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This Review Reveals Minor Details About the Plot.

Cake and Ice Cream

Whisper (2007) on IMDb

Plot Overview

birthday partyLucky David (Blake Woodruff,) scion of a Beacon Hill family, is celebrating his eighth birthday during the week of Christmas. His affluent mother Mrs. Catherine Sandborn (Teryl Rothery) has sprung for both a professional magician (Rod Boss) and a temp Santa (Josh Holloway.) Gift-giving Santa is a hit with all the guests while David is enthralled by the magic act. Then Santa makes David disappear (“Little Boy Abducted.”)

Costumed-in-red Max Truemont was part of a coterie of kidnappers. They figured Max would be able if necessary to throttle the kid on account of his just getting out of prison on a man­slaughter rap. Max's fiancée Roxanne (Sarah Wayne Callies) was good with children. She also had a history of having killed her unborn baby, but it was a secret abortion. Max's former partner Sidney Braver­man (Michael Rooker) was their organizer who'd once killed a teller in a stick­up, but he pinned it on his partner. Their communications expert responsible for veiling the phone call(s) was Vince Delayo (Joel Edgerton) who didn't have it in him to kill a kid, but he wasn't above breaking bones. Police lead was Det. Whitley (John Kapelos) who played the investigation close to his chest, perhaps because he'd been paid off. A mysterious “Mr. Jones” was a voice on the phone who'd set it all up.

They transport David to the closed-for-the-winter Camp Windi-Kouk in Piscataquis County, Maine, near Welsham. He is given his own locked room and a giant set of crayons to amuse him­self with. There he turns into a regular Hieronymus Bosch—known for his paintings depicting death—drawing murals that are uncannily predictive. He's more than the kid­nap­pers bar­gained for. That and the opening shot of the termination of David's previous nanny (Jennifer Shirley) amidst much flurry cause one to wonder if a harried mother might not have had her own reasons for getting rid of her adopted kid. Rich people some­times have unsettling agendas.


Santa's giftsThe movie starts with a bastardized quote of (2Cor. 11:13-15) “deceitful workers, trans­forming them­selves into the apostles of Christ. And no marvel; for Satan himself is trans­formed into an angel of light. There­fore it is no great thing if his ministers also be trans­formed as the ministers of righteous­ness.” We've got a phony Santa on a “sweet gig in December.” Let's look at his origins. Fourth century Christian prelate Saint Nicholas was renowned for his generosity and came to be celebrated throughout Europe. In Holland he was Sint Nikolaas or simply “the good saint,” which in Dutch is Sinterklaas. The British colonists in the New World mis­pro­nounced it, “Santa Claus.” We might under­stand the movie better if we explored this good saint as a type of Noah recipient of God's grace.

Santa provisioned his sleigh with gifts manufactured by elves at the North Pole. Let's compare Santa's sleigh with Noah's ark. Researcher Mark DeWayne Combs working from Genesis and ancient sources tells us, “we can reasonably propose accurate proportions of the ark to be 510 feet long, 85 feet wide and 51 feet in height” (27). That would dwarf the men working on it making them seem like little elves. Further­more, “Christ him­self referenced the flood (Matthew 24:39) … that those out­side of Noah's immediate family ‘knew not until the flood came and took them all away.’ … This brings a detail that would impact the choice of location — the absolute necessity of isolation” (Combs 52). In our modern Santa myth, the elves' construction takes place at the supremely isolated North Pole.

Santa's sleigh is pulled by eight reindeer harnessed in pairs. Noah's ark was filled with pairs of exotic animals. (Gen. 7:17) “And the flood was forty days upon the earth; and the waters increased, and bare up the ark, and it was lifted up above the earth.” Santa's sleigh also flies up above the earth. The ark landed on (Gen. 8:5) “the tops of the mountains”, the roof of the world. The sleigh lands on the rooftops, too.

In Noah's day (Gen. 6:1-2) there had been concourse between angelic beings “the sons of God” and earth women “the daughters of men” producing (Gen. 6:4) a hybrid off­spring. Who knows what to call them, but in our movie David is vaguely defined as an angel/demon. What led to a world­wide destructive flood was, (Gen. 6:5) “the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.” In “Whisper” we encounter wickedness left and right resulting from evil imaginings having been psychically whispered by the boy-angel David—think rap music lyrics. We suppose the same sort of thing must have been happening in Noah's day.

In our movie the deal-breaker occurred when David saw his kidnappers' faces. They could hardly return him unharmed—or at all—after that. In Noah's story, similarly, a deal-breaker occurred when Noah's youngest son Ham (Gen. 9:18-19) saw a dishabille Noah (Gen. 9:20-22) and then told his brothers Shem and Japheth how he'd (Ezek. 22:10) “discovered their father's nakedness.” His brothers respected Noah's privacy (Gen. 9:23) and so received (Gen. 9:24-27) the expected blessing while Ham's lineage—there represented by his youngest son Canaan—were given an inferior status. Privacy was crucial, because with­out it the world would degenerate into more violence, as we see in our movie.

“Whisper” follows the general arc of one of Alan Hunter's George Gently series:

Was the Sea-King a telepathist? Was he secretly shaping Gently's thoughts as smoke rose from the guttering clay?

Esau … had laid the spell on him. —

Esau appeared as supernatural, as a demi-god briefly enlarged from some Valhalla. This had been more than man! He'd had the stamp of a divinity. He hadn't died his death as much as received a translation. Impatient of his hunters he had cast his mortality aside, and the heavens them­selves had borne witness to his return. (166, 175, 228)

Production Values

” (2007) was directed by Stewart Hendler. It was written by Christopher Borrelli. It stars Sarah Wayne Callies, Blake Woodruff, and Michael Rooker. Young Woodruff gave a top-notch performance as the demon boy, having been well-chosen for the part after an exhaustive casting search. The other actors brought out the single dimension of the slime­balls they portrayed, and in one case a detective who was in over is head. No surprises.

MPAA rated it R for violence and terror. It had a fairly decent music track that included Christmas music and Johnny Cash, which never­the­less was unable to lift the dark mood. The scary dogs in the woods won't inspire confidence in summer camp, either. The sets are good, the snow fake, the ending abrupt.

Review Conclusion w/a Christian's Recommendation

Here's one to keep you awake at night. My DVD came with a supplemental production track on which we see the lead boy is a regular Joey, not a monster, and the story just a movie, not real life. Skip this material if you want to preserve the movie's spell. The deleted and extended scenes, how­ever, are useful supple­men­tary material probably cut to reduce its length. The alternate ending leaves room for a sequel. If you think your daughter can do better than work as a nanny, show her this movie; it might scare her away from that career choice.

Movie Ratings

Action factor: Edge of your seat action. Suitability For Children: Not Suitable for Children of Any Age. Special effects: Well done special effects. Video Occasion: Fit For a Friday Evening. Suspense: Don't watch this movie alone. Overall movie rating: Four stars out of five.

Works Cited

Scripture quoted from the King James Version. Pub. 1611, rev. 1769. Print. Software.

Combs, Mark DeWayne. End the Beginning. USA: Splinter in the Mind's Eye Pub., 2014. Print.

Hunter, Alan. Gently in the Sun. Copyright © Alan Hunter 1959. London: Constable, 2016. Print.