Reviews - Specialty Releases


Film Review: As It Is in Heaven

This assured debut feature quietly ratchets up the tension.

July 9, 2014

-By Frank Scheck


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1403968-As_It_Is_In_Heaven_Md.jpg
A dark air of foreboding hangs over As It Is in Heaven, about a religious sect torn apart by internal dissension. And why shouldn’t it? After all, the stakes are nothing less than the end of days.

Joshua Overbay’s low-budget debut feature boasts a quietly controlled tension. Set in the backwoods of Kentucky, it concerns a small religious group who’ve dubbed themselves the “chosen people” and who are passionately devoted to their elderly prophet (John Lina) who will lead them into the next world. Unfortunately, the prophet beats them to it when he suddenly takes ill and dies. But before doing so, he chooses a relative newcomer to the group, the recently baptized David (Chris Nelson), as his chosen successor instead of his own son Eamon (Luke Beavers), who had naturally expected to bear the mantle.

David embraces his role and prophesizes about the coming Rapture which will take place in 30 days. But not everyone in the group, most of all Eamon, is prepared to accept this at face value, and tensions mount as their doubts lead to increasing divisions: “He’s not the messiah,” one of them argues. Things come to a dark head when Eamon discovers a dark secret about David’s past.

Director Overbay, working from an effective screenplay by his wife Ginny Lee Overbay, slowly ratchets up the tension in quietly compelling fashion, delineating the story’s chronology via onscreen texts ominously counting down the days until David’s prophecy will supposedly come true.

Greatly adding to the film’s atmosphere is the haunting musical score by Ben Zoeller and Timothy Morton and the superb widescreen lensing by Isaac Pletcher, which employs stark landscapes and forbidding clouds to suitably atmospheric effect.

The Hollywood Reporter

Click here for cast & crew information.


Film Review: As It Is in Heaven

This assured debut feature quietly ratchets up the tension.

July 9, 2014

-By Frank Scheck


filmjournal/photos/stylus/1403968-As_It_Is_In_Heaven_Md.jpg

A dark air of foreboding hangs over As It Is in Heaven, about a religious sect torn apart by internal dissension. And why shouldn’t it? After all, the stakes are nothing less than the end of days.

Joshua Overbay’s low-budget debut feature boasts a quietly controlled tension. Set in the backwoods of Kentucky, it concerns a small religious group who’ve dubbed themselves the “chosen people” and who are passionately devoted to their elderly prophet (John Lina) who will lead them into the next world. Unfortunately, the prophet beats them to it when he suddenly takes ill and dies. But before doing so, he chooses a relative newcomer to the group, the recently baptized David (Chris Nelson), as his chosen successor instead of his own son Eamon (Luke Beavers), who had naturally expected to bear the mantle.

David embraces his role and prophesizes about the coming Rapture which will take place in 30 days. But not everyone in the group, most of all Eamon, is prepared to accept this at face value, and tensions mount as their doubts lead to increasing divisions: “He’s not the messiah,” one of them argues. Things come to a dark head when Eamon discovers a dark secret about David’s past.

Director Overbay, working from an effective screenplay by his wife Ginny Lee Overbay, slowly ratchets up the tension in quietly compelling fashion, delineating the story’s chronology via onscreen texts ominously counting down the days until David’s prophecy will supposedly come true.

Greatly adding to the film’s atmosphere is the haunting musical score by Ben Zoeller and Timothy Morton and the superb widescreen lensing by Isaac Pletcher, which employs stark landscapes and forbidding clouds to suitably atmospheric effect.

The Hollywood Reporter

Click here for cast & crew information.
Post a Comment
Asterisk (*) is a required field.
* Author: 
Rate This Article: (1=Bad, 5=Perfect)

*Comment:
 

More Specialty Releases

Food Chains
Film Review: Food Chains

Vitally important, infuriating exposé of the world of injustice behind the food you consume. More »

Monk with a Camera
Film Review: Monk With a Camera: The Life and Journey of Nicholas Vreeland

Enthralling and uplifting documentary about a man of the world turned monk, but one who effects real, inspiring change. More »

The Circle
Film Review: The Circle

Very strong, historically intriguing and important gay document is marred by intrusive real-life interview footage, which seriously breaks up the dramatic momentum. More »

babadook
Film Review: The Babadook

An intense, terrifying indie horror film with more on its mind than scaring its audience. More »

ADVERTISEMENT



REVIEWS

Penguins of Madagascar
Film Review: Penguins of Madagascar

Frenetic vehicle for supporting players from the Madagascar films will entertain kids but prove a little wearying for their parents. More »

imitation game
Film Review: The Imitation Game

Terrific biopic about world-class mathematician and social misfit Alan Turing, who, in spite of a painful struggle with his homosexuality, helped the Allies break the code of the Nazis' Enigma machine. More »

Player for the Film Journal International website.


ADVERTISEMENT



INDUSTRY GUIDES

» Blue Sheets
FJI's guide to upcoming movie releases, including films in production and development. Check back weekly for the latest additions.

» Distribution Guide
» Equipment Guide
» Exhibition Guide

ORDER A PRINT SUBSCRIPTION

Film Journal International

Subscribe to the monthly print edition of Film Journal International and get the full visual impact of this valuable resource for the cinema business.

» Click Here

SPONSORSHIP OPPORTUNITIES

Learn how to promote your company at the Film Expo Group events: ShowEast, CineEurope, and CineAsia.

» Click Here