Is Sanctuary Mindjob Closed Box Word Play Brilliance?

Is Sanctuary Mindjob Closed Box Word Play Brilliance?
Reader Rating0 Votes

Is Sanctuary Mindjob Closed Box Word Play Brilliance? It’s been a little while since I’ve stumbled upon a really excellent closed box mindjob that was worth your guys’ time. But today, THANKS TO MATT over on Patreon and Discord, we have a great one to talk through. Thanks Matt! Matt was also the guy who convinced me to watch Taxi Driver with him – even though I was certain all old movies sucked! hahaha. And Matt has been responsible for a bunch of other movies I’ve brought to you guys as well, I’m sure. So, a quick shout out to Matt everyone!!

First, a warning – this movie is all about sexual wordplay, banter, and could be triggering for many people. So much so that I thought I’d give it a pass. But the screenplay here is so fantastically devious, and so worth talking about it, I figured I’d just flag it off the top, and let you guys decide for yourself.

Second, from here on out will be spoiler dragons. If you haven’t headed over to Hulu and watched it? I’m sorry, but you are about to spoil a really fantastic little movie. Now, if you are dodging the film for more puritanical reasons, that I can support that. Let’s get into it shall we?

Sanctuary Movie Walkthrough

The movie opens, and we watch as Hal (played by Christopher Abbott, who is a favorite here on THiNC. – I mean, he crushed it in It Comes At Night, and also lead out the mind-crushing movie Possessor, oh, and then there was Black Bear that he did with Aubrey Plaza) let’s Rebecca (played by Margaret Qualley – Once Upon a Time in Hollywood) into his – what? Apartment loft? Home? Something? It’s a legal thing of some sort. Something about his becoming president of his father’s company after his father’s death. But quickly, the script pivots and we learn that this is actually a script that Hal has written, and Rebecca is actually what… she isn’t a prostitute, we know that because she says that she doesn’t touch her clients. So, she’s sort of a mental Dominatrix? Or maybe a psychological one woman mindjob for hire? Maybe she’s a dark/twisted psychologist/psychotherapist? As the movie opens you don’t really know what is going on.

As their cat and mouse game continues, Hal eventually gives Rebecca an extraordinarily expensive watch as a going away present. He can’t see her anymore. But oh, how she doesn’t like that. The games go from firecrackers to thermonuclear in a heartbeat. Rebecca turns the tables on Hal, and alleges that without her, he is nothing. She made him into the man that he has become because of her help and mental assistance. She then tells Hal that she has video recordings of their sessions, and that she will release them if he doesn’t give her half of his first year salary. Hal? Destroys his home looking for the camera.

Hal, trying to gain the advantage again, tells Rebecca that she means nothing to him – not only that, but he could have her killed for less than the price of the watch he gave her. Grabbing a knife, Rebecca forces Hal to have sex with her, and impregnate her, so that he will be forced to give child support, and stay involved in her life. Which would, ostensibly, tie the two of them together for life. And ultimately, Hal gives in, and decides that he will give Rebecca the money she has demanded.

As she’s leaving though, inexplicably upset, though she’s won the day… he arrives at the elevator, now concerned that she’ll be back again, demanding more money at a later day. He needs some sort of collateral that this sort of bribery won’t keep happening. She refuses to allow him any sort of modicum of control. Worse, she shows him that she does, in fact, have a video from earlier.

This doesn’t go well.

He ties her to the bedpost and demands that she delete it. But she refuses. Worse, instead of assenting to deleting the video, she tells him that she has quit her job, and left her fiancé. Wait, WAHT? Obviously this is just another ploy – a head game in order to manipulate Hal, to dominate him mentally… no? So Hal starts flipping out – telling Rebecca to stop. She won’t though, she wants him to understand exactly what she’s saying here, just how all in she is with all of this. That the rest of her life is despairingly awful, but when she’s with him? She feels alive – real. (More manipulation?)


Which, I have to add is about as brilliant a safe word as possible.

Is Sanctuary Mindjob Closed Box Word Play Brilliance?

She just continues to ignore Hal, and Hal is on the verge of killing her, and then himself he can’t stand it any longer. Rebecca spins it all on its head, and recommends that they play one final game. Rebecca will be Hal’s father, and Hal will be Hal.

Rebecca as Hal’s Father: “Say, you are nothing like me and you will never be.”
Hal: “I am nothing like you and I don’t have to be.”

The next day – Rebecca awakens to find Hal cleaning the apartment. The duo leave together, and he comes up with a plan. Basically, he would buy out the company from the board of directors, take it private, and then hand it over to Rebecca to run. She could be as rude and manipulative and flagrant in her demands as she wants, and he would keep the house and take care of her. Rebecca isn’t convinced that Hal would possibly be able to tell his mother how this arrangement was going to go. Hal tells Rebecca that he will say, “Mom, meet Rebecca, I’m in love. And she’s in charge.” With that, she’s convinced, they kiss… and the movie ends.

A Better Ending for the Movie Sanctuary

Look, that’s a sweet ending. But I could have made it a factorial better if anyone had asked me. (I will say though that I’ve recommended new endings for movies, and pretty much everyone has elicited an email, or a call, from someone in Hollywood asking me to look at their script. (You’d think that would be weird… but they are all generally pretty normal people, and fun to talk to! So, if you are in Hollywood, and you have a script you’d like me to read, my rates are super cheap. You just have to invite me to the filming! Simple!)

Is Sanctuary Mindjob Closed Box Word Play Brilliance? Sanctuary Screenplay ending fixed.

Personal Thoughts on the Movie Sanctuary

I loved the head-games the two of these people were playing. It was like they were playing a form of chess that they were making up as they went. It’s checkers, – I play an X in the center square, oh? I play a circle in the bottom left… No, surprise… it’s chess. Queen to E5. Chess? 3D chess… E5-Level3. They went from pleasant and engaging to tied to the headboard and things being destroyed and pulled off the walls, then a surprise that there was a recorded video in play – and all of that in 3.2 seconds. But when the movie down shifted towards resolution, while sweet, lost a lot of its charm. I really do think though that it could have gotten it all back with one, very simple shot. We’ve been over that already. And yet, I loved the ending. It resolved everything in one swoop… maybe extraordinarily and naively optimistic, and still, it was sweet. And sweetness, in a movie that had none of that for the past 90 minutes was interesting.