"Who Will You Choose?"
THE REMAINING is a thriller with some horror movie conventions about the beginning of the Apocalypse during the End Times. The “Remaining” are those people left behind once the Christians are raptured, having been taken to Heaven with God.
THE REMAINING opens just before the wedding of Skylar and Dan. Dan’s friend, Tommy, is video recording the day’s events. After the bride and groom marry, the celebration begins in a large banquet hall. Skylar’s parents are Christians and preferred the wedding to be held in a church, but they conceded. After all, Skylar at least had convinced Dan to start coming with her to church.
As Tommy and Skylar’s parents take the elevator to bring down wedding gifts, they collapse to the ground. Unable to revive them, Tommy heads back to the rest of the wedding party and finds there is total chaos as many in the large gathering have fallen but many others remain.
Skylar, Dan and their best friends, Jack and Allison, are also left behind. Bodies are everywhere. Pandemonium breaks out inside as people flee the building, which is crumbling and struck by lightning. Outside, there’s wind, hail, fire, car and helicopter crashes, and many dead and injured people.
The four friends run and determine to find Allison, who left the reception early. They stop in a library, where Skylar searches for a Bible to explain to her other non-believing friends what is happening. Skylar realizes that she didn’t have the kind of relationship with God that her parents did. She just went to church, so she was left behind. They meet a young teenaged girl, Sam, who is now orphaned, and she tags along with them. Skylar gets a Bible from the library, and they leave.
As they head to a church where they think Allison may be, night has fallen and it becomes all the more strange and eerie. As they run for the church door, Skylar is snatched into the air by a flying creature, bitten and dropped from the sky. They run the rest of the way to the church, where a nurse attends to Skylar’s wounds, and they also find Allison.
The church pastor, Pastor Shay, explains how he’d played church all those years – even led a congregation, but had not made a personal decision to follow Jesus. Now, he accepts his role as a pastor after the rapture to show others the way to Christ. Eventually, demonic creatures break into the church, and Pastor Shay is killed by a demon creature after having shared his faith in God.
At daybreak, the group tries to get help for Skylar at the hospital, but it’s been looted and nearly abandoned. Skylar dies from her wounds, but tells Dan that she gets it now, and she’s decided to follow God. Dan runs out of the hospital in anger and grief yelling to be killed and he is.
Allison is the next victim, but before she is killed, she asks Sam to video record her saying how wrong she’d been. She knows the demon creatures are trying to remove the Word of God, but she’s made her decision to follow God. After she’s killed by the demon, her grieving boyfriend Jack doesn’t want to leave her, but Tommy knows they can’t stay at the hospital. Their only chance is to leave for the local military relief camp.
The party of six is now a threesome of Tommy, Jack and Sam. Surprisingly, once they make it to the military relief station, Jack, the biggest skeptic, meets with the chaplain and gives his life to Christ. Tommy then realizes the demons are drawn to faith and is killing believers. He and Sam run to warn Jack, but it’s too late. Will Sam and Tommy decide to choose God?
THE REMAINING is a fairly well written story of what life may be like according to the Bible for those who remain once those who sincerely followed Christ and had a relationship with Him leave the earth. There are small character arcs within the story, and characters such as Skylar and Allison, who were “good” people but had no relationship with God, eventually sincerely choose to live or die for God. The character who did evolve the most was Jack, who initially scoffed at anything that resembled commitment or faith, but has a total change of heart in the end. However, the main character, Tommy did not evolve much as a character. He lived and died with his same questions and reluctance to come to Christ despite many warnings. Visually, the movie is very dark most of the time and has a moment or two where the audio is low or unclear. However, it is well shot and the movie’s pace and intensity suit the storyline.
THE REMAINING has strong moral elements. The friends stay together to care and look after one another. There are also strong Christian, biblical elements as individuals throughout the story are faced with accepting what the Bible says is true and choosing God, although death is imminent. THE REMAINING could be viewed as an evangelical movie admonishing viewers to choose Jesus. However, the six most central characters never actually say “I accept Christ” but that “they have to make a decision” or that they have to “choose God.” Pastor Shay does speak of Jesus, and the military chaplain baptizes Jack in the name of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit. So it’s understood what God is being referenced. Perhaps, this was a tactic to avoid being too “preachy” to viewers.
Also, the theology is weak in other areas, especially eschatology, or the theology of the end times. There is a slight confusion about the Hebrew biblical concept of a bodily resurrection, and the Greek infatuation with dualism and the separation of body and soul.
THE REMAINING has no foul language or lewd content, but MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution due to the violent, scary way in which some characters die. Although much of the violence is implied, there is blood shown, including when the demon attacks are kills the characters. Also, in the opening scene, the groom is depicted with his back turned urinating at a urinal.
(CC, BB, RH, VV, S, N, A, MM) Very strong Christian worldview as individuals throughout the movie are faced with accepting what the Bible says is true and choosing God, with strong moral elements as the friends stay together to care and look after one another, but the focus is not always on Jesus and the movie’s vision of the End Times doesn’t completely follow the Bible; no obscenities or profanity spoken, but male is depicted urinating with his back turned; some strong violence includes blood and bloody or maimed bodies depicted throughout as death by a giant demon is depicted and implied; no sex scenes, but a husband confesses infidelity; upper male nudity of corpse on operating table; friends drink at bar or club and alcohol is present during a toast at a wedding; no smoking or drugs; and, hospital looted, natural disasters, death, orphaned child, and Bibles are burned.
THE REMAINING is a story of what life may be like during an imagined dispensationalist rapture in the Apocalypse when those who sincerely had a personal relationship with God through Jesus leave the earth. The rapture occurs during a wedding. When the bride’s parents are called to Heaven, the bride and groom, along with four other friends, try to survive. Meanwhile, a demon creature starts tracking them down to kill those who might realize they need to follow God. Ultimately, each person has to make a choice. The question isn’t who will survive, but who will follow God.
THE REMAINING is a well-written story about forgiveness, acceptance, love, and sacrifice. The movie is shot well but visually very dark. The movie’s intense pace suits the storyline. THE REMAINING has a strong Christian, biblical, moral worldview as individuals are faced with deciding whether what the Bible says is true. However, the focus isn’t always directly on accepting Jesus. THE REMAINING has no foul language or lewd content, but MOVIEGUIDE® advises extreme caution due to the violent, scary way in which some characters die.