Reviewed by: Taran Gingery
Is Satan a real person that influences our world today? Is he affecting you? Answer
|Featuring:||Josh Holloway, Sarah Wayne Callies, Blake Woodruff, Joel Edgerton, John Kapelos, Dulé Hill, Michael Rooker|
|Producer:||Scott Niemeyer, Norm Waitt, Chris Fenton, Paul Brooks, Damon Lee, Walter Hamada|
“The Devil’s work is childs play.”
These are the words that appear before audiences at the beginning of “Whisper.” As audiences will see, though, Satan isn’t so much masquerading as an angel as a little boy. Sound familiar? It did to me, too, and throughout this film, one can see several similarities with last year”s remake “The Omen,” including the way the boy is dressed and the black wolf-dogs that constantly accompany him. Only this little boy isn’t called Damian, but David (Blake Woodruff)
From the moment we meet him, David is clearly different from the other kids. He doesn’t play very much or laugh or talk at all. This may be normal for some kids, but there is something eerie in David’s eyes. One day, David is kidnapped by a group of thugs, including Roxanne (Sarah Wayne Callies), Vince (Joel Edgerton) and Sydney (Michael Rooker), led by Max (Josh Holloway), who has his own reasons for the kidnapping, and hired by a mysterious unseen stranger called Jones. David proves to be more than they expected, though, and as Jones’ demands become stranger and David’s behavior becomes more erratic, members of the group must decide the outcome of their original plan.
For a R-rated horror film, I found “Whisper” surprisingly gore-free. Several deaths do take place, but all of them are either off-screen or unrealistically bloodless. For example, one character is impaled through the head with a screwdriver, two characters are shot (with fatal results), one is hit by a car, one shoots herself in the head (off-screen), and another is killed by an axe to the chest, but all of these deaths are bloodless or show brief blood pooling under bodies.
Brief, choppy flashbacks refer to previous gruesome murders, but little or no detail is seen. Two intense scenes (one opens the movie) involve intense wolf chases and attacks, one character drowns graphically and another has a realistic heart attack. All of those scenes are violent, but not gratuitously so.
Language is also mild for an “R,” with a few s-words, and several misuses of God’s name. Max and Roxanne sleep together, and she is seen in bed wearing a bra, and later in the shower, although the positions she takes block any graphic nudity.
Ultimately, though, “Whisper” contains less religious symbolism and ideas than “The Omen” and focuses more on the psychological weaknesses of man. David is an angel, but confesses to be a fallen angel or a demon whose sole purpose is to gather souls, as he puts it. Through his manipulation of events, he kills people, but through his manipulation of people, some of them kill each other. David takes the weaknesses and past sins of his captors and exploits them, turning them against each other and brewing suspicion, anger, fear and aggression. This is very much how Satan works in real life, although God’s presence is never mentioned, apart from misuses of His name—although one character does manage to rise above his weakness and fight against evil, and a hint of redemption is there for this character, by the end of the film.
So, while “Whisper” may not be the best horror film, it is certainly far from the worst, and I commend the director for showing restraint in areas of blood and gore and profanity. All of the actors, unknown on the big screen, but many known for roles in popular TV shows such as “Prison Break” and “Lost”, are competent, and Blake Woodruff is more effective than the kid who played Damien in “The Omen”, due to more speaking parts and character development. However, spiritually confusing themes regarding a too powerful Satan and an absent God, as well as what violence and immoral themes are present, prevent me from recommending it wholly.
Violence: Heavy / Profanity: Moderate / Sex/Nudity: Mild
[Is Satan a real fallen angel that influences our world today? Has he affected you? Answer]