LEAVE THE WORLD BEHIND – “A snowballing of tension leads to a wholly captivating experience”
Directed by: Sam Esmail
• Julia Roberts as Amanda Sandford
• Mahershala Ali as G.H. Scott
• Ethan Hawke as Clay Sandford
• Myha'la as Ruth Scott
• Farrah Mackenzie as Rose Sandford
• Charlie Evans as Archie Sandford
• Kevin Bacon as Danny
It is based on the 2020 novel of the same name by Rumaan Alam.
A family vacation on Long Island is interrupted by two strangers bearing news of a mysterious blackout. As the threat grows more imminent, both families must decide how best to survive the potential crisis, all while grappling with their own place in this collapsing world.
A snowballing of tension leads to a wholly captivating experience in Sam Esmail’s Leave the World Behind. Yep, this simmering thriller commands your eyeball’s attention at every turn. Ok, so maybe the premise and some plot points are a little familiar (especially if you saw Knock at the Cabin earlier this year), but there’s plenty of originality to the intrigue – thanks to some very timely matters. And while the themes around human relationships are a little too on the nose, they no doubt resonate. Of course, things are elevated a great deal by the A-grade cast. Julia Roberts, Ethan Hawke and Mahershala Ali all expertly demonstrate their mastery of the craft. It’s all very affectingly genuine and nuance filled. Heck, the younger cast members also earn their stripes. Moreover, there’s something to be said for the direction and visual style of the film. While some scenes are up close and personal, others are big, extensive, and awe-inspiring – not to mention chilling. And while it never goes the traditional “horror” route, things do get pretty haunting. The film works in part because it never meanders, always raising one enthralling question after another. And while we don’t get all the answers, there’s surely enough to keep us satisfied. Trust me, do not leave this movie behind!