Each one of us lives by some sort of code. Whether that code is religious, humanitarian, or scientific in nature, so many of us live believing our answer to the question, “what really matters?” is both correct and universal. But at what point does clinging to your self-imposed beliefs begin to create Hell on Earth for you and those your life touches—and at what point will others abandon all hope in you?
Abandon All Hope is a feature-length coming-of-age dramedy film exploring these questions about human nature. Adapted from the critically acclaimed stage play by Peter Fenton, this film will build on the play's proven potential to connect in a meaningful way with Christian and atheist audiences alike, encouraging viewers through its witty dialogue to consider what kind of world they are building with their lives—and what perspectives they have formed of it.
Hell is Other People.
(in my dorm room)
We open the film as TERESA finishes setting up the room before activist MELISSA, rationalist SEAN, and evangelist EVAN arrive. She relishes telling the three they have died and are in Hell. This news comes as a shock to Evan, though Melissa doesn’t take it much better. Sean takes it in stride, cracking jokes and debating logic right away.
Melissa, Sean, and Evan are challenged to find Teresa’s talisman hidden in the room in exchange for instant admission to Heaven. Only the finder will be saved — the other two will be sentenced to eternity trapped with a demon at the height of her power.
Tension boils between Evan, Sean, and Melissa. Teresa shows each competitor a revealing memory of their final day on Earth. Our characters face tough ethical decisions and come face-to-face with the ugly truth of who they really were in their short lives.
Abandon All Hope is a screenplay driven by its dialogue. All four of the leading characters are each clever in their own ways and funny both by intention and unintentionally.
This plot taking place (for the most part) in a single room creates almost a pressure-cooker situation between the principal characters—like Twelve Angry Men or Mass (2021).
Religion and Ethics
The film takes a critical look at American evangelical Christianity and additionally complicates each of the principal characters' life philosophies to more nuanced positions.
Two storylines in this film follow characters wrestling with LGBTQ identity—one, to own his identity and come out as a gay man, and the other to love the LGBTQ people in his life.