Seth McArdle didn’t ask for his mother to die or his no-account father to leave him to take care of his two younger sisters. Despite his pleas, Seth’s brother refuses to help him or have anything to do with him. Therefore, Seth must attempt to successfully complete high school instead of drop out like his father did, and hold down two jobs in order to barely support him and his sisters. What’s more, the football coach and his quarterback son both hate Seth’s family, prompting Seth into a fight that lands him with a third unpaid job working under an eccentric maintenance worker named Abel. With the bank calling to collect on the overdue house payments, Seth feels like his whole world is crashing down around him. He must either choose to ask for help or resort to desperate measures.
Production Quality (2.5 points)
For a little known production, Abel’s Field puts many independent Christian films to shame. While the video quality is slightly inconsistent, the angles are not. While it is easy to discern that this is a limited budget production, the crew did the best they could with what they had. They optimized their funding better than many movies who had more money to work with than they did. The only real concern here is the editing; some portions seem to drag on too long and needed a little but more time at the editor’s office. Otherwise, there are no negative elements to bring up—this is huge for a movie this obscure.
Plot and Storyline Quality (2.5 points)
Abel’s Field has a very interesting point that is tied to a twist at the end of the movie. We will not spoil anything except that it makes the movie very intriguing. Leading up to the end, the plot has a very authentic feel and is driven by believable and accessible characters. Though they seem simple on the surface, their dialogue is profound. The one drawback is that the plot may be a little too slow to hold audience’s attentions, but it is the simplicity of the plot that makes this movie what it is.
Acting Quality (3 points)
This movie is both cast well and acted well. Kevin Sorbo manifests arguably his best role in playing a very difficult character. Samuel Davis is excellent, as are the supporting actors. It would have been easy for the acting to have been bland and wooden, but this is not the case. There are no negative acting elements.
With a better budget and a smidgen more time spent on the plot, Abel’s Field could have been a perfect film. Yet even still, it proves that it is possible to make a quality film with only a limited budget. The plot is very compelling and is filled with realistic characters living out realistic lives. While Abel’s Field is underrated, it deserves more attention than it is getting.
Final Rating: 8 out of 10 points