I just had the privilege of pre-screening the new short film, Willful Entrapment, a visually gripping movie about a mind-warping porn addiction.
Jayson McDonald plays Alan, a quiet, unassuming bachelor whose secret obsession with pornography begins to take over his thoughts. On one hand the film is quite realistic, showing how porn addiction can affect a person’s entire life: their ambitions, time, money, commitments, and closest relationships. On the other hand the film is vividly surreal, filled with rich symbolism throughout. The whole thing is very edgy and dark: sort of a young-Ted-Bundy-meets-The-Ring. But the film closes with a strong message of freedom from addiction.
As you can see from the trailer, the main symbolic feature of the film is a hook and thread that tethers Alan’s mind to his computer, one of the chief sources of his dirty secret. Everywhere he goes he feels the mysterious pull of the women from his virtual escapades. Alan’s lust takes over, and it seems every woman he sees becomes the canvas for his fantasies. Finally one afternoon, when Alan’s friend Bernice (played by Kathy Quayle) is entangled in his lust, he must decide whether he will cry out to God to set him free.
For all the creepy elements of this film, the whole thing is done quite tastefully. I interact with the subject of pornography addiction on nearly a daily basis, and I have seen how difficult it is to vividly portray the ugliness of addiction without simultaneously titillating the very people you are trying to help. Willful Entrapment does an excellent job using symbolic sight, sound, and music to portray lust’s power without causing viewers to lust. I applaud the film-makers for this creative approach.
Writer/director/producer Francois Driessen tells me he releases this film to be a tool in God’s hands, communicating a message for those who are trapped in porn addiction. He also wants this to be a tool fathers can use to talk to their sons about the dangers of pornography. He wanted the visual language of Willful Entrapment to be as powerful as any Hollywood film.
The project has not yet been released on the Internet, DVD, or Blueray, but will probably be available in the next several months. The film does an excellent job “opening the can of worms,” as it were, but when the film is finally released, Driessen is partnering with organizations worldwide in order to have plenty of resources available for viewers to really deal with the worms.