Mr. Plate said audiences today are seeing a secularized version of the Rapture.
"The fear of being left behind goes throughout our whole life," said S. Brent Plate, visiting associate professor of religious studies at Hamilton College. "Rapture stories put that in a nice sort of context. It plays on some of our deepest fears, and I think that's why it keeps being a powerful story. We don't need a happy story to go to the movies, but I'll put down $11 if you scare me a little."