By Amanda Mason

Looking through my previous blogs, you can see that I am an avid fan of Angel Studios, television shows such as “The Chosen,” and movies such as “The Sound of Freedom.” I am a fan of Christian media and arts and want to advocate for them as a future pastor and parent, and there is not nearly enough wholesome TV and movies out there anymore. With social media and everyone’s quick fixes like 30-second TikTok videos or 10-15-minute YouTube videos, we are losing the art of watching, learning, or appreciating television and movies.

Before children, I was a movie critic and had much more time on my hands to watch TV, and I had a vast DVD, well, actually VHS and DVD collection. My youth was before the internet, dial-up in my mid-teens and early twenties. So if you wanted entertainment, you either had two choices of TV and movies, going out and enjoying music, or dinner, maybe a play, or even some nature. Now that my children are getting older, I am returning to the movie theatres and enjoying my much loved preparation hobby. I went to see this movie with a friend from church and was excited to see it as a person also dealing with losing my mother and aging. I often think about what happens after we die.

Where do we go? What is heaven like? Do people see Jesus? Is he waiting for us? 

So going out to see the movie “After Death” was something I was looking forward to in many more ways than just relaxing and eating some popcorn. Unfortunately, this movie was not as I had expected it to be from the trailers. The movie trailer shows a man retelling a plane crash he experienced; it offers another man who was in a terrible car crash that they didn’t even try to save him from at first because it was so bad. The movie looked like it told relief stories, which it did, but not in the way you might expect. The movie was choppy and went back and forth from story to story, so you forgot what that person said at first. There was a lot of retelling of the same story over and over, filled with movie moments of pictures of light, water, space, and beautiful landscapes with voices talking about their experiences in the background and alluding to God being this great, loving light.

A lot of the near-death experience survivors did, however, have very similar stories that I did find interesting. Yet, the elaborations were mostly the same story, saying what they experienced. There are no words to describe this. Which does sound fantastic but leaves you with no answers to what life after death is like. One of the prominent people in the movie, a cardiologist named Michael Sabom, did say he has interviewed plenty of people who have had near-death experiences but have never talked with anyone after they died, so the research is inclusive in that manner. Although this documentary was done supposedly with real people and a mixture of researchers, doctors, and patients of near-death experiences, it’s hard to say if what was being directed is God. It sounded beautiful, and for that, I am hopeful.

In the trailer and the movie, there is a buried aspect of what it’s like to not go to heaven but to hell. I was also curious to see what someone’s experience in this manner of near-death experience was like. However, the movie’s plot is ultimately revealed in the trailer, and it is only touched upon extremely briefly aside from the two men’s experiences being saved by “Jesus.” All in all, the film had mild documentation or differences in it and was the same story over and over. In some ways, I suppose this is good, as we can hopefully see that in death, we will ultimately be with God and that he is a loving and spiritual essence that can’t be described other than by saying he is love.

I was not as impressed, nor was it my favourite movie by Angel Studio; in fact, I was disappointed by the entire film, and I am an avid documentary watcher in my older years. The area that I found interesting is how everyone had a similar story of who and what God is, and the negative, as stated, was that it was the same story repeatedly. Most of the people did not want to come back from their near-death experiences, and some, although disappointed, did find solace by sharing God’s word and love with others. Do I believe these people’s recountings of what happened to them? Yes, I do in some ways, or I want to. Unfortunately, this is why my movie review is wishy-washy. You need to see it for yourself to determine how you perceive the events and experiences of these individuals. Is it a movie worth seeing? The move in question focuses on reiterating known facts without introducing fresh information. There is no apparent presence of any drastically new accounts of anything different than people have been saying about the near-death experiences from the past; there may have been a few cool medical facts like brain waves after death, but ultimately, it’s pretty redundant information.

Sure, here’s the rewrite:

Upon careful consideration and analysis of the movie mentioned above, I have arrived at the definitive conclusion that I firmly believe in the existence of a supreme being, namely God. Furthermore, I am confident that one day I will be in His divine presence. 

While I do hope and aspire that my encounter with the Almighty is similar to the experiences described by those who have had the chance to meet Him, I am in no rush to experience it anytime soon. 

This experience has taught me the importance of being cautious when seeking answers to questions beyond our comprehension and understanding. It is crucial to exercise prudence and discretion in such matters, as it is not our place to know or question what is meant to be kept hidden from us and what is genuinely a glimpse of God himself.