2023's Most Important Movie Will Stream on Max Soon

The harrowing Academy Award winner is worth your time.


Disturbing movies can take all forms, from high-tension thrillers to jumpscare horror. But last year’s most disturbing film wasn’t effective because it was strange. Instead, it treated its setting as so unremarkable that reality only crashes in like a freight train in its closing moments. It’s unlike any other movie, and it’s coming to streaming sooner than you think.

According to Variety, The Zone of Interest, directed by Under the Skin’s Jonathan Glazer, will be available to stream on Max starting April 5. The Zone of Interest follows Rudolf Höss, his wife Hedwig, and their children as they live in a lavish villa in 1940s Germany. Much of the film is dedicated to their day-to-day lives as they play in the pool, fish, and garden.

Of course, Rudolf is the commandant at Auschwitz, located a stone’s throw from the villa. While the Höss family enjoys Rudolf’s burgeoning career, there are stark reminders of what is truly happening. Hedwig and her domestic staff pick through prisoners’ stolen garments, while sympathetic workers are seen sneaking food into the camp.

The duality of the villa and the camp is reflected in the movie’s harrowing sound design.


Notably, The Zone of Interest won the Academy Award for Best Sound Design, and it’s easy to see why. Throughout the movie, faint sounds from the camp leak into the Höss family’s idyllic life. “We described it as Film 1 and Film 2, the film you see and the film you hear,” sound designer Johnnie Burn told Inverse.

To get the effect Glazer intended, it’s worth streaming with a setup that emphasizes sound: on a TV in a quiet area, or even with headphones. It’s certainly not a movie to idly watch on your phone. The Zone of Interest’s message is legible no matter how you stream the movie — and it’s an essential and painful message — but its full gut-punch tone only lands if you give it every chance to tell its story how it’s intended. It’s not easy viewing, but you won’t regret it.

The Zone of Interest will hit Max on April 5.

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