The trailer for Netflix’s upcoming apocalyptic movie is horribly hair-raising

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The trailer for Netflix’s new Julia Roberts and Ethan Hawke movie, Leave The World Behind, has just dropped (see below). And it looks like it’ll be a seriously disturbing disaster movie.

The film is based on the multi-award winning best-selling book of the same name by Rumaan Alam, and it’s about the worst of all possible things: Wi-Fi no longer working. Also phones, TV, the internet and civilisation generally. 

Leave The World Behind was written before Covid-19 but reviews praised its uncanny parallels with the global pandemic – although in this telling, things are even worse than that global trauma. The Guardian described the book as “an extraordinary book, at once smart, gripping and hallucinatory”.

What can we expect from Leave The World Behind? 

In addition to Roberts and Hawke as a vacationing couple traveling with their kids, the film features Mahershala Ali and Myha’la Herrold as two mysterious strangers seeking refuge from a frightening cyberattack. The two families unite to face an ever more terrifying disaster, and while the trailer isn’t giving any plot points away it’s clear that we’re in for some edge-of-the-seat action and some serious tension too. There appear to be distinct echoes of Jordan Peele’s superb Get Out here: like that film, Leave The World Behind isn’t afraid to look at themes of race and class. 

I’m excited about this, because if it sticks close to the book it’s going to be exceptional: one of the biggest books of 2020 could be the biggest film on Netflix 2023. The Independent called it “the book of the era” while the Irish Times praised the “atmosphere of dread so convincing and prescient” that it stays with you long after the end. The Irish Independent says “it’s the eeriness of the burgeoning apocalypse, and the paralytic inability of the protagonists to help themselves, that will stay with you the longest”. So probably not a lot of LOLs, then.

I’ll leave the last word to the New York Times: “If the first half can turn a mirror on you, the second half will shatter it,” it says.

Will we rate Leave The World Behind as one of the best Netflix movies of the year? Hard to say just yet. But the film is set to start streaming from December 8. 

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The book was a best-selling sensation and the movie looks like it’ll be just as gripping – and just as disturbing too.