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Leave the World Behind's controversial ending explained as Netflix viewers 'feel cheated'

Rhiannon Ingle

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Leave the World Behind's controversial ending explained as Netflix viewers 'feel cheated'

Featured Image Credit: Netflix

While I'm sure many of us are cosying up to the go-to Christmas classics this festive period - it's clear many of us have been looking for something a tad more thrilling than The Holiday.

Netflix's brand new psychological thriller dropped last week (8 December) and it's sent the internet into quite the storm with some viewers feeling 'cheated' by the controversial ending.

The official premise for Leave The World Behind reads: "A family vacation on Long Island is interrupted by two strangers bearing news of a mysterious blackout.

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"As the threat grows more imminent, both families must decide how best to survive the potential crisis, all while grappling with their own place in this collapsing world."

The flick boasts a star-studded cast including the likes of Julia Roberts, Mahershala Ali, Ethan Hawke, Myha’la and Kevin Bacon.

Directed and produced by Sam Esmail, the latest Netflix addition is based on the 2020 novel of the same name by Rumaan Alam.

Leave The World Behind was first released in limited theatres last month (November 22) but was finally made available to stream from the comfort of your sofa last Friday.

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Now, while it's clear some people couldn't wait to check out the latest flick to hit the streaming platform - it seems not everyone was as obsessed with it as others with many slamming the film's 'stupid' ending.

The psychological thriller landed on Netflix last week (8 December). Credit: Netflix
The psychological thriller landed on Netflix last week (8 December). Credit: Netflix

Without giving away too much, the film ends with the characters trying to escape a bunch of weird goings on in the city and hiding out in a bunker.

In the final scene we see one character, who was previously missing, finally find the bunker and pick up a DVD of the final season of Friends, which she then puts on.

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As the opening theme song kicks in, the credits roll.

One Facebook user hit out: "Feel cheated, was looking forward to this."

"No, why did the Leave World Behind end like that?" slammed an X user, while a third chimed in: "That Leave The World Behind movie sucked cuz wtf was that ending."

"The movie Leave The World Behind behind kinda stupid," penned a fourth. "I hate the ending."

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But, don't let that deter you as many others clearly loved the flick with one Facebook user praising: "I thought the movie was very compelling!"

"Thought provoking for sure," wrote another while a third added: "Really enjoyed it!! Think you will sit back and think!"

A final viewer echoed: "It was very good and disturbed us much .. psychologically!! This movie will leave anyone paranoid!"

Some viewers weren't happy with the film's 'stupid' ending. Credit: Netflix
Some viewers weren't happy with the film's 'stupid' ending. Credit: Netflix
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Author Alam has since defended the choice of the ending which differs from the ending in the book, saying that it's not the type of film to neatly wrap everything up at the end.

When asked why the audience weren’t given closure at the end, Alam told Variety: "Wouldn’t that be so dissatisfying? It’s a film that respects you as a viewer enough to not provide that.

“In that final scene between Julia and Myha’la, they don’t embrace. Even prior to that, when they’re in that little shed and come to a détente, Ruth acknowledges that there’s some truth to the things that Amanda has said, that they’re in agreement about something, but it doesn’t end with a hug.

"It’s not that kind of story. I have no problem with like a big disaster movie that saves the six or eight principals and reunites them in the aftermath of a disaster and allows you to be like, 'Well, everything’s gonna be okay'.

"I just don’t think this is that kind of film."

Reckon you'll be giving it a go? Leave The World Behind is currently available to stream on Netflix.

Topics: TV And Film, Netflix

Rhiannon Ingle
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