Netflix has just launched the trailer for a harrowing new drama, and it looks beautiful despite the terrifying tale it tells. Society of the Snow, based on the book of the same name, tells the story of the real and infamous Andes plane crash in late 1972. When Uruguayan Air Force Flight 571 crashed in the snowy mountains, the survivors had to resort to the unthinkable in order to survive.
If you're thinking "hang on, wasn't that the same thing Alive was based on?" you're right – but this is a much darker and, it seems, historically accurate take on the real-life tragedy. As you can see from the new Netflix movie's trailer, it's so realistic you can feel the temperature drop as you watch it.
Is Society of the Snow worth streaming?
The reviews so far emphatically say yes: it's riding high at 95% on Rotten Tomatoes so far, looking like it could be one of the best Netflix movies coming soon. From the acting to the cinematography and the soundtrack, it's an epic that's an uncomfortable but essential watch. Film Threat says it "contains all the thrills and masterclass filmmaking cinephiles expect in a great survival drama, but it’s the simple yet profound message that resonates the most," while Espinof highlights a scene of a fall that's "one of the best in the history of disaster cinema".
It's always tricky to film real-life events while remaining respectful to the memory of the people the film depicts, but it seems that Society of the Snow manages to pull it off: Time Out says that "Society of the Snow is careful to memorialise the dead in a moving, meaningful way". In fact, "this gripping, emotional retelling of the Andes flight disaster plonks you right in the middle of that frostbitten hell and leaves you feeling not just for its victims, but a little for the cast of young Uruguayan and Argentinian actors and crew who recreate it so effectively here. You hope they had thermals on."
If you're aware of the real life tragedy, you're probably aware of the desperate measures people took in order to try and survive – if not, spoiler alert: the survivors turned to cannibalism. But while the film doesn't shy away from that, it doesn't glory in it either: filmmaker JA Bayona is more interested in the psychological effects of such horrors on the very religious young men faced with such an impossible situation.
Society of the Snow will have a limited release in movie theaters in December before coming to Netflix on January 4, 2024. A lovely, uplifting way to start the new year!
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Writer, broadcaster, musician and kitchen gadget obsessive Carrie Marshall (Twitter) has been writing about tech since 1998, contributing sage advice and odd opinions to all kinds of magazines and websites as well as writing more than a dozen books. Her memoir, Carrie Kills A Man, is on sale now. She is the singer in Glaswegian rock band HAVR.