Gal Approved! Leave The World Behind Review: A Creepy Apocalyptic Journey!By Maureen Martin and Delaina Dixon | December 8, 2023 | Entertainment, Gal Approved
The new creepy film Leave the World Behind arrives on Netflix today. We loved the storytelling and its odes to films about post-apocalyptic worlds, seen in films like Left Behind and M. Knight Shalaman‘s Signs, where our ecosystem reacts to the damage created by mankind.
Based on a book by Egyptian writer Rumaan Alam, a family’s vacation is upended when two strangers arrive at night, seeking refuge from a cyberattack that grows more terrifying by the minute. It forces everyone to come to terms with their places in a collapsing world. The movie stars Academy Award winners Mahershala Ali and Julia Roberts, Academy Award nominee Ethan Hawke, and Myha’la. The two families reckon with a looming disaster that grows more terrifying by the minute, forcing everyone to come to terms with their places in a collapsing world.
The character study brought in tropes of the state of race relations. There’s Roberts’ suspicious “Karen-like” character, and class is explored in conversations reminiscent of the play Six Degrees of Separation. It was a relief to see the characters tap into their grief and loss rather than become paranoid and murderous. Hawke provides mild comic relief to cut the tension by playing an emotional and vulnerable college professor determined to bring understanding.
Lastly, if you watch closely, you’ll notice that the radio broadcast the family is listening to is tuned into channel 1619, and that’s not by accident. We hear from director Sam Esmail that every shot in the movie is intentional, and that’s a pretty definitive one stating that America, which is on the brink of destruction in this film, began its creation when the first enslaved people were brought to this country.
Leave the World Behind, now playing on Netflix.
photo credits: JoJo Whilden/NETFLIX