The Remaining (2014)
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Critic Reviews for The Remaining
A theologically questionable but fitfully exciting melodrama about fear and loathing among the non-Raptured.
There's a fundamental problem here. The movie relies on the instinctual human fear of death, but its message is that dying is a promotion.
Some will balk at the idea of a faith based horror film, however The Remaining successfully manages to walk the fine line between bloody-minded entertainment and religious discourse.
Nimbly directed by Casey La Scala, and performed with engaging conviction, this Book of Revelations faith-based shocker is surprisingly effective.
Its physical form is in cinemas; its soul is already circling the 24-hour garage bargain bin.
Audience Reviews for The Remaining
I think The Remaining succeeds in being an eye opener as far as the rapture is concerned. Less happy-go-Lucky than the left behind movies, outfitted a more real and frightening feel to the Revelation story. The characters make you think of your close friends and what would become of the situation if you were not chosen.
I know how this is gonna look 'oh, the atheist reviewing a Christian horror movie, of course he's gonna think it sucked'. Let's just get one thing out of the way, I would've thought this film was terrible regardless of whether or not it was proselytizing, which it did in a terribly transparent fashion. The whole film is, really, nullified once you get the impression that all it's trying to do is to get you to accept christ as your lord and savior as opposed to telling a story that people can get into. Not saying that people wouldn't get into this. But, let's just say, it's gonna appeal to a specific type of person. This is a movie that's preaching to the converted and for the unbelievers, it's like a tourist video of god's greatness. Of course, it showcases god's greatness in the worst way possible. This film hopes to turn you on to god's "love" through death, destruction, misery and ruin. Seriously. Apparently, the film is pretty faithful to the new testament description of rapture, which is ridiculous in and of itself. I won't get into that. So you've been a good person all your life, you give to others, perform good deeds, organize charities, donate blood, but you forget to go to church every Sunday, well god doesn't like that and he'll damn you to suffer on earth. On the other hand you could spend your entire week finding ways to bully people and insult them, but you're saved if you go to church every sunday and repent your sins. You don't think there's something fucked about that. And even if you don't, you have to agree that it's a really outdated way to think, even if you're a believer. If god was real, do you think that motherfucker would care if you go to church every sunday as long as you did positive things with your time? Fuck no. Is he also really that petty that he would allow his "creations" to suffer just because they don't believe he's real? How incredibly petty, and human, behavior for someone who's supposed to be perfect. There's this blurb on here from one of the negative reviews of this that hit the nail on the head perfectly. Essentially the film relies on humanity's instinctual fear of death, except the message this film sends is that death is actually promotion. You know, that really makes it hard to care what happens to your characters. This is a film about the horrors they go through after millions on earth get "raptured", but they fuck that up by making it look like death is actually a good thing. Of course there's the idea that, if you believe this, what would happen to those that didn't get raptured after they die. Do they go to hell? I suppose that's what they're going for. But that's something that only the religious people would find terrifying. Since I don't believe in that, it's irrelevant to me, so it makes it nigh impossible to care what happens to any of these fuckers. Not to mention how bad the acting and writing are. It honestly finds a way to get worse as it goes along, which I would've thought was impossible, but this movie found a way. For example, after Skyler dies, Dan leaves the hospital and starts to scream at the sky 'I hate you, god' in the most melodramatic fucking fashion. He's on his knees cursing the heavens and it is absolutely ridiculous. It was clearly done for the shock values, cause white, middle-aged religious conservatives' collective jaws dropped at this scene. And then they probably celebrate Dan's immediate death after cursing god. It all leads to a ridiculous speech by Ally where she, with tears in her eyes, says that life is all about a choice and, you guessed it, she chose god instead of ignoring him and living selfishly. It's as absurd as it sounds. Don't misunderstand me, I have absolutely no problem with what god anyone chooses to believe in. It's all the same shit to me, I think you're all wrong. But good storytelling is good storytelling. And let me tell you that this is some terrible storytelling. If you can even call it that, you're just pandering and reaffirming your audience's faith. Rather than hitting them with thought provoking questions like Calvary did. THAT'S how you tell a story based around religion. You don't shove it down people's throats, which is what this film did. Hell, if I was religious, I'd gravitate more towards a film like Calvary since it isn't afraid to ask some pretty interesting questions, instead of feeding me exactly what I want to hear. Of course, some of you will say that this was not meant for me and why would I watch this. And I honestly was genuinely intrigued by what a christian horror film looks like. There aren't many christian horror films for a reason and that's because they would all be this type of film. The film only gets one star because it has some decent production values for this type of low-budget religious indie. Some of this film's choices just perplexed me, particularly since we're already in 2015 and some of this film's themes, borrowed directly from the new testament, are so outdated that it would drive me to slap a child. But this is a terrible movie with a shitty story and acting. And that's even without the religious overtones and its rhetoric. This movie will only be enjoyed by those who think Kirk Cameron is the smartest man alive. Everyone else can probably find a better movie to watch. ANY movie really. Avoid this one at all costs.
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