February 9, 2015 The Remaining (Movie Review)
Disaster flicks come in many shapes and sizes these days. The genre itself has been used in many different ways and sometimes new material can get scarce. 2014’s The Remaining, on the other hand, is a breath of fresh air and in a mostly tired subject. Produced by Triumph Films (a Sony Company), The Remaining proves to be a worthy adversary. Directed and written by the up and coming Casey La Scala (Grind 2003, Amityville: The Awakening 2015), the film takes the usual disaster films to new, bold, and creative levels. It is an apocalyptic film with a soul and reveals the breathtaking core of a subject highly feared for centuries upon centuries. The dark and inspirational tale stars Alexa Vega (Spy Kids 2001, Machete Kills 2013), Shaun Sipos (Final Destination 2 2003, Texas Chainsaw 3D 2013), Bryan Dechart (True Blood series), and Johnny Pacar (Warehouse 13 series) as a group of friends that must fight for survival as the end of times occur.
Buddies Tommy (Pecar) and Jack (Sipos) are happy to see their friends Dan (Dechart) and Skylar (Vega) finally tie the knot. Despite a few altercations, standard fare at any wedding, the group seems to be having the time of their lives until the unthinkable happens. People start dying off left and right from no apparent cause. Confusion and adrenaline sends not only the group but the entire city into full panic as the world around them crumbles in dismay and desctruction. They scatter to the streets, only to realize that this disaster is happening everywhere. The terrified friends hear a thunderous roar high above in the sky, combined with falling fire and ice, as explosions and complete anarchy happen around them. Skylar becomes convinced that this event has to be Biblical, and that The Rapture is now in upon them. As one of the friends gets injured, they have no choice but to seek shelter in a church with other refugees. The survivors of this catastrophic event start turning on each other, wondering why they had been left on earth to endure this torture. The friendships of these people gets tested in ways they thought could impossible, leaving them confused, frustrated and desperate with each other. Now that the sinning souls left on earth have to defend themselves, the conquest will test their own faith in themselves and in humanity as a whole. As earth transforms into Hell, will they be able to reclaim redemption? Or will they be stuck in a world of eternal misery?
The acting is a big plus in this movie, making the audience feel as if they are right next to the characters and their conflicts. Sipos, especially, does a fantastic job, trying to keep it together physically as he slowly falls apart mentally. There is no need to worry about feeling too much intensity during this movie. The camera frequently switches from third person to a shaky first person point of view, dropping the audience directly into the chaos. Planes crash, hail and fire falls, and winged creatures of the damned come to life with very impressive special effects. The sets and backgrounds are terrifically constructed to make this film that much more believable. As for the color tones, the film is slightly darker to give the gritty feel of humanity’s last hope for survival, and the creepy, melodramatic music delightfully compliments this.
Overall, this film explores the fear of being alone in society. It delves into a primal paranoia of Biblical proportions, which leaves the audience believing this event could really happen. With a non-stop flow of action and adventure, the audience never has a chance to get bored. The story is thoroughly explained and put in front of its viewers in a very descriptive and intense fashion. The uniqueness of this film to the disaster genre demands attention from a somewhat jaded audience, and holds it perfectly. Boldly going to a place that human beings alone dreadfully fear, The Remaining makes the audience realize that the life they are living may not be the one they are intended to lead. So, those in the mood for something different in a genre that sometimes seems overdone, The Remaining is definitely one to check out. CrypticRock gives The Remaining 3.5 stars out of 5 stars.