leans strongly toward a biblical worldview
|Faith and/or Biblical Relevance|
|Faith-compatible Depiction of Characters and Character Relationships|
|Faith-compatible Depiction of Situations|
|Family Viewing Suitability|
|view our criteria|
Although Faith Driven Consumers might easily dismiss a faith-based film which falls squarely into the thriller/horror genre, THE REMAINING, which opens in theaters on September 5th is a highly convicting, strongly evangelistic film set in the days immediately following the biblical Rapture that keeps viewers on the edge of their seats from start to finish. Directed by Casey La Scala (Donnie Darko, A Walk to Remember), this Sony Pictures/Affirm Films presentation features an engaging young cast that consistently delivers strong and memorable performances that will particularly resonate with teens and young adults.
Shot with a contemporary, edgy, Blair Witch Project feel, THE REMAINING is scary and rather gruesome at times, but paints a very realistic picture of what the world would be like without the restraining influence of the Holy Spirit. More importantly, it challenges each of us to personally examine our beliefs and consider the degree to which we are willing to die for our faith.
Overall Faith and/or Biblical Relevance
As the persecution of Christians worldwide ramps up to levels scarcely imaginable even ten years ago, THE REMAINING offers a believable presentation of the demonic realm that is realistic given the biblical teaching that the forces of Satan come to kill, steal and destroy. While some viewers may take issue with the way specific details of the Rapture are treated theologically, THE REMAINING clearly shows that God’s Word and all who put their faith in Jesus instantly become targets for destruction.
A significant strength of THE REMAINING is that it’s not afraid to ask tough questions—and treat skepticism fairly. Legalistic and cultural Christianity are shown to miss the mark on the day of reckoning—as is the contemporary notion that simply being good or spiritual is enough to be saved. Instead, the message of THE REMAINING is that faith in Jesus is the only basis for a saving relationship with God.
Faith-compatible Depiction of Characters and Character Relationships
THE REMAINING opens in the context of a wedding between two relatively nominal young Christians in a secular setting. While the parents of the bride are shown to be loving and committed believers, and the ceremony is beautiful and moving, the mother says she would’ve preferred her daughter to have been married in a church. And when asked for advice on the key to a successful marriage, a bridesmaid says to “put the other person’s needs first.” Clearly, the institution of marriage is repeatedly affirmed and the church is seen to be a place of safe haven.
Suddenly a series of confusing and cataclysmic events begin to unfold during the wedding reception, and those remaining on Earth eventually come to understand that the biblical Rapture has occurred and they didn’t make it. Here, relationships and friendships are strained and put to the test, with storylines developing involving confession and forgiveness, heroic actions on behalf of others, caring and compassion for the injured and unrequited love.
In one particularly powerful scene, a pastor that was not raptured shows self-sacrificing love for those who have found refuge in his church by boldly taking personal responsibility for his failings as a Christian leader and exhorting everyone to make the choice to put their faith in Jesus before it’s too late.
Faith-compatible Depiction of Situations
Given the variety of positions taken by biblically orthodox, Evangelical Christians on matters pertaining to the Rapture and the time of tribulation, it’s likely that some viewers will disagree with certain details and sequencing of events depicted in THE REMAINING. For example, all children worldwide are shown to be “innocent” and thus raptured and saved for eternity. Despite these challenges, the broader biblical teaching on the need for each person to make a decision for God by faith in Christ is salient and well-presented.
As the storyline of THE REMAINING unfolds, chaos ensues worldwide as untold millions simply drop dead—causing planes to fall out of the skies and cars to crash. Those left behind are dazed, shocked, confused and grieving as they try to make sense of what has happened. Then, as the consecutive trumpets of the Book of Revelation sound—audible only to those with ears to hear—a series of earthquakes, super storms with giant hail stones, plagues of locusts and successive waves of demonic destruction are unleashed upon Earth and its inhabitants. Despite these horrors, each character wrestles with his or her faith and one is publicly baptized in a government-run shelter while “Amazing Grace” is played over the loudspeakers.
Family Viewing Suitability
With its PG-13 rating for thematic elements and intense sequences of terror, violence and destruction throughout, THE REMAINING is suitable for teens with adult supervision and up. Its message that time is short and everyone must make a choice to believe in God and receive life abundant or continue to ignore God and live selfishly raises important questions for age-appropriate viewers to grapple with.
Here, THE REMAINING will particularly appeal to teens and Millennials as a film that youth groups under solid leadership can attend and invite their unbelieving friends. And instead of forcing answers on viewers, THE REMAINING respects skeptical viewpoints and allows the biblical teaching on faith and salvation to unfold in a storyline upholding marriage and family.
At 128 minutes in length, THE REMAINING may well be the best End Times movie to date. With its perfectly paced and well-written storyline, great music and high quality cast, THE REMAINING both captivates and convicts audiences with its evangelistic Gospel message. When the closing credits begin to roll and the last character has yet to decide where he stands with God, each viewer is confronted with the same choice: Will you, too, be one of the remaining when the first trumpet sounds?