The Remaining

A young couple gets married surrounded by their friends and family. During the reception several of the guests drop dead for no apparent reason and their eyes turn white. Soon the bride, groom, and their friends realize that people all over the world have died suddenly and no one seems to know why. To some, it becomes apparent that this is the Rapture as told in the Bible. They venture out to find someplace safe only to be hunted by evil beings from the sky. Now the friends have to fight for their lives, as well as their souls.

Before I begin my review, I feel the need to preface this by saying that I am an atheist. While I do not believe in God, or any kind of god, I respect a person’s right to believe what they want to believe (and I also find most religions fascinating). That being said, this film felt like religious propaganda to me. As the previews before the movie started I learned this film was made by a religious production company called Affirm Films that targets a Christian audience. If I had known that ahead of time, I honestly probably would not have seen this film. It almost felt like false advertising because when I initially saw the trailer it just seemed like a regular horror movie. After watching the movie, I can see that it was almost a warning for non-believers or for those who the filmmakers might consider “bad Christians.” An example of this is a pastor that the group of friends meet at a nearby church. Even the pastor didn’t get to go to Heaven during the Rapture because he didn’t have a “relationship with God,” despite his role in the church.

Pushing aside the propaganda aspect of the film, it’s hard for me to find any redeeming qualities. While I know the story of the Rapture is outlined in the Bible, I feel like they could have taken a more creative approach to it. Even in the Bible there are things that are open to interpretation, so I don’t see why they couldn’t make this film stand out by adding something more unique to the story. I was also quite disappointed by the creatures they refer to as “the fallen.” They tell you the description given in the Bible of these creatures, and there is one scene where you get a glimpse, but in general you never get a good look at these menacing beings. When looking at this film solely as a horror film, it is very disappointing when you don’t really get to see the evil at any point.

The relationships between the main characters seemed to lack anything dynamic. They were all fairly predictable in what they did and how they interacted with each other. When you look at the acting, I can’t necessarily say any of the main characters were bad. At the same time, I can’t say there were any standout performances either. They were all rather forgettable. Everyone did their job portraying the story, but they didn’t do it with any real feeling. It makes it harder to care if a character dies when they don’t seem to really care either.

If I were Christian or in any way religious, I may have a different opinion of this movie. While watching it I did my best to just judge it as a horror film and nothing more (which is nearly impossible, especially during the last 20 minutes of the film). I believe that even if I was religious I would still find the movie relatively boring, but if I feared for my immortal soul it might be a bit scarier. If you are religious, you may like this movie. If you are spiritual, agnostic, atheist, or any non-Christian religion I would not recommend this movie to you.


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