July 27, 2013 | PG-13 | 1h 30min
Out of all of director Timothy A. Chey’s excellent and engrossing films, “Final: The Rapture” could be his most impactful one that I’ve watched to date. Speaking of dates, although this seminal film had its world premiere back on July 27 of 2013 and was heralded as the “scariest Christian movie of the decade” at that time, I believe it’s even more effective because of the world events that we’ve all recently been through.
It follows the lives of four separate people—each from different countries. They are professional football player Colin Nelson (Jah Shams); secret agent Masashi Hiroyuki (Masashi Nagadoi); college professor Tom Wiseman (Dave Edwards), and Marie Estrada (Antonella Saldicco).
The lives of people around these four main characters are also affected in the lead-up to the Rapture, such as Rochelle Nelson (Mary Grace), Colin’s wife who attends classes at the University of Southern California. Rochelle happens to have Tom Wiseman as her teacher. Whereas she struggles to convince Professor Wiseman of God’s existence just weeks before the massive biblical event occurs, her husband Colin isn’t as dismissive. His level of faith begins to increase once he realizes that the Rapture has happened.
Each of these four main characters also has different tasks they need to complete before their time left on the planet runs out. Colin wants to flee to another country; Masashi is investigating the disappearances of millions of people from the planet; Professor Wiseman is stranded on a deserted island in the Southern Pacific and yearns to be rescued, and Marie is trying to locate one of her relatives as Buenos Aires descends into chaos and confusion.
The film begins in dramatic fashion—Colin Nelson is driving down a freeway in Los Angeles and has just received some great news from his sports agent, who has signed him to the San Diego Chargers (now the Los Angeles Chargers). But his good mood fizzles when an emergency newscast suddenly announces that hundreds, perhaps thousands of people have simply vanished from the face of the Earth.
All of the vehicles on the freeway around him stop since many of the people who were originally driving them have disappeared. So Colin gets out and begins comparing notes with other confused motorists who have likewise disembarked from their cars. Colin has enough knowledge of the Holy Bible to figure out that the Rapture has occurred as he walks off of the jam-packed freeway.
An ardent atheist, Professor Wiseman washes ashore on a deserted island and begins to assemble any luggage he can find—he hopes to find something of value among the bags of luggage that can assist him in contacting the authorities. In one bag, he finds both a radio and a Bible. He recounts how he had taunted a lady sitting next to him who was reading her Bible on the now-crashed plane flight, just hours before. As Wiseman looks out over the beige sands of the island, he chuckles and says to marvels that out of all the bags he could have found, he ended up finding yet another one that belonged to a Christian.
In Tokyo, Japan, Masashi is walking the streets when he is accosted by youths riding skateboards—they attempt to rob him at gunpoint but he pulls out his empty wallet and shows them that he doesn’t have any cash. He offers them his copy of a Bible, but they wander off.
Marie is likewise nearly the victim of an assault when a man grabs her as she’s wandering the chaotic streets of Buenos Aires. As fires blaze all around her and riots spontaneously break out, she escapes the crazed man by running into a police station.
After watching this gripping movie, I realize why it is considered so frightening. When it debuted, Chey stated in a press release: “I wanted to make a very clinical, realistic film on the coming Rapture,” says Director Tim Chey (‘The Genius Club,’ ‘Suing the Devil’). “There’s no cartoon anti-Christ, cartoon anything. It’s a very sobering look at what will happen in the next great event of mankind: Christ returning for his church.”
In the same release, Chey mentioned that although his film is suitable for adults, children under 13 should not watch it. “It’s most definitely not for children under 13,” he said. “There’s no profanity, sex, or anything like that. But I made this film to scare the living daylights out of adult non-Believers.”
With top-notch acting and production values, “Final: The Rapture” is a film worth purchasing by both Christians and non-Christians. Although it was made with a small indie budget, its intriguing plot and excellent writing punch well above its weight—it’s a highly impactful film that delivers thrills and chills, and ultimately a very uplifting message.
‘Final: The Rapture’
Director: Timothy A. Chey
Starring: Jah Shams, Mary Grace, Carman
Running Time: 1 hour, 30 minutes
Release Date: July 27, 2013
MPAA Rating: PG-13
Rated: 4 stars out of 5
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Views expressed in this article are the opinions of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of The Epoch Times.