The prologue says many, many miles of abandoned tunnels lie beneath the US, many without an identifiable purpose. Then the screen shows its first sign of disaster—a storm forecast on a TV that cuts to an advertisement of Hands Across America, which also features the twin towers, ironically forming an 11 shape. Then, lightning and rain strikes before Adelaide meets her Tethered in the hall of mirrors. As the events of the film progress, power always surges whenever the Tethered arrive, something lightning often causes, ultimately associating these evil clones with God’s judgment like what He did to Israel and its surrounding nations. (Genesis 19:14-15, Job 37:2-6, Jonah 3:4, Revelation 4:5) The use of the number 11 is deeply prevalent throughout the movie, as it signifies the freaky coincidences that signal the Tethereds’ approach, such as the twin girls who keep accidentally talking in unison and a frisbee landing on a towel circle perfectly. However, in real life, true destruction can never be predicted by things like coincidences, in fact nobody, not even Jesus himself, knows when precisely God will unveil his wrath on the whole Earth. (Matthew 24:36)
Also tying together the themes of doom in this movie is the common use of white rabbits, which are first seen caged in the opening credits. Later, Zora wears a rabbit on her shirt, and a rabbit plush sits inside Adelaide’s drawer, which Red finds and decapitates. In the Old Testament, God declares rabbits unclean to eat, (Leviticus 11:6, Deuteronomy 14:7) which becomes much freakier when it’s said that the Tethered had no choice but consume these rabbits to live. This method of turning something usually considered a cute, fluffy little household pet into a disgusting nightmare parallels Americans: deceptively lovable outside, uncontrollable inside… their excessive reproduction leading to more destructive generations.
But that’s not what Red thinks, she believes that the Tethereds are humans and Americans too, and that her having the opposite experiences of Adelaide was a series of tests by God. Then Red claims seeing God while dancing ballet, because that was when the other Tethered noticed her difference and allowed a way to end their imprisonment. Did God really promise this to them though?
The answer is unclear, but here’s something that is clear: what this movie says about the true face of America. The hall of mirrors hiding the entrance to one abandoned tunnel says, “Find Yourself,” a metaphorical indication of how Americans’ attempts to match God by creating life end up causing our own destruction. The first sign of the ideal American family (two parents, a boy, and a girl) in this movie is not a flesh-and-blood depiction of them, but a car stick figure family holding hands, imagery made to show our tacky and completely preposterous ideals of future peace.
By the way, the government apparently uses fluoride in the water to control minds, but “nobody cares about the end of the world.” Well guess what? You should care about the end of the world, all of eternity depends on it! Next time you see some apparently crazy loon yell about the end coming, listen to him! He might very well have received word of God as a prophet. Our evil habits have caused Hands Across America to now symbolize a wall of separation; we are truly sinful. Yes, that includes you. You right now must take up Peter’s call to “repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit.” (Acts 2:38) You can accept that call right this second to avoid His judgments.
Have a great week, and happy watching, God bless!