New Film Jolts People Into Escaping Hell and ‘To Love’

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Shawn Akers

It’s a subject that most human beings—whether they want to admit it or not—think about more than a few times during their mortal lives. It’s an enigmatic question that has fascinated humanity for centuries.

What happens to us after we die? It’s a story that filmmaker Jason Pamer felt compelled to tell in his new documentary After Death, to take viewers on a profound journey of discovery. It’s a film that examines both the spiritual and scientific dimensions of near-death experiences and invites viewers to contemplate the possibilities and engage in their own reflections.

Is heaven real, and when will we see Jesus after we pass? Is hell real, and could we spend eternity in extreme misery and damnation, separated from God for all time?

After Death is distributed by Angel Studios, the same company that brought viewers The Chosen, the mega-hit Sound of Freedom, His Only Son and The Shift. The film hits theaters Oct. 27 and is produced by Jason Pamer, who sat down recently with Charisma News to tell the story of this incredible project.

“This film was born out of loss and grief for our director, Steven Gray, who experienced a sudden and catastrophic loss of his brother-in-law,” Pamer says. “He grew up having faith. But when we get confronted with these moments of extreme grief and death, that faith is tested. And it was with Steven.

“He went on a search and read several books by people who had done extensive research into people who have come to understand that there is something more verifiable even than just the Scriptures. There is some other corroboration that exists out there, in the medical space specifically.”

A common theme ran through many of the people with near-death experiences who were interviewed for the film. Many of them said they felt like they hadn’t died, and that they were awake through their incredible experience.

As a filmmaker, Pamer says it was both “enticing and terrifying” in presenting those afterlife experiences on film. They made sure what is presented during the movie is as real as it could possibly get.

“We didn’t want to go with some classic images of heaven because we felt like that would fall short,” Pamer says. “So, we went a little bit more ethereal and cosmic in terms of kind of textures in the way that we wanted to represent it. We wanted to elicit feelings of wonder and mystery and awe. That was the direction of the VFX team.

“We hired drone ops from around the world, and one was in Norway and got some of the prettiest places on earth. We combined these realities. And in our estimation, that is what it would be like. We wanted to combine those elements, and the VFX team did an amazing job of its custom effects throughout the whole film.

“For a documentary, it’s very much genre bending, and that’s in large part due to the amount of VFX’s cinematic recreations that are a thorough line as well,” Pamer says.

The production team didn’t simply talk to those who have had heaven experiences. They also spoke people those who have had hellish experiences, and how those completely changed their lives. The interviews were laced with extremely dark themes of eternal damnation—a scene everyone would just as soon avoid if they knew every demonic and excruciating aspect involved—a very undesirable version of the afterlife.

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“Those were such powerful interviews,” Pamer says. “They shared so bravely and courageously. The contrast between what they experienced and then this relentless, cosmic pursuit of love rescued them out of that moment. That tension, living in that contrast to me is where some of the most beautiful moments in the film take place.

“And it was a challenge to depict that because it’s so easy to go cheesy and cliché and on the nose. We worked really hard at not doing that; to make it more terrifying by just a sort of less-is-more approach. During the interview he (Storm) probably stopped 30% of the way in terms of being able to give the detail because it was so traumatic.”

Pamer says the thing he is most proud of with After Death is the notion that people will leave the theater wondering about and questioning their own mortality. Some of the people in the film were able to see the grace that they were to be given and to come to the perspective that every choice they make matters.

“It incites a bigger conversation and introspection of how do we live here, in light of the hope that eternity is on the other side,” Pamer says. “For those that walk out of the film that maybe don’t attach to a faith takeaway, our prayer is that it deeply resonates with every audience member. Remember, it’s OK the way you interact with the person at the counter, the person at the drive through, your kid, their teachers and all these relationships.

“Opportunities are grounds for exposing people to the eternal love that’s chasing them. This is what the Godhead essentially told one man in his life review, to go back and love. And I was like, ‘that’s it.’ Trust us. That’s the most difficult thing to do. But it’ll be the thing that changes everything for people. That’s our hope for people coming out of the theater.” {eoa}

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Shawn A. Akers is the online editor at Charisma Media.

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