The Remaining (a J!-ENT Blu-ray Disc Review)
January 27, 2015 by Dennis Amith
“The Remaining” is an interesting step forward for Christian films tackling horror with cool special effects and a wonderful, immersive lossless soundtrack. While the storyline may not have the long duration to develop its characters like “Left Behind”, “The Remaining” is a Christian film about the rapture with a different, more chaotic and dark perspective. If you are a Christian, “The Remaining” is a film worth checking out!
Image courtesy of © 2014 Sony Pictures Worldwide. All Rights Reserved.
TITLE: The Remaining
YEAR OF FILM: 2014
DURATION: 88 Minutes
BLU-RAY DISC INFORMATION: 1080p High Definition, English. French 5.1 DTS-HD Master Audio, English – Audio Description Track, Spanish 5.1 Dolby Digital, Subtitles: English, English SDH, French and Spanish.
COMPANY: Affirm Films/Sony Pictures Home Entertainment
Rated: PG-13 (Intense Sequences of Terror, Violence and Destruction Throughout and Thematic Elements)
RELEASE DATE: January 27, 2015
Directed by Casey La Scala
Screenplay by Casey La Scala, Chris Dowling
Story by Casey La Scala
Executive Producer: Peter Schafer
Produced by Marc Bienstock, Casey La Scala, Brad Luff
Music by Nathan Whitehead
Cinematography by Doug Emmett
Edited by Paul Covington
Casting by Nancy Nayor
Production Direction by Brian Stultz
Art Direction by Brian Baker
Set Decoration by Thurston Edwards
Costume Design by Carol Cutshall
Johnny Pacar as Tommy
Shaun Sipos as Jack
Bryan Dechart as Dan
Alexa PenaVega as Skylar
Italia Ricci as Allison
Liz E. Morgan as Sam
John Puper-Ferguson as Pastor Shay
Kim Pacheco as Nurse Rachel
The Remaining is an action-packed supernatural thriller that addresses questions of life, love and belief against an apocalyptic backdrop. A group of close friends gather for a wedding, but the celebration is shattered by a series of cataclysmic events and enemies foretold by biblical end-times prophecies. The survivors face a horrifying, uncertain future as they scramble for safety. But as their world collapses around them in chaos and terror will they choose real life through faith, or just try to survive?
A supernatural thriller for director/writer Casey La Scala, “The Remaining” is an apocalyptic horror Christian film from Affirm Films.
With a Blu-ray set for release in January 2014, the film strays away from its usual path of inspiration and hope by focusing on chaos and survival as the end-of-the-world is near and it asks the question, will you accept faith and believe in God or will you try to survive while wing demons fly throughout the world or other calamities as mentioned in the Book of Revelation will get to you first?
“The Remaining” begins with an introduction to videographer Tommy Covington (portrayed by Johnny Pacuar) shooting video with his friends Dan (portrayed by Bryan Dechart) and his girlfriend Skylar (portrayed by Alexa Vega) and Jack (portrayed by Shaun Sipos) and his girlfriend Allison (portrayed by Italia Ricci). The five are best friends and are very close.
And the film then begins with the wedding of Dan and Skylar and as the special occasion is meant to be the best evening ever, the evening turns out to be the night of the rapture.
Bodies start falling down to the floor, people are dead while others survive.
What is causing this mass death in the world?
As the friends deal with the death of their loved ones, earthquakes start to ravage the area that the friends try to escape and try to find shelter.
Skylar believes she knows what is going on and it’s what her parents have told her about the Rapture, as signs from what has been detailed in the Bible (Book of Revelations) are happening.
But Dan and others don’t believe it because they are good people, why weren’t they taken? Tommy believes it may be UFO’s.
As the friends try are walking out to possibly head home, they hear something ominous and as Skylar has a bad feeling and starts to pray to God, she is whisked away by a winged demon, impaled and dropped many feet from the air.
Afraid for their safety, Dan tries to hold Skylar and the others try to escape from whatever is flying around and they are taken in by a pastor at a nearby church.
And while Dan worries about Skylar who has suffered major injuries, many try to understand what is happening. If it was the rapture, why weren’t the good people taken? Why wasn’t the pastor taken? And the pastor explains that he wasn’t a good preacher and that being good is not good enough to be brought to Heaven.
While the group brings in a young woman named Sam (portrayed by Liz E. Morgan) to help them find supplies, the attacks by the winged demons are escalating.
What if you had to make one choice and join your love ones? Making a choice to accept faith and believe in God or not? Which decision should one make?
“The Remaining” is presented in 1080p High Definition (1:85:1 aspect ratio). Picture quality is very good as there is very good detail, but there is also quite a bit of banding. The special effects are pretty good and use of CG special effects was well-utilized. Skin tones are natural, while black levels are nice and deep.
AUDIO & SUBTITLES:
As for audio, “The Remaining” is presented in English and French DTS-HD Master Audio 5.1, English audio description in Dolby digital 5.1 and also Spanish Dolby Digital 5.1. The film is primarily driven by the constant action throughout the film. In fact, I will say that the film’s lossless soundtrack is one of the major plus about the Blu-ray release as it is immersive and you can hear screams, the howls of the demons, crashing, things being knocked around, it’s an eerie soundtrack but it works quite effectively.
“The Remaining” comes with the following special features:
- Deleted Scene – (1:48) Featuring a deleted scene with Tommy apologizing to Jack.
- Divine Revelations: Making the Remaining – (19:44) Writer/director Casey LaScala discusses the cast, the shooting of the film, special effects and more.
Having grown up with the “Left Behind” books and dramatization audio CD’s and reading a story about the rapture and how humans left behind must bare for the worst as Satan and his army rule the Earth, while those left behind must make a decision to accept God or join the sinners.
One of the major plus about the series is the years to build up character development and story which made it a hit series and would lead to the live film adaptations back in the late ’90s.
Christian films have changed a lot since then. Within the past few years, Affirm Films have created films that featured major talent, taking on situations that are realistic and that all Christians can relate to and even taking the necessary steps of getting a PG-13 rating because not all Christian films can be pure or preachy.
There obviously needs to be risks or a clear determination of making better films and so far, I have seen great improvement.
With the release of “The Remaining”, the film doesn’t have the long storyline of “Left Behind” but for Christians who have read the Book of Revelation, the storyline always comes down to the decision, will one accept God into their lives or not?
So, in order to create a story and feature that major decision that characters must make, director Casey La Scala almost takes a “Cloverfield” turn of following a group of survivors, those who will probably not survive an evening because of what is transpiring around them with chaos and wing demons going after people.
While I tend to like Affirm Films bringing out movies that deal with faith and are inspirational and full of hope, for Christians, they will see the decision as the main focus for hope…will you believe in faith and let God into your life?
And once again, Christians will be open to this, while those who wanted to watch the film because they heard its an apocalyptic horror film, will realize quickly that this is a Christian film and may be disappointed by it.
But I enjoyed the film in the fact that it’s a Christian film with sci-fi CG effects and it’s a different type of film, that most are used to seeing.
As for the Blu-ray release, picture quality is very good, but it does have its fair share of banding. But the best part of this Blu-ray is the immersive soundtrack, great use of sound and definitely gave the eerie feel throughout the film. You also get a deleted scene and a making of featurette.
Overall, “The Remaining” is an interesting step forward for Christian films tackling horror with cool special effects and a wonderful, immersive lossless soundtrack. While the storyline may not have the long duration to develop its characters like “Left Behind”, “The Remaining” is a Christian film about the rapture with a different, more chaotic and dark perspective.
If you are a Christian, “The Remaining” is a film worth checking out!
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