LEAVE THE WORLD BEHIND on Netflix is an apocalyptic thriller that feels like a horror movie that could become real. Based on the novel by Rumaan Alam, it’s a story that stays with you. Read our Leave the World Behind movie review here!
LEAVE THE WORLD BEHIND is a new Netflix movie. It’s an apocalyptic thriller from Sam Esmail (Mr. Robot) which makes me wish that he had also done the adaptation of Knock at the Cabin. As a fan of Paul Tremblay’s book, I feel like M. Night Shyamalan let it down, but Esmail surely would not!
The character-driven story and amazing small cast of this Netflix movie make for a movie-watching experience that stays with you. Despite its apocalyptic story that might not be a bad thing. After all, we could learn quite a lot from it. In many ways.
Continue reading our Leave the World Behind movie review below. Find it on Netflix from December 8, 2023.
A realistic take on an apocalypse
In this apocalyptic Netflix thriller, we meet Amanda (Julia Roberts) and her husband Clay (Ethan Hawke) right as Amanda has decided they need a little family time. They rent a luxurious home for the weekend with their kids, Archie (Charlie Evans) and Rose (Farrah Mackenzie).
It’s worth mentioning that the opening scene where Amanda tells Clay of this plan sets the tone. It’s almost a happy-go-lucky scene right until the moment when the camera zooms in on Julia Roberts in an almost sinister way. Then she says what she’s really feeling and we get a glimpse into her worldview.
Their otherwise pleasant vacation soon takes a strange turn. First, there’s a blackout of some sort. Basic electricity isn’t the problem; electronic devices, however, are. Suddenly, nothing works in terms of communication. Not the Internet, telephones, GPS, or even the television.
Then two strangers — G.H. (Mahershala Ali) and his daughter Ruth (Myha’la) — show up on their doorstep in the middle of the night. They claim to be the owners of the house and are seeking refuge as the city is crazy due to the blackout.
At first, the two families do not communicate very well. Or actually, Amanda isn’t very trusting and Ruth has had enough of what seems to be blatant racism. However, it won’t take long for them all to realize that there are much bigger things going on.
In other words, they should band together to stay safe and find out what’s going on!
Time to consider a little prepping?!
As soon as the end credits begin (at quite the perfect, yet cruel, time), I felt a need to consider a bit of prepping. Not in any crazy way, but I’ll admit I have always respected the so-called Doomsday Preppers. Well, those that focus on the stuff that’s important to prep with and for.
If the recent pandemic (which, in all fairness, is still very much current in some places) taught us anything, it should be that a little prepping is smart. You don’t want to run out of toilet paper, water, food, or other basic supplies within a week.
The character, Danny, portrayed by Kevin Bacon is a prepper, and you can’t really argue with his reasoning. His ideas about who is responsible for what is happening? Sure. But being prepared and ready to protect your loved ones? That should be a given for most of us. We’re just fortunate not to get confronted with this.
And really, we are grotesquely reliant on electronic communications. Whether the Internet, telephones, or GPS. Hell, even our money is tied up in ones and zeros for the most part. It could all come crashing down very fast.
It’s not all bad to be reminded of this and think; What options would I have if this all went away?
The ending of Leave the World Behind on Netflix
I know not everyone will love the ending of Leave the World Behind on Netflix, but I loved it. If you know Sam Esmail from Mr. Robot, you should know to expect the unexpected. I don’t know that I’d call the Leave the World Behind end scene unexpected.
However, it was damn efficient. I kept expecting this apocalypse to end with some answers, but also a lot of unanswered things. This Leave the World Behind ending is both very open and quite definitive in other ways.
It’s a strong and bold ending, which I know will irritate some viewers. Not because of any particular element of the ending, but rather due to it not being definitive. But hey, that’s life. Even movies with very definitive endings are just a slice of the bigger story. It could all change in the next scene, but we don’t see that.
Could we get a sequel or a spin-off to Leave the World Behind? Well, it’s possible, as we could experience the events from another place. Or like in A Quiet Place, we see what happens later. I’d like that because this movie blew me away. However, I’m also fine with this standing on its own.
Knowing Netflix (and Hollywood, in general), it will certainly get a sequel if it’s popular enough!
Watch Leave the World Behind on Netflix now!
Leave the World Behind is an apocalyptic thriller from award-winning writer and director Sam Esmail (Mr. Robot). I always expect good things from him and he really delivers with this one. Just as he did with the series Homecoming that he co-created. If you liked either of these series, you should enjoy this movie.
Or, okay, “enjoy” might be a strong word for a movie that has a storyline about the end of the world as we know it. To me, this is what The Happening (M. Night Shyamalan’s 2008 movie) could have been. The two are very different, but the focus on just a few characters in this one worked much better for me.
The movie is based on the National Book Award-nominated novel of the same name by Rumaan Alam. I have not read the book, but from what I gather, this adaptation does stay relatively close to it. Whether you’ve read the novel or not, I would highly recommend you watch this movie.
It may be a thriller, but there are plenty of moments full of pure dread and horror as well.
Leave the World Behind is on Netflix from December 8, 2023.
Director: Sam Esmail
Script: Sam Esmail
Cast: Julia Roberts, Mahershala Ali, Ethan Hawke, Myha’la, Farrah Mackenzie, Charlie Evans, Kevin Bacon
A family’s getaway to a luxurious rental home takes an ominous turn when a cyberattack knocks out their devices — and two strangers appear at their door.