Mahershala Ali, Ruth Scott, Julia Roberts and Ethan Hawke in the 'apocalyptic thriller' 'Leave the World Behind' shot partially on location in Riverhead last year, begins streaming on Netflix Dec. 8. Photo: Netflix.com

An ‘apocalyptic thriller’ starring Julia Roberts, Mahershala Ali and Ethan Hawke, shot partially on location in Riverhead Town last year begins streaming on Netflix today.

“Leave the World Behind,” based on the best-selling and highly acclaimed 2020 novel of the same name by Rumaan Alam, is the story of two families who don’t know each other forced together on a long weekend in a remote area of Long Island.

Riverhead Town provided on-location scenes for the “remote area” that’s central to the story’s plot. The film’s cast and crew spent two days in April 2022 filming in the local area, including on Hulse Landing Road, Sound Avenue, Twomey Avenue and Horton Avenue.

Amanda and Clay, played by Roberts and Hawke, rent a luxury home for the weekend with their two children. The night they arrive at their rental, two strangers, G.H and his daughter Ruth, portrayed by Ali and Myha’la Herrold, show up at the house with foreboding news of a mysterious cyberattack, seeking refuge in the rented home they claim to own. There’s a widespread blackout and all communications are cut off.

“The two families reckon with a looming disaster that grows more terrifying by the minute, forcing everyone to come to terms with their places in a collapsing world,” Netflix says.

Kevin Bacon plays shotgun-wielding Danny, a terrified local who lives nearby, who G.H. and Clay turn to for help as bizarre events unfold.

Alam’s novel was nominated for a National Book Award and earned best book of the year accolades from The New York Times, The Washington Post, NPR and Kirkus Reviews.

The film debuted in select theaters on Nov. 22 in advance of its streaming debut on Netflix today.

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Denise is a veteran local reporter, editor, attorney and former Riverhead Town councilwoman. Her work has been recognized with numerous awards, including investigative reporting and writer of the year awards from the N.Y. Press Association. She is a founder, owner and co-publisher of this website.Email Denise.