Netflix’s upcoming film “Leave the World Behind” offers a unique spin on apocalyptic narratives, devoid of the typical zombies or extraterrestrial threats. Instead, it introduces viewers to a more unsettling, chaotic, and perhaps more relatable form of apocalypse, characterized by massive blackouts, sinister cyber-attacks, and the psychological unravelling of its characters. The trailer, released ahead of the film’s December 8 premiere, showcases a star-studded cast including Julia Roberts, Mahershala Ali, and Ethan Hawke, who navigate a sudden and terrifying shift in reality.
The plot revolves around two families, the Sanfords and the Scotts, thrust together under mysterious and alarming circumstances. Julia Roberts plays Amanda Sanford, who, along with her husband Clay (Ethan Hawke), rents a luxurious vacation home for a family getaway. Their retreat is disrupted when G.H. (Mahershala Ali), a New York financial advisor and the supposed owner of the rental property, returns unexpectedly with his daughter, citing an ambiguous but ominous incident that occurred while they were driving back to the city.
The tension escalates when nationwide chaos ensues due to a catastrophic cyber-attack, turning their world upside down. The trailer teases a series of unnerving events, from shattering lights and cracking glass to self-driving cars turning homicidal. Amidst the escalating chaos, the characters’ primary goal remains to protect their families, a task that proves increasingly difficult in a world plunging into mayhem.
Director Sam Esmail heaps praise on Mahershala Ali, noting his exceptional performance that combines an everyman relatability with profound charisma. Esmail emphasizes that Ali’s portrayal of G.H. required a “deep-hearted accessibility,” allowing the character to serve as the audience’s avatar within the story.
“Leave the World Behind” is based on Rumaan Alam’s novel, which was fittingly published in 2020, a year globally marked by uncertainty and crisis. The adaptation promises a gripping exploration of human behavior and survival instincts in the face of an inexplicable and uncontrollable disaster.
As the characters’ desperation grows, the film promises not only to deliver high-stakes thrill and suspense but also to explore profound themes of trust, family dynamics, and the human instinct for survival under extreme duress. With its compelling storyline and acclaimed cast, “Leave the World Behind” is set to be a notable addition to Netflix’s roster of thrillers.