I didn't do much research into this movie. I liked several M. Night. Shayalaman movies in the past and I wanted to see how the third movie was going to tie the original 2 characters back together with the addition of this 3rd. That meant I needed to watch this first.
No where in the plot summary base review did it mention that several young teenage girls were going to be kidnapped and ...something. I say something because after they were kidnapped and put into some kind of "unsafe" room with beds and a bathroom, I didn't want to watch any more and neither did my husband. We turned it off not too far into the movie. After he literally dragged one of them off screen behind a closed door....I don't want to watch a grown man kidnap and hurt teenage girls for the sake of "drama" or "entertainment". This is the kind of stuff that feeds people ideas that they don't need to dwell on. Some things should not be marketed as entertainment. Elizabeth Smart would probably agree that these insane desires do not need to be "fed" by Hollywood. I'm pretty ashamed I funded this.
I watched the first part of this movie and I saw that it was enacting in reality, the fantasy of a man who targeted young girls for some evil acts. Most people will identify with victims - the fear of the kidnapping, the fight or flight response, the problem solving process of getting out of danger. However, there are people - and more than you think - that would identify with the attacker. He exhibited strategy, detail planning, calm focus, determination, control to the point of domination, and an implied sexual assault. There are enough true crime cases to show that this is not an obscure, hypothetical, or even rare scenario somewhere in the wide world, or your country, or your hometown even. This movie isn't featuring a digitized impossibility as seen in other M.Night. Shyamalan movies - it is giving you a voyeur front row seat to an act, and although you are not actively participating, you are “in the room”. It’s an adrenaline movie, and you will identify with either the victim or the attacker. Most behavior scientists will tell you that watching “is” participating.
If you had to put a number to it, how many people in your town might be identifying with the attacker? 10, 50, 100, 1000? I can answer this for you with a minimum number. According to the National Sex Offender Registry, there are 750,000 registered sex offenders in the United States. Of those, nearly 400,000 involved crimes against children. That is 750,000 people who could not control the fantasies of their minds – and those are only the ones we know of with actual convictions. Sure, there “may be” some extenuating circumstances to some of those cases, but again, these are the only “knowns”. Sure, if you divide 750,000 by the adult population of the United States (approximately 210,000,000) you come up with a measly 0.4%. That should scare you a bit, because it means for every 1000 people around you, 4 of them can’t make this separation from fictional fantasy (or “acting”). They themselves will become the actors and the environments around them the stage.
Movies like this feed 750,000 people in this country. This is not something you want to nurture by giving it “artistic expression”. Call it what it is – this movie feeds the monsters…maybe even starts the process of making new ones.
C.S. Lewis once wrote, ““Good and evil both increase at compound interest. That is why the little decisions you and I make every day are of such infinite importance. The smallest good act today is the capture of a strategic point from which, a few months later, you may be able to go on to victories you never dreamed of. An apparently trivial indulgence in lust or anger today is the loss of a ridge or railway line or bridgehead from which the enemy may launch an attack otherwise impossible.”
He isn't wrong, isn he? So, if this movie were shown to this 750,000 people, would the very act of watching this movie be the "trivial indulgence"...leading to "attacks otherwise impossible".