Amid all the reckonings from the train derailment in East Palestine, Ohio, our apparent need for more railway regulations, the dangerous chemicals in our plastic, and the fact that union dudes usually know what they’re talking about, one evacuee learned one hell of a lesson from the incident — that Adam Driver may well be the soothsayer of our time.
Ben Ratner and his family were among the thousands of people forced to evacuate their homes in the midwestern city, yet the father-of-four was no stranger to fleeing from an air contamination incident, doing so on the big screen as an extra in 2022’s White Noise.
They tell you their plans.— WOLSNED (@wolsned) February 13, 2023
It is a form of mockery.
The movie white noise came out in 2022 on Netflix— Qura (@Qurandale) February 15, 2023
Ohio in real life 2023: the exact same movie script except it’s in real life pic.twitter.com/9b9FPAEBZ9
Based on the 1985 book of the same name, the absurdist dramedy, which stars Driver, Greta Gerwig, Don Cheadle and of course, Ratner, follows an academic and his family as they evacuate their home following a freight train explosion.
"Talk about art imitating life," Ratner told People before describing the derailment as “such a scary situation.” “You can just about drive yourself crazy thinking about how uncanny the similarities are between what's happening now and in that movie."
Proof of the simulation:— Tim Connors • 101 (@itstimconnors) February 13, 2023
In 2021, Ben Ratner was hired as an extra in “White Noise” - a Netflix film about a train crash releasing toxic fumes in a small Ohio town
A few days ago, Ben had to evacuate his home… due to a train crash releasing toxic fumes in his small Ohio town pic.twitter.com/zjDHms9nd2
Ratner said he attempted to rewatch the film in light of the derailment, however, he ultimately tapped out after 15 minutes, finding that the plot now hit a bit too close to home.
“It's no longer entertaining,” he explained in another interview with ABC News.
It’s not just Ratner who is unamused with the film — and the unfolding disaster as a whole. Though the evacuation order has since been lifted, questions remain surrounding the short-term and long-term dangers of the incident beyond the known effects of vinyl chloride exposure, which can cause immediate symptoms like headaches and drowsiness and over time, a dangerous form of liver cancer.
Chernobyl Lite™️ is happening in Ohio right now but we’re not gonna know the extent of the disaster for another 10 years or so, huh pic.twitter.com/jE1FxdovM0— philip seymour hoffmanatee (@heckmanatee) February 9, 2023
“Some of the authorities are telling people that when they return, they should open their windows and wipe down all their surfaces,” Erik D. Olson, a higher-up at environmental nonprofit Natural Resources Defense Council told the New York Times.
“Well, obviously, that means they know that there’s some contamination that remains in the area,” he continued noting that these dangers could linger as contaminants could enter water sources. “The long-term effects are what often get overlooked.”
Rewatched White Noise last night because of the similarities. This is a rant after an evacuation following the "airborne toxic event" that occurred after a train wreck. He's angry because no one's talking about it. Parts of this were filmed in Ohio near the derailment, last year. pic.twitter.com/1HZnqcMlHl— Amie Whatserface (@AmieWohrer) February 16, 2023
While we don’t have all the answers and want to caution you from jumping to conclusions, if White Noise 2 ever gets greenlit, we think Ratner and his fellow extras might (rightfully) pass on the project.