Volume 4, Number 3 - October 8, 2013

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Kristopher Stoltz

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The Encounter
Holy Man: The encounter tells the story of a group of people at a diner who encounter a man claiming to be Jesus. COURTESY OF PURE FLIX ENTERTAINMENT

Encountering A Religious Film With A Captivating Plot

By Kristopher Stoltz

Want to get out of your comfort zone and get into more religious movies that aren’t embezzled with Hollywood flair like The Ten Commandments or The Bible? Where are the smaller stories? The ones that can happen to everyday people? The Encounter, by David A.R. White, is one of those stories.

The setup is that of a small horror story; five strangers reach a road block a few miles ahead of a small empty diner. A heavy thunderstorm forces them to take shelter in the diner. Is there a killer cook or malicious ghost in the diner? Nope, it’s Jesus.

Things start to unravel as we find out more about these characters. Some are not explored that much and others seem cliche but the longer you watch the more interesting they get. Much like Lost, each character has their own tragedy and together, with the help of a higher power, they unknowingly solve each other’s lives.

It’s a dialogue-driven film that shows religion can save people from depression or foreshadowed tragedy. Best of all, there are no distracting musical cues or special effects to move you as if you were a child.

But this is still a religious movie and, sorry to say, not for everyone. The average Joe will enjoy it and neutral film buffs will get an average time out of their viewing, but christians are the ones who will have a blast here.

However, there are two things that bothered me continuously: The dialogue and cinematography. It took five writers to make the script and one of them must have really been an amatuer. The dialogue is for the most part fluid, but that one writer, who has never read a thesaurus, drops lines that make you cringe. The camera work is choppy too; some shots were out of focus and it’s all handheld. I got used to it halfway into the movie but if those are pet peeves of yours, skip this recommendation.

Still, this is a religious movie with a captivating set up. There’s at least one character whose life you can relate to and, what was most appealing to me, is the lack of a happy ending. In meet-up movies like these, typically everyone walks away as a changed man or woman at the end but not this time. The only people I won’t recommend this to are those looking for intense action films or anti-religious buffs.

For those who want to have a quiet time and feel like stepping their comfort zone, enjoy The Encounter.

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