The Most Extreme Netflix Movie of 2024 Already Got 90% on Rotten Tomatoes

The Most Extreme Netflix Movie of 2024 Already Got 90% on Rotten Tomatoes
Image credit: Netflix

Critics and audiences alike are awed by the terror that J.A. Bayona manages to convey in his new film.


  • Survival movies are some of the most terrifying and emotionally affecting genres in filmmaking.
  • One of the best examples in recent years is Society of the Snow, which was released on Netflix in January and has already garnered a 90% rating on Rotten Tomatoes.
  • Those who have seen the movie are delighted with how well it captures the emotions of the survivors of the terrible tragedy of 1972.

From Robinson Crusoe to Tom Hanks' character in Cast Away, people have never stopped praising the lust for life, even when there seems to be no chance of survival. And yet, no fictional story can compare to the reality outside of human necessities and living conditions, and as soon as someone encounters it not on the pages of an adventure novel, but in real life, we realise how frightening it is to find oneself in such a situation.

One of the best examples is Society of the Snow, based on the sinister and tragic events in the Andes in 1972 — just days after the movie's release on Netflix, it received incredibly high ratings on review aggregators.

A Powerful Film About a Powerful Will to Live

Co-produced by Spain and the United States, Society of the Snow tells the harrowing story of the 1972 plane crash in the Andes that took the rugby team, their staff, family and friends from Montevideo, Uruguay to Santiago, Chile. Due to pilot error, the plane crashed in a remote region of the Andes in western Argentina. For 72 days, the survivors faced extreme conditions that undermined their sanity: in addition to being exposed to unbearable cold and unable to cross the mountains, they faced regular avalanches and then unbearable hunger that forced them to resort to cannibalism. Of the 45 passengers on the plane, only 16 survived after Nando Parrado and Roberto Canessa's heroic trek to find help.

These events, called either the Tragedy of the Andes or the Miracle of the Andes, caused no small amount of controversy, but when the general public learned of the hardships suffered by the survivors, each received official forgiveness, even from the Pope himself.

Attempts have been made to bring these events to the screen: in 1993, the movie Alive, directed by Frank Marshall, was released. That's not to say it was bad, but the new iteration has the advantage of emphasizing the Uruguayan and Argentinean cast, as well as the deep emotional struggles the survivors had to face.

Society of the Snow Has Already Received Acclaim

Society of the Snow had a limited theatrical release in the United States on December 22, 2023 before being added to Netflix on January 4, 2024. It hasn't been that long, but critics and audiences alike are already giving the movie the most rave reviews it can get.

On Rotten Tomatoes, the movie has an impressive 90% rating from critics and 82% from audiences. The film is directed by Spanish director J.A. Bayona and co-written by his longtime collaborator Bernat Vilaplana, who is also known for his work with Guillermo del Toro. Both have strong backgrounds in the horror genre, and Society of the Snow is a horror in a way, except that the horror is not about the supernatural, but about the very believable situations that real people found themselves in in 1972.

Bayona, who already had experience in conveying the feelings and emotions of people facing real doom after 2012's The Impossible, really excels from a technical point of view. Some scenes focus solely on the exhausted faces full of abrasions, hematomas and frostbite of people trying to make it through another day, while others show the full scale of the tragedy by placing the wreckage of the plane in full frame. The horror of the situation is heightened by the almost maddening, monotonous creaking of metal and the howling wind.

As a result, Society of the Snow from Spain has been nominated for Best International Feature Film for the upcoming Oscar 2024.