A Film Unwilling To Get As Dark As It Should

But a great deal about how Leonard and the others found their joint purpose, and just knew to go to the cabin, is derived from faith. How did they find a message board that linked them and their visions? The details aren’t important — just take it on faith that they did. How is it possible that they could have known the specifics of newscasters’ reactions to tragedies like tsunamis and pandemic-like viruses? Again, just take it on faith.

And that’s key because, as the film reaches its wobbly third act, the twist is that while Leonard and the others may be creepy, and they may be uncomfortable … they are (within the confines of this story) correct. There is an apocalypse, one that gets closer with each time that Eric and Andrew refuse to sacrifice themselves or their daughter, and thus each time that one of the unwanted visitors is killed in front of them. (Redmond goes first, which partially explains why Grint — still Ron Weasley to so many of us — gets the “And” credit.) Throughout the first hour, it’s easy to side with the especially angry Andrew if you’re skeptical. The “proof” that Leonard gives to show that the apocalypse has begun is through clips, including one pre-recorded segment, of natural and man-made disasters that are inarguably grim and terrifying, but seem less like God’s wrath than just the world having its revenge against humanity. (But Shyamalan already did that with his other R-rated film, “The Happening.”)

The most unnerving images in the film, and the ones that are the firmest proof of Leonard and friends being correct, arrive just after Leonard becomes the only surviving member of his makeshift group. (Eric and Andrew later compare the quartet, shakily, to the Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse.) Leonard turns the TV on again — conveniently the cable still works, even if no one has cell phone service out in the forest — and shows Eric, Andrew, and Wen apparently live footage of passenger airplanes inexplicably falling out of the sky and then recites a newscaster’s speech before the newscaster says anything.

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