The Near-Death Experience

of Dr. John Dantry

GENRE: Faith-Based Horror
TYPE: Feature Narrative Screenplay
LOGLINE: A narcissistic heart surgeon awakens in hell, causing him to rethink his denial of near-death experiences…and God’s existence.

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DR. JOHN DANTRY (46), is a god. At least in his own mind. John is actually a gifted heart surgeon; one of the best. He’s well respected for his skill in the operating room, though not necessarily at the patients’ bedside.

Raised a devout Christian, John has lost his faith. When he belittles an elderly patient about her Heavenly near-death experience, his life takes a rapid downward turn. His mother succumbs to cancer after making a final unsuccessful attempt to secure John’s salvation. John then initiates a harsh exchange with PASTOR DAVID HELTON (45), casting a dark shadow over his mother’s funeral. Finally, John and girlfriend, DEANNA (36), suffer a horrific car accident on the way home from the funeral. The accident leaves Deanna dead and John with multiple serious injuries, including a mangled hand that could end his career as a surgeon.

When Pastor Helton visits John’s hospital room to deliver news about Deanna passing,
John’s anger triggers heart failure…and his descent into hell.

Awakening in the bowels of the earth, John soon experiences hell as advertised. In denial, he chooses to believe there must be a scientific explanation for his incredibly vivid and horrific ‘dream’. His hell is hot, dry and a place where teams of huge demons are drawn to the agonized screams of pain and anguish from the eternally lost; dropping down on them to inflict horrific abuse on their bloodless bodies.

Strangely, while the sadistic demons can see and hear John, others suffering eternal separation from God cannot. The lone exception is CYNTHIA BRODY (30’s), another recent arrival whom John encounters while stumbling through the rubble-filled passageways, corridors and chambers.

Cynthia, also a one-time believer, readily accepts the reality of her fate…the reality of hell. In John, she also senses and chooses to believe that he and he alone may well be suffering a darker form of near-death experience. Motivating Cynthia’s desire to believe in John’s dream, is the unsaved family she has left behind; a materialistic husband and two spoiled and unappreciative teenagers. Through John, she hopes she can send a message back before it is too late for her loved ones.

John and Cynthia each endure multiple attacks by the demons and witness a variety of lost souls from both ancient and modern times. Cynthia suddenly finds herself visible to the masses of the damned; a sign that her fate is now permanent.

John is faced with his own reality when he painfully endures encounters with loved ones from both his distant—his father—and recent—Deanna—past. Soon, however, he experiences one final encounter with the one person who can grant him redemption. He awakens back in the hospital where he vows to change his ways and make amends for his past behavior. And he seeks to fulfill Cynthia’s wish that he reach out to her family before they, too, suffer her eternal fate.

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“The cave you fear to enter holds the treasure you seek.”

—Joseph Campbell

“Simplicity is the ultimate sophistication.”

—Leonardo da Vinci

“You’ll never feel so alive as the second right after you’ve been scared to death.”