You’ll want to put down your phone if you watch Leave the World Behind on Netflix this weekend. The new psychological thriller movie, which began streaming on Netflix today, comes with plenty of blink-and-you’ll-miss-it details. For those familiar with the movie’s writer and director, Sam Esmail, from his Easter Egg-filled series Mr. Robot, that won’t come as a surprise.
Leave the World Behind, which is based on the 2020 novel of the same name by Rumaan Alam, follows the story of a white family (played by Julia Roberts, Ethan Hawke, Charlie Evans, and Farrah Mackenzie) vacationing in a rental home on Long Island, who receive a surprise visit from the house’s Black owner (Mahershala Ali) and his daughter (Myha’la). As strange, apocalyptic events unfold around them, the two families navigate racial tension, suspicion, and fear. The plot is secondary to the film’s ominous tone, and one way that Esmai builds that tone is via subtle changes and Easter Eggs. One such Easter Eggs? The paintings in the rental house change over the course of the movie, to mirror the sense of growing chaos.
Fair warning: Stop reading now if you haven’t yet seen Leave the World Behind, and wish to remain unspoiled.
This is the living room painting at the beginning of Leave the World Behind.
The painting is by Glenn Ligon, though the prop for the movie was a magnified reproduction, done with the artist’s permission.
This is the living room painting in the middle of the film, just after the characters learn they are the targets of a cyber attack.
As you can see, the painting now represents an image that is more discordant; more glitchy.
And this is the living room painting at the end of the film, after Archie’s teeth start falling out.
Three separate paintings were used in total. As Racquel Chevremont, an art curator who worked on the film, explained in an interview for the Leave the World Behind press notes, “We didnât want something that was going to be obvious. We needed something that could evoke an emotional response without people really understanding why the scene seems a little different.”
The ocean mural in the bedroom where Julia Roberts and Ethan Hawke also changes over the course of the movie, to represent the rising tide of danger.
This is the bedroom mural at the beginning of the movie.
Note how the waves are relatively calm, and that you can see a lot of the sky.
This is the bedroom mural in the middle of the film, after Julia Roberts wakes up to notifications on her phone about a cyberattack.
Now the waves are taller, and tower over the bed, mirroring the impending sense of doom.
This is the mural at the end of the movie, when Archie’s teeth are falling out.
We don’t get a clear shot of the final mural, but you can tell that these waves are even taller than the previous mural. They’re really in it now!
Did you catch those little details, or any other Leave the World Behind Easter Eggs? Let us know.
The post ‘Leave the World Behind’ Easter Eggs: How The Paintings Change With The Movie’s Plot appeared first on Decider.