The Encounter (2010 film)

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The Encounter, is a Christian film released in 2010. It follows 5 strangers living in California: Nick, a former NFL player and owner of a chain of burger restaurants; Hank and Catherine, a married couple whose marriage is falling apart; Melissa, a Christian on the way to visit her boyfriend (who is a non-Christian) and Kayla, a hitchhiker escaping her horrible living conditions in Los Angeles. When a detour road is closed off, the 5 are stranded in a diner with its omnipresent owner, who discreetly reveals himself to be Jesus, and attempts to help each of the patrons to face the truth in their life - particularly its dark side -, to seek repentance et go for reconciliation.

Along with serving them Jesus helps Hank and Catherine reestablish dialogue as a couple, helps Melissa think of the long term difficulties she will face in a relationship, and marriage, with her boyfriend who is a non-believer, and helps Kayla find it in her heart the strength to forgive her abusive stepfather, despite everything he has done.

Each patron at the diner ends up being either born-again or is brought to a life changing decision by Jesus except for Nick, whose pride and selfishness block him and causes him to reject all questioning on his life style and purpose, in spite of acknowledging having been deeply loved by his grandmother. Officer Deville (the police officer who first informed the patrons of the road being closed off) returns and tells everyone that the road has been re-opened. Nick happily leaves with Deville, who gloats that he has taken one with Jesus saying he has saved four in rebuttal.

As the other patrons leave the diner, they learn from an officer on the road that the road is closed again, because of a most serious car accident. They come to know that Nick was involved in the crash, which killed him instantly. He also reveals that he has never heard of a Police Officer called 'Deville'. Then Kayla realizes that Deville was actually the Devil in disguise based on the pronunciation of his surname.

The next day, Hank and Catherine find that the diner has mysteriously vanished, possibly because Jesus has managed to accomplish his mission of turning their lives around. In Thailand, Jesus shows up as a waiter, alluding to the sequel film, The Encounter: Paradise Lost.

The film was followed by a 2012 sequel, The Encounter: Paradise Lost. Marchiano reprised his role as Jesus in the sequel.