Corrupting Minds & Mocking our God
A Review of "Snow White and the Huntsman"
By Berit Kjos - June 15, 2012
See also Movie Magic and Unconscious Learning
Unlike Disney's 1937 cartoon fantasy, today's bewitching Snow White movie features real-life characters that popularize the occult through shocking thrills and unforgettable suggestions.
The setting for this movie is medieval Europe with its pagan beliefs and Renaissance magic. It also resembles the dark practices of ancient Canaan, Egypt, Assyria, Babylon, Greece and early Rome. They all worshipped their regional "gods" and idols that "sold" their favors through heartless sorcerers.
Through the ages, biblical faith has been the greatest obstacle to the occult. But today, as God's Word and values fade from America's consciousness, the darkness is spreading fast. Mystical games and movies feed the growing appetite for magical thrills. And this timeless warning is almost forgotten:
"There shall not be found among you anyone who... practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the Lord..." Deuteronomy 18:10-12
This movie is advertised for the age-16-and-up crowd, but I saw parents bringing young children. After all, Snow White is just a fairy tale, isn't it?
As the movie ended, I walked out behind a family of five. The children looked a bit stunned. With the father's permission, I asked his two older boys, ages 8 and 12, what they thought of the movie. They both shrugged and said "it was okay." Were they aware of the raging battle between good and evil?
The Magical Feats of Two Feminist Rivals
"God is going to change," wrote Naomi Goldenberg in Changing of the Gods, Feminism and the End of Traditional Religions. "We women will change the world so much that He won't fit anymore."
She is wrong about God. But she's right about our changing culture.
In the movie, the powers of the occult are featured through two strong, dominant leaders -- a current and a future queen. Together, they demonstrate the light and the dark side of evil. Neither would hesitate to fight and kill. Viewers simply flow with the action and passively absorb new values:
~ Snow White's homeland is attacked by "black warriors" conjured by the evil Ravenna. The king's army fights back, and the mystical invaders shatter like glass. As planned, the king's soldiers find a beautiful woman [Ravenna] inside a carriage. The widowed king, Snow White's father, immediately falls in love with her.
~ Soon after their marriage, Ravenna mysteriously poisons her royal husband, then puts a dagger through his heart. Determined to be the sole ruler of the land, she has stationed her actual army [not the magical imitation army that was shattered] outside the castle. She opens the gates and her soldiers burst into the castle.
~ By order from Queen Ravenna, a huge mirror is brought into her throne room. She asks a familiar question: “Mirror Mirror on the wall, who’s the fairest of them all?” The mirror melts down, then rises and assumes the shape of a faceless gold-covered statue that answers: “You are fairest...”
~ Imprisoned in the castle tower, Snow White mechanically recites the Lord's prayer to two dolls that apparently represent her dead parents, the former king and queen. Her rapid recitation sounds more like ritual than a prayer.
~ The land suffers and poverty reigns across the land. A father and son were caught stealing from the Queen's transport and are brought into the throne room for judgment. When the son stabs Ravenna in her belly, the queen -- like a vampire -- sucks the life from his heart.
~ Ravenna stares at her new wrinkles in the mirror. Her power has weakened, but she knows the solution. She asks for a young girl, then sucks out her youthful beauty.
~ Once again, the queen questions her magic mirror: "Who is fairest...?" The faceless golden figure answers, "..you are fairest, but another has come of age who threatens to take your place.” Snow White! The mirror suggests a solution to the Queen's dilemma: "...if you consume her heart, your power will be immeasurable, and you will never grow old again.”
~ Ravenna sends her brother to fetch Snow White, but she escapes through a sewer pipe that leads to a hole in the castle wall above the surf. She jumps into the water and swims to shore where a beautiful white horse happens to be waiting for her.
~ Pursued by Ravenna's soldiers, Snow White hides in the Dark Forest where everything is corrupt, rotten, menacing and surrounded by deadly gases.
~ The drunken Huntsman, a grieving widower, agrees to lead the search for Snow White. The Queen had promised to "resurrect [his] wife," but he soon realizes that this promise was simply a convenient lie. He finds Snow White and teaches her how to stab an enemy through the heart.
~ They meet seven unfriendly old dwarfs who eventually show them some hospitality. Together they enter a fairy forest -- an oasis with beautiful flowers and magical animals. Snow White's magical essence brings strength and beauty to the plants and animals.
~ Meanwhile, the Queen still wants Snow White's heart! Like a shamanic shape-shifter, she assumes the appearance of a young man and tricks Snow White into biting an apple. Coughing and choking, Snow White collapses.
~ When Ravenna lifts her arm to stab her unconscious foe, the Huntsman appears with his axe. Ravenna dissolves and reappears at her castle.
~ Snow White seems to be dead. Her lifeless body is brought to a chapel and placed on a bed. The Huntsman kisses her, then leaves. Snow White revives.
~ As her friends plan their attack on Ravenna's castle, the revived Snow White appears. She shows the dwarfs how to enter the castle through the sewer pipe and open the gates for the army. While the battle rages, Snow White heads for Ravenna’s throne room. The queen wields her magical powers, but Snow White remembers the Huntsman's lessons. She blocks Ravenna's dagger and stabs her through the heart.
~ Snow White becomes the queen -- the sovereign ruler of her kingdom.
I wonder if a DVD version of the movie will be available as "family entertainment" by the end of this year. If so, would children watch it again and again until its thrills and values are rooted in their imagination? Will it desensitize viewers to the spreading evil?
Recent media reports about sex slaves, torture and cannibalism should be a wake-up call to all of us. Such moral and spiritual corruption have destroyed civilizations through the ages -- just as it did through the cycles of Old Testament history.
"The coming of the lawless one is according to the working of Satan, with all power, signs, and lying wonders, and with all unrighteous deception among those who perish, because they did not receive the love of the truth, that they might be saved." 2 Thessalonians 2:9-10
The War on Truth and Values
A century ago, most American parents would have guarded their children from such transformational snares. But today it's more difficult. Parents are usually excluded from the intense interaction between teenagers and their computers.
The schools have their own agenda for today's students. [Please see Chronology of the National Education Association] Lessons in mystical lawlessness are promoted in classrooms across America. After all, delight in occult thrills helps them root out the old Christian influences. Remember, this is a spiritual war!
An article titled "Storytelling as a pedagogical tool in higher education" describes the mind-changing effectiveness of captivating tales:
"Milton H. Erickson defined hypnotic trance as the evocation and utilization of unconscious learning.... He believed that people are most open to learning in this state due to the fact that one's usual frames of reference and beliefs are temporarily altered so one can be receptive to concepts and information that may be somewhat different from what already has been assimilated into his or her cognitive and emotional frames of reference.
"The five stages of conversational trance induction, according to this model, are: fixation of attention, depotentiating habitual frameworks and belief systems, unconscious search, unconscious process, and hypnotic response.... What a person usually remembers the longest is information that has an emotional impact."
Yes, indeed. And today's schools and entertainment media have become masters in the art of such manipulation.
But in the midst of this darkness, our God still reigns! Among the incomparable riches we have in Christ is the assurance that He is with us! He will use today's struggles to prepare us for tomorrow's victories!
Our proud nation is fast rejecting His guidelines and forgetting its heritage. But the hope and promise Jesus shared with His disciples near the end of His earthly life is just as true for His people today:
"I am in My Father, and you in Me, and I in you. He who has My commandments and keeps them, it is he who loves Me. " John 14:20-21
"I have given them Your word; and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. I do not pray that You should take them out of the world, but that You should keep them from the evil one. They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world. Sanctify them by Your truth. Your word is truth." John 17:14-18
Before entering the theater to review an influential movie, I always "put on" the Armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-17). That wonderful passage reminds me to thank Him for His Truth, His righteousness (involves confession and repentance), His peace, His shield of faith, His helmet of salvation and His sword which is His mighty Word. This daily prayer has brought me much joy through the years. I wish every Christian family would seek and find that peace, shelter and security in Him.
"...be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might. Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.
"For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." Ephesians 6:10-14
"Thanks be to God, who gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ. Therefore, my beloved brethren, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that your labor is not in vain in the Lord." 1 Corinthians 15:57-58
1. Aldous Huxley, Brave New World (New York: HarperCollins, 1932), p. xvi, 28. 2.
2. Naomi R. Goldenberg, Changing of the Gods: Feminism & the End of Traditional Religions (Boston: Beacon Press, 1979), 3.
3. Craig Eilert Abrahamson, "Storytelling as a pedagogical tool in higher education," (pp. 1-2), online at http://findarticles.com/p/articles/mi_qa3673/is_n3_v118/ai_n28703209/?tag=content;col1
Copyright © Berit Kjos, 2012 (but feel free to copy it)