12 Apocalypse Films To Ride The Natural Disaster/Meteor/Zombies/Aliens/Demons/Nuclear Fallout/WWIII Through To The End

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Ah apocalypse. There’s nothing like an apocalypse that brings people together, especially during the holidays.


And given the human obsession with the world’s end, it comes up a lot in movies. Zany humans! So we’ve compiled a list of 12 (see what I did there?) movies that you can watch to face your apocalypse fears as you ride out the storm. Or alien invasion. Or zombie apocalypse. Or whatever. At least until the power goes out. Hope you bought batteries!


For those who fear: Nuclear War, New World Order, Well endowed energy beings

Sure, it’s a deconstruction of the super hero and a commentary on the individual vs. the whole. But it also spends the entire movie in fear of a nuclear war that could happen at any moment. They even go so far as to have a very public Doomsday Clock, and it spends the bulk of the movie at 5 til midnight: nuclear war. It also has a rather odd message that it’s okay to blow up a bunch of people as long as they come together to put the pieces back. See? Togetherness!

End Of Days

For those who fear: Satan, Biblical end times, Arnold Schwarzenegger

End Of Days stars Arnold as a New York detective who stumbles upon your usual weird criminal cases in demonic movies. It all ends up leading him down the rabbit hole into the world of Satan, who’s possessed a business man and is walking about. You see they’ve been watching the next savior, and if I remember correctly, he wants to marry her, or kill her, or something. It also gets extra points for being a Christmas oriented movie, so statistically speaking, this is one of the movies most likely to take place on the 21st. Because. Science.

Red State

For those who fear: Rednecks, Waco, The Rapture

Red State is…amazing. It is Kevin Smith’s commentary on redneck religious cults and the ATF. Which, by proxy sort of becomes a commentary on the Waco disaster. It’s well written, darkly hilarious, and features apocalypse talk, generally in regards to the Rapture. The cast is stellar, the story is gripping, and it’s funny. You need to see this, world end or not. Unless you’re really religious. Maybe not for you…

Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy

For those who fear: Planet Earth’s vaporization, Renovation, Mice

Hitchhiker’s Guide should be to familiar to many, especially this audience. With mega corporations, Earth’s total annihilation  and depressed robots, there’s really everything you need for a good final day movie. Plus, it gets all philosophical about home, and the origin of creation and stuff, so you can go out feeling super enlightened. Bonus!

Mars Attacks

For those who fear: Martians, Alien invasion, Tim Burton

Tim Burton’s campy cult film with the stellar all star cast, Mars Attacks harkens back to the 50′s, where little green men invading were an imminent threat. Many still believe this is a possibility, and if so, let’s hope it’s not these mean bastards. They’re laser happy and enjoy switching human and dog bodies with each other. If that’s not a terrifying way to ring out the last year, I don’t know what is. Plus, floating creeper ladies. 


For those who fear: Alien invasion again, Creepy looking aliens, Corn Fields

Hailed by many as the last good M. Night Shyamalan movie (all two of ‘em), Signs is yet another alien invasion flick, but unlike Mars Attacks, it trades in camp for creepy. It also helps you really feel close to the situation through Mel Gibson and his family consisting of Joaquin Phoenix, Rory Culkin, and Abigail Breslin. You feel their plight and fear during an alien invasion, and it all lends itself to being monumentaly creepy. Plus, again, togetherness! Sensing a theme here?

War Of The Worlds

For those who fear: Alien invasion…again, Tom Cruise as a father, Dakota Fanning

A remake of an old classic, War Of The Worlds departs from the other alien movies in that theirs are more…cold. Their machines are damn scary (especially, you guess it, lasers!) but the fact that they simply drop by to harvest us, pretty much out of nowhere and with no explanations, is freakin scary. Like Signs, it helps that you follow the inept Tom Cruise as he tries to get his kids, one of which is smarter than him, to their less inept mother. The alien machines’ sheer size are cause to worry, but it’s their human harvesting that is probably the most disturbing.

Dawn Of The Dead

For those who fear: Zombies, Malls, False senses of security

The zombie apocalypse is one of the worst, because you’re still around. And there’s little chance of it getting better. Dawn Of The Dead is one of my favorite examples of this, and, in addition to KILLER opening sequence, covers all the zombie apoc bases. Holing up, scavenging, zombie bites, friends turning on friends…it’s all terrifying mostly because there’s little you can do about it beyond learning to dodge and band together with other survivors. See? More togetherness!


For those who fear: Demons, poor comic book adaptations, Tilda Swinton

An oft controversial movie, Constantine is actually a fun film on it’s own. It’s when you start the comparison that things get shoddy. However Keanu Reeves, Rachel Weisz, pre fame post Disney Shia LeBouf, and Tilda Swinton usher in an apocalypse like no other. It’s fun, but it’s pointing out the hidden demons in the world around us that makes it chilling. They’re in the dark, on the bus, in libraries, in convienience stores. All of it sort of makes you look around and go “How did the world not end sooner?”.


For those who fear: Artificial Intelligence, prolonged world suckage, Arnold Schwarzenegger

This one is actually my personal fear, and I look at the self checkout machines at the grocery stores with utter horror because of these movies. The fact that machines could at any moment turn on us, when we are surrounded and dependent on them, is terrifying. Then watching as your iPhone tries to vaporize you or whatever makes it all the worse as you remember your fond times of Angry Birds. And then multiply that times a thousand because there’s little hope of returning to your former life while fighting off killer machines with rocks and spears. 

Donnie Darko

For those who fear: Time/Space rupturing, Time Travel, Thinking

A fantastic film that we can never just watch part of, Donnie Darko is yet another “End of the world is here and no one knows” sort of film. The only one with any sort knowledge of the goings on leading to the destruction of the universe is Donnie, who spends most of his time puzzling it out. This film has perhaps the BEST family dynamic among all five of the Darko family members, and like Signs and War of the Worlds it really helps you feel the gravity of what’s at stake. Plus, how scary is it to think that the world could have possibly ended 7 years ago, but didn’t because someone decided to turn left instead of right? I find that incredibly freakin terrifying. Then again, I’m a neurotic sort.


For those who fear: Natural disasters, Weak scientific explanations, SCIENCE

Not an entirely popular movie, it did help motivate a lot of people to start preparing for the total destruction of the planet in on our fair date, December 21, 2012. Perhaps most scary is that their scientific explanations are presented to seem somewhat plausible. Which helps when backed up by years of speculatory science that agrees with almost everything mentioned in the film. You know. For science. Out of all 12 of these movies however, it is probably the most likely to actually happen. That likelihood being below 1%. But still, it scares for the same reason many of these movies do: loss of control. What are you going to do when a tidal wave comes to crush you? Fight it? Reason with it? Not bloody likely. And in the end, the thing that scares people the most about an apocalypse is just that. Loss of control. Here endeth the lesson.

What movies will be watching to ring in the final year? Whatever it may be, be sure to have a happy apocalypse!


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