Once upon a time, I recapped an insane Christian book that claimed the devil created football as a tool to destroy humanity. The article’s popularity made me turn my recaps into a weekly series named “So You Don’t Have To“, where I find batshit crazy pieces of media (books, movies, etc) and recap them for your pleasure.
Today, I’ll be recapping the 2015 Christian movie tilted, ‘War Room.‘
“Tony and Elizabeth Jordan, seemingly have it all – great jobs, a beautiful daughter, their dream home. But appearances can be deceiving. In reality, the Jordan’s home has become a war zone and their daughter is collateral damage.”
– The movie’s plot synopsis
My heart swelled with anger as I watched ‘War Room’ for the first time back in 2016. Not just because I’d been catfished by the title — I assumed it was about a family trapped in a war-torn country but it’s really about a woman convinced by Christianity that her husband’s shortcomings are kinda her fault — but because it was problematic as hell and just plain bad. I had forgotten all about it until this Derrick Jaxn mess came up.
Derrick and his wife, Da’Naia, in her helmet of salvation.
For those who haven’t heard about Derrick Jaxn, here’s a brief summary of his tea. He’s an internet relationship “guru” who was recently exposed as a serial cheater even though he’s made a living dishing out relationship advice. He made an apology video alongside his wife, Da’Naia, in which she looked like she was in distress. When people pointed this out, she posted another video saying this in regards to her marital problems:
“This is a spiritual warfare. I did not come here to play games and to play dress-up, I came here in my battle suit. I came here on the battleground covered in the blood of Jesus to spill the blood of the enemy.”
Just like the protagonist in ‘War Room,’ fighting an imaginary battle with the devil instead of addressing the real issue: her bastard husband.
Before I vex.
Right from the jump, you can tell that Tony and Elizabeth’s marriage is a mess and that Tony is the reason why. In the first scene, he comes home from his job as a pharmaceutical salesman and before their daughter, Danielle, can show him her report card, he starts a fight with Elizabeth.
He disrespects his family in all kinds of ways, like not telling them when he’s traveling for business, not showing any interest in his daughter’s life, and checking out other women in front of Elizabeth.
To make this worse, this happened at CHURCH.
Elizabeth complains to her coworkers about how difficult it is to submit to her husband when he keeps being shitty and one of them says:
And I’m like:
Elizabeth is a real estate agent and she gets the task of selling the house of an elderly widowed woman named Ms Clara. Ms Clara is friendly in an uncomfortable way. She talks non-stop, revealing weirdly personal details about her life. And the whole time, Elizabeth is just like…
…because she doesn’t want to fumble a bag. Elizabeth gathers all the information she needs about the house and is on her way out when, out of nowhere, asks:
Ms Clara says she’ll reveal her favourite room the next time they meet. I’m disgusted by this because it’s clear this forced dialogue only exists to awkwardly push the plot along.
Meanwhile, Tony is busy setting up a booty call.
The next time Elizabeth and Ms Clara meet, it’s to discuss potential asking prices for the house but Ms Clara has other things on her mind she wants to ask.
A real-life person would’ve asked Ms Clara why the fuck she’s being so damn nosey. But Elizabeth is a character in a poorly written piece of propaganda so she answers all Ms Clara’s questions, also talking about the fights she and Tony have been having. Ms Clara says the reason Elizabeth has been losing fights with Tony is that she’s been fighting the wrong way. Ms Clara offers to show Elizabeth her favourite room in the house.
The war room is a tiny closet with a light bulb, a chair, and pieces of paper stuck on the wall with bible scripture scribbled on them. Ms Clara explains that whenever her husband would misbehave, she would come to her War Room and fight the right way — by praying for her husband and against Satan — until her husband started acting right. She encourages Elizabeth to do the same.
Elizabeth isn’t enthusiastic about spending time praying in a tiny closet like a discount ‘Carrie‘ so she says she’ll think about it. She eventually decides to do it when she overhears a conversation between Danielle and a friend.
A few days later, Ms Clara and Elizabeth are hanging out when a guy with a pen knife tries to rob them.
Elizabeth is ready to give up her valuables when Ms Clara suddenly goes:
And the guy actually puts the knife down and walks away.
Almost being stabbed to death by a Teletubby on crack makes Elizabeth take her own war room more seriously. As she’s posting pieces of bible scripture on the walls, she finds out from a friend that Tony is about to cheat on her with a white woman.
So she does her best Kerry Washington cry face and prays to Jesus to cockblock Tony.
And in an attempt to drive Satan out of her house, delivers the worst monologue I’ve ever heard.
Thanks to Elizabeth’s prayer, black Jesus strikes Tony with food poisoning, discouraging him from being an adulterous bastard.
When Tony gets back home, he gets fired from his job. Turns out he wasn’t only an abusive, adulterous piece of shit but was also engaging in illegal sales at work. Hitting rock bottom makes him realize how much of his daughter’s life he’s been missing. He also finds Elizabeth’s war room and sees her prayer points, which include wanting him to stop being a fucking douche and love her again.
He cries stupidly and begs for Elizabeth’s forgiveness, giving his life to Christ in the process. Later, he gets a job at the neighbourhood community centre. He tells Elizabeth about the job and how it pays less than his former job and she replies with this:
Me after watching this:
One more thing before I go: Ladies, don’t let people or movies peddling messages like this deceive you. If a man is being bastard, it’s HIM that’s doing it, not the devil. No amount of praying and crying in a cupboard under the stairs can change a man who doesn’t want to be changed.
Until next week, y’all.
Check back every Friday for more So You Don’t Have To insanity.
Click here to read other entries in the So You Don’t Have To series.