left behind

Though Hollywood isn’t afraid of religious narratives (this year will bring big budget movies about Noah and Moses), there’s a subset of the genre that’s long existed, but usually only filmed by low budget filmmakers. These films focus on the rapture*, with it all about those who didn’t make it to heaven on first pass. But maybe now that genre is about to get classy as not only is HBO making a show about it (The Leftovers) there’s now a Left Behind film starring an Oscar winning actor.

That actor: Nicolas Cage, who… yeah, let’s be honest, hasn’t been making the best career choices of late, but he owed the government some money, so that happens. This appears to be a reboot of the franchise, which made it to the big screen in 2000 starring (you guessed it) Kirk Cameron. But here you get Nicolas freakin’ Cage! The other performers (including Chad Michael Murray, Jordin Sparks, Cassi Thompson, and Nicky Whelan) aren’t as distinguished — but he is joined by Lea Thompson, which is nice. Here’s that trailer:

 

The biggest problem with the genre is that it’s usually made by believers who have more faith in God and their message than skill when it comes to filmmaking, even if their budgets are paltry. They’re usually so convinced by their material that what they’re saying is a message the word needs to hear that craft gets left behind (sorry, not sorry). But perhaps with Cage’s involvement, we could see one of the best movies about this material. We’ll know when the film comes out October 3.

Have you seen any previous Left Behind films?

* The big exception is 1991 film The Rapture, which Fine Line had no idea what to do with when they released it, and is a singular film.