The Remaining (2014)


Dave’s 3-Word Review:
Best rapture film.

A few months ago, I reviewed Left Behind, saying I’ve always wanted to watch and review a movie about the biblical prophesied event of the rapture as more of a secular film. Religious movies tend to feel really cheap and unrealistic because the reality of the world is too…grim for religious people. How are you supposed to get a message across to anyone if you don’t at least acknowledge how the world works and how the end of the world will likely occur if the Bible is accurate? There would be mass mayhem, there would be death and fear, there would be things you couldn’t even begin to explain. So why not introduce a little horror into the genre? Left Behind was all puppies and rainbows compared to The Remaining, which is almost everything I’ve ever wanted see from the Rapture in film. Finally.

Now, The Remaining centers on a group of young adults amidst a huge apocalyptic event where people all around the globe simultaneously die. Immediately after, things just start getting worse. Fire rains from the sky, followed by huge balls of hail, and invisible flying creatures roam somewhere above, ready to strike down any moment and kill those unprotected. They find shelter at a nearby church, where the pastor informs them of the book of Revelations in the Bible, and how things are only just beginning – that in order to survive…they had to make a choice.

Attention: Don’t watch the trailer. I say that because it gives off the wrong impression – the trailers seem to suggest found footage, and while there is a guy filming in the movie, it’s not found footage. 90% of the movie is just that – a regular movie. That being said, I am really glad I saw this, and I also understand why people are going to hate it. It feels as if it can’t decide what genre it wants to be. That’s because we’re not very use to seeing a mixture of religious and horror – which is exactly what this film should be considered as. There are blood and guts, CGI, action, and even the hated sit-down moments of religious films. Yet, it can also be seen as a regular, secular movie.

The thing is, let’s just say the Rapture actually happens in real life. What do you think is going to happen? You’re going to immediately jump to find a Bible just to see what else it says about what’s going to happen next. Then, you’re likely to run into a pastor or someone else who will tell you the only thing left to do is to choose God. Then, you are still going to have a difficult time choosing because outside, it’s absolutely horrifying and that’s all you can truly think about – survival. In a way, this movie is really realistic in terms of how people act and even when presented with irrefutable evidence…can be distracted with basic and primal instincts instead.

I’m not really religious or spiritual or anything like that. I did grow up learning all the stories, though, and I will always want to see a movie based off the stories that does not succumb to preaching Jesus nonstop to the point where it’s so…light and doesn’t ever get its hands dirty. The Remaining gets its hands dirty, people. It tells it like it is, and I can’t stop praising it for that very fact. In fact, this movie has a better chance reaching nonbelievers than any regular religious film does.

The only thing I have issues with, is the fact that it sometimes feels a little cheap. Something they might play on the sci-fi channel. I mean, it’s not Sharknado or anything, but you can tell there was a low budget on it. The actors did what they could, and there might have been a little too strong of a focus on the CGI aspect or maybe the color filters felt a little strong at times, but that’s really all I have a complaint about. I’m glad they went the direction they did.

The Good:

In all honesty, when I really think about it, The Remaining is probably the best movie I’ve ever seen about the Rapture and the rest of the biblical end of the world. It’s not too religious, and it gets its hands dirty with horror, death, and even touches base on a lot of realistic character reactions. This is what I’ve always wanted to see in terms of the Rapture.

The Bad:

People are going to hate this. It blends a religious concept with horror, and that’s such a weird and usually unseen genre in film that it’s going to turn people away for just that fact. It also feels a little cheaper than preferred, so it doesn’t look as good as it could.

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