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Leave the World Behind is trending. Here’s why (and 4 other movies that predicted the US Cellular outage)

A man and young girl and a young couple stand together looking stunned in a scene from Leave the World Behind.

On February 22, AT&T experienced widespread power outages throughout the U.S. Naturally, plenty of people became worried. What would life be like without such modern conveniences such as mobile phones, the internet, and electricity?

To answer these troublesome questions, some people have looked to movies for possible scenarios. Leave the World Behind, in particular, has been a popular choice, which makes sense as it’s just been released and is one of the most popular Netflix movies ever. Here are four more movies you should watch that bear some similarities to the event that just occurred today.

Leave the World Behind (2023)

The cast of Leave the World Behind.

When the US cellular outage news first spread, everyone looked to one movie in particular to compare their shared experience: Leave the World Behind.  The 2023 Netflix original movie stars Julia Roberts and Ethan Hawke as Amanda and Clay, a couple on vacation on Long Island. But their vacation takes a strange turn when two strangers (Mahershala Ali and Myha’la) arrive in the middle of the night seeking refuge from a cyberattack. In the now-cramped home, the four people must come to terms with a world that is rapidly collapsing around them while questioning the cause of it and dreading its potential outcome.

One of Netflix’s most popular movies ever, Leave the World Behind is unsettling in how it stripes away the comforts of technology and modern convenience from its main characters. It’s more scary now that, with AT&T, Verizon, and other major cell companies reporting outages all at the same time, it could actually happen. Word of advice: If you own a Tesla, do not watch this movie.

Leave the World Behind is streaming on Netflix.

The Trigger Effect (1996)

Three people stand outside in The Trigger Effect.

No one remembers this underrated ’90s gem starring Elisabeth Shue, Kyle MacLachlan, and Dermot Mulroney, but that’s not because it’s bad; people just have short memories. This thriller, directed by Jurassic Park writer David Koepp, concentrates on young parents Annie and Matthew, who are caring for their sick child one night when, all of a sudden, a massive power outage occurs throughout the entire nation.

Robbed of the usual luxuries like electricity and telephones, Annie and Matthew (Sheu and MacLachlan) must venture out to get aid for their sick daughter, and they eventually end up fighting for their lives. The Trigger Effect isn’t as exaggerated as Leave the World Behind, but that’s what makes it so unsettling. This could happen in real life, and as today showcased, it does from time to time, albeit on a small scale.

You can buy or rent The Trigger Effect on Amazon Prime Video.

A Quiet Place (2018)

The cast of A Quiet Place.

What do you get when you combine a world without technology and scary monsters? You get A Quiet Place. John Krasinski firmly established himself as a director and a writer with this film, which also stars his real-life wife, Emily Blunt (Oppenheimer). In this vision of the apocalypse, sightless aliens have wiped out most of humanity. Thankfully, the Abbott family, including parents Lee (Krasinski) and Evelyn (Blunt), and their kids, Regan (Millicent Simmonds) and Marcus (Noah Jupe), have found a way to survive by being very quiet at all times.

With Evelyn on the verge of giving birth to another child, the chances of the family remaining undetected drops considerably. The Abbotts are also not over the loss of their youngest child, Beau (Cade Woodward), but they need to come to terms with that tragedy and each other if they hope to survive when the aliens catch up with them. It may have a sci-fi/horror angle, but A Quiet Place is an effective portrait of a world let loose from technology and a civilization on the cusp of collapse.

Watch A Quiet Place on Paramount+.

How It Ends (2018)

Forest Whitaker and Theo James in How It Ends.

When the apocalypse comes, it hits suddenly in How It Ends. Will Younger (The White Lotus‘ Theo James) picked a bad time to fly from Seattle to Chicago, since he left his pregnant girlfriend, Samantha “Sam” Sutherland (Kat Graham), behind to get her parents’ blessing to marry her. Before Will can go home empty-handed, disaster strikes and all flights are grounded. The only thing that Sam’s father, Tom Sutherland (Forest Whitaker), has in common with Will is that they both love Sam. So they agree to team up and drive cross-country to get Sam to safety.

Unfortunately for this unlikely duo, society is breaking down even faster than they expected, and there are already dangerous people on the road who are willing to rob them just so they can survive a little bit longer. There are a lot easier ways for a potential father-in-law and son-in-law to bond. But during the end of the world, you have to take what you can get.

Watch How It Ends on Netflix.

Knock At the Cabin (2023)

A woman and two men standing side by side and looking in the same direction in the movie Knock at the Cabin.
Universal Pictures

The end of the world comes via a biblical apocalypse (or does it?) in this M. Night Shyamalan movie, one of 2023’s most underrated thrillers. Guardians of the Galaxy‘s Dave Bautista and Harry Potter‘s Rupert Grint are part of an enigmatic group of strangers who menace a seemingly innocent family in a cabin in the woods. Married dads Eric (Jonathan Groff) and Andrew (Ben Aldridge), as well as their daughter, Wen (Kristen Cui), are understandably alarmed when Leonard Brocht (Bautista), Redmond (Grint), Sabrina (Nikki Amuka-Bird), and Adriane (Abby Quinn) barge into their cabin and take them hostage.

What do they want? Well, the quartet claims that they aren’t there to harm the family, but Eric and Andrew have to decide which of them will have to die to prevent the apocalypse. Yikes! What makes matters worse, these four people really do believe what they say, and they have evidence that supports their wild story. What happens? Stream and find out.

Watch Knock At the Cabin on Prime Video.

Editors' Recommendations

Jason Struss
Section Editor, Entertainment
Jason is a writer, editor, and pop culture enthusiast whose love for cinema, television, and cheap comic books has led him to…
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