Safe Haven: A safe choice

Regina Flores

If you’re in search of a movie that both you and your significant other would enjoy, Safe Haven might be just the right movie. This movie is not only a powerful love story but a thriller that will have you jumping out of your seat, biting your nails and crying your eyes out, all at the same time.

Based on a novel of the same name by Nicholas Sparks, the movie is about a girl in an abusive relationship who is trying to find a way out. Katie, played by Julianne Hough, chops off all of her hair and changes her name as she runs away to Southport, North Carolina to get away from her abusive, psychotic, alcoholic husband, who happens to be a police officer, while trying to find a “safe haven”. She rents a small, abandoned shack in the woods where she meets her friendly neighbor, Jo, played by actress Cobie Smulders. Katie frequently visits the nearby store/restaurant where she meets the owner, Alex, played by actor Josh Duhamel. Alex is a widower whose wife died of cancer, leaving him to raise two children alone. They get to know each other well, but at this point, Katie has not yet told Alex why she came to North Carolina.

Everything seems fine, except there’s a problem. Katie’s crazy, abusive husband is out to find her and will do whatever it takes to do so, including accusing her of murder and putting her on a “wanted” list, even though she is innocent. Alex soon finds Katie on a wanted sign, which causes problems between the two, and while all this is going on, Katie’s husband uses his police officer skills to do quite a bit of stalking. As usual, he is drunk, enraged, and armed, and, well, I’ll let you find out what happens for yourself. Let’s just say the ending will blow your mind.

While the story line to this movie is extremely engrossing, I think what makes this story so interesting are the flashbacks. The movie starts out with Katie’s husband frantically searching for her, and the audience has no idea what’s going on. Then viewers watch as Katie flees to North Carolina and meets Alex. Katie frequently dreams of a woman with brunette hair holding a knife, sneaking away as a dead man lies on the floor in the background. She remembers herself, cutting off her hair and running away from home. Before the audience understands the whole story for themselves, they see clues as to what exactly happened between Katie and her husband. This is very intense because the audience gets to witness all this going on and gets to put the clues together for themselves to understand what happened.

Not only was this movie interesting, but it was also well made. The scenery was great, most of it being on the beach. Katie’s “neighborhood” of trees and forest was also beautiful, the sunlight always shining beautifully through the foliage. I also thought the actors did a great job in portraying their dramatic characters. Although I have not read Safe Haven, I was very impressed with the movie and have no complaints.

Some may be resentful about watching a so called “love story” and “chick flick”, but I guarantee this one is worth seeing. It is loaded with action, drama and suspense, and you won’t regret renting it.