The original Left Behind was not a quality film. This isn’t coming from me, as I haven’t seen it; I’m going by the word of Jerry B. Jenkins, one of the authors of the original sixteen “Left Behind” novels. According to Jenkins, he and his writing partner Tim LaHaye sold away their movie rights to the first available outlet, and ended up with three “church basement movies.” I’ve never seen a movie in a church basement, but I’m guessing they’re not of the highest quality.
And that’s why Jenkins and LaHaye sued Cloud Ten Pictures Inc., on the grounds that Left Behind: The Movie, Left Behind II: Tribulation Force and Left Behind: World at War were bad movies. Apparently, that’s a thing you can do now. It’s also a thing you can win, because in 2008, Jenkins and LaHaye emerged the victors after almost a decade of legal squabbling. They had what they set out to obtain: the right to remake their Rapture-based thriller novels as the blockbuster film series they’d always imagined.
Back in January, we were treated to our first clip of their new Left Behind. Not only did it have Nicolas Cage, but it had Nicolas Cage saying “But hey, if she’s gonna run off with another man, why not Jesus?” with a wistful sigh. Jesus, it seems, has given up the whole “dying for our sins” thing, and is now running off with our women like a common Lothario.
And now, a mere four months since that first clip premiered, we’ve got an official teaser trailer for Left Behind. It’s as terrifying as we could ever imagine, evidenced by an opening shot of kids riding a carousel in slow-motion, beset on all sides by creepy orchestral music (as the Rapture is about as scary as an episode of Goosebumps). Other than that, it’s a little tough tell what Left Behind will be like, if only because the trailer can’t go more than six tenths of a second without cutting to the next shot. Check out the forty-four second mark to see Left Behind cut to a slightly closer version of the same shot, mid-sentence. Like a snap zoom, with neither the snap, nor the zoom.
But we can at least glean some basic details from this trailer. Nic Cage is an intrepid airline pilot who will fight against the forces of the Rapture, whatever those are (Jesus?). The Rapture will involve large vehicles slamming into things large vehicles were not meant to slam into. And the Rapture will whisk people up to Heaven right out of their outerwear, if those neatly folded piles of clothing are any kind of evidence. Heaven is a lot more nude than I would have thought.
But given the melodramatic, low-budget feel this whole thing gives off, it seems unlikely that the new Left Behind will be the megaChrist blockbuster that Jenkins and LaHaye want it to be. Sorry, guys. Looks like God’s Not Dead beat you to the punch.
Check out the trailer below, thanks to Left Behind‘s Facebook page.
Left Behind hits theaters on October 3rd.