibitions. Though the influences are seemingly slight and may even seem invisible to many, they exist and take their toll, bit by bit. The pagans had the same problem but with mute idols. [1Cor. 12:2, 1 John 2:26]
This film is free of any noted presence of alcoholic beverage, illegal drugs or abuse of prescription drugs.
Offense to God (O)
Though this film used God's name in vain only five times and each without the four letter expletive, it is still the use of His name in vain. [Deut 5:11] The Messengers is thick with unholy/evil beings, presences and events by unholy forces. This matter is akin to witchcraft and demonism. [Eph. 5:11] Remember, folks. It is not our job to tell you whether context justifies content. That is your job. We just tell you what is there, you decide.
Just so you will know, there are scenes of brutal murder in this film. [Rev. 21:8, Deut. 18:10 - 12] Scenes such scenes are found to create/cause aggression in the impressionable [Ref: Joint Statement on the Impact of Entertainment Violence on Children Congressional Public Health Summit. The "impressionable", being mostly youth (teenagers), at the time when it is cool to be bad. [Ref: Karan Omidvari at St. Michael's Medical Center in Newark] and at the time when it would be unusual for even a sixteen year old to be able to fully separate fantasy form reality or fully anticipate the consequences of his/her actions.
If needed to focus or fortify, applicable text is underlined or bracketed [ ] or bold. If you wish to have full context available, the Blue Letter Bible is a convenient source. If you use the Blue Letter Bible, a new window will open. Close it to return here or use "Window" in your browser's menu bar to alternate between the CAP page and the Blue Letter Bible page.
***Selected Scriptures of Armour against the influence of the entertainment industry***
As always, it is best to refer to the Findings/Scoring section -- the heart of the CAP analysis model -- for the most complete assessment possible of this movie.
Wanton Violence/Crime (W)
Sexual Immorality (S)
Offense to God (O)
Christian Educators Association International
|There are some in the entertainment industry who maintain that 1) violent programming is harmless because no studies exist that prove a connection between violent entertainment and aggressive behavior in children, and 2) young people know that television, movies, and video games are simply fantasy. Unfortunately, they are wrong on both accounts." And "Viewing violence may lead to real life violence." I applaud these associations for fortifying 1 Cor. 15:33. Read the rest of the story. From our more than eight years of study, I contend that other aberrant behaviors, attitudes, and expressions can be inserted in place of "violence" in that statement. Our Director - Child Psychology Support, a licensed psychologist and certified school psychologist concurs. For example, "Viewing arrogance against fair authority may lead to your kids defying you in real life." Or "Viewing sex may lead to sex in real life." Likewise and especially with impudence, hate and foul language. I further contend that any positive behavior can be inserted in place of "violence" with the same chance or likelihood of being a behavior template for the observer; of being incorporated into the behavior mechanics and/or coping skills of the observer. In choosing your entertainment, please consider carefully the "rest of the story" and our findings.|
|In the name of Jesus: |
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ChildCare Action Project (CAP): Christian Analysis of American Culture
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