The Sandford family goes away for the weekend at the behest of the matriarch. But things get a little strange when the family that rents them the house for the weekend turns up on their doorstep asking to spend the night.
This doesn’t sound like your typical invasion movie. But that’s because it isn’t. Movies like the original Red Dawn, and its remake, show the bluster of an invading army with young Americans taking up arms. But this movie is different. There are more ways to attack a country at this point in history than with an invading army.
The times have changed. And with Americans being more divided than ever, the writers chose to go smaller. Sure the audience does get glimpses of the macro effects of what is happening in the larger society. But the emphasis remains on the micro tensions of human interaction in the face of what transpires.
If audiences think Amanda Sanford is a Karen, they wouldn’t be completely wrong. But that would be overly simplistic. A more nuanced and deeper examination would find that she has seen the decay of human civilization and finds it to be repulsive. As a result, she dislikes people. That assessment, for the most part, excludes her family.
Clay Sandford is an easygoing person. It seems like he’s the type that goes along to get along—the perfect match for Amanda. That’s why he meshes instantly with the Scotts.
Rose Sandford is the youngest in the house. So she has to deal with what comes with that. A lot of times being the youngest means that no one takes you seriously because they don’t think you know anything. To this viewer though, it seems like there is an attempt to show that Rose has some level of depth. That point is arguable. But she makes a very dangerous and questionable decision that shows more youth than wisdom.
The actor who plays Archie Sandford doesn't seem to have any type of direction for his character. Outside of being there to annoy his sister and force the other characters to interact with Danny, this viewer struggles to find a purpose for him.
G.H. Scott is just as easygoing as Clay Sanford. He might even be more so, considering what he sacrifices in his house for perfect strangers. He’s willing to bend over backward to keep the peace.
Ruth Scott is an African-American Millennial. Unlike her father, she dispenses with the niceties and is willing to ruffle some feathers if it means getting the respect and dignity she deserves. But there are times that she does come off as a brat.
Danny is a doomsday prepper. He can’t control anyone else but himself. So he controls what he can. He separates himself from society, so he won't be ruined by its blindness and decay. And he’s content to watch the world burn, so long as he and his family aren’t affected.
Confucious thought that the foundation of society started with the family. That’s what makes Leave the World Behind so interesting. The writers examine American society and the many divisions that exist, at the most basic level. But they do it through the lens of two families having to come together to deal with the fall of their civilization.