Top Five Apocalypse/Virus/World-Ending Movies

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Since the sports leagues are suspended and countries are being quarantined because of COVID-19, I find it appropriate to rank the best apocalypse/virus/world-ending films. We have no shortage of movies, good and bad, that transport movie fanatics to unpleasant worlds for humanity.

5) The Thing (1982 & 2011)

I highly recommend watching John Carpenter’s classic before watching the remake from 2011. It involves a group isolated in the Arctic, fighting a shape-shifting alien that replicates a human so well you can’t tell the difference. Carpenter’s alien was revolutionary at the time but now it is painful to watch because it’s a clay puppet. The movie is still entertaining with Kurt Russell as the head honcho and a suspenseful mystery of “who is infected.” Joel Edgerton plays a similar lead character in the remake, which is awesome and with CGI, the alien is disgustingly terrifying at times. Although this movie affects only a group and not the entire world, it would be horrible to be stuck in one place where you can’t trust anyone. 

4) Children of Men (2006)

An underrated film that only movie fanatics have seen, Children of Men is set in the near future where a plague has caused human infertility. It emphasizes the importance of reproduction and the delicacy of life. Directed by Academy Award winner Alfonso Cuarón, this movie is a masterpiece of filmmaking. With several memorable tracking shots and character development, it’s intense. The set design is eerie at times with terrifying but true border control and full-scale battles. Plus, there’s Sir Michael Caine. 

3) 28 Day Later (2002) 

This would be the worst zombie apocalypse to live through because the infected are Olympic athletes. A virus created from animal testing makes its victims utterly terrifying. And did I mention the zombies sprint?  Following our favorite Peaky Blinder Cillian Murphy, who wakes up from a coma to a desolate London. He finds some survivors and is quickly caught up to speed. It’s shot uniquely with an aspect like POV, home-video films.  28 Days Later has many beautiful, warming parts, but those are quickly filled with terror because the infected are always close behind

2) Wall-E (2008)

The best cartoon apocalypse movie. Thank you, Pixar. The cutest garbage robot is still hard at work while the Earth has turned to dust. With the help of some friends, Wall-E embarks on a journey to save mankind. It’s a heartwarming film with more beeps and whistles from robots than humans complaining. If you ever need a relatively happy film about the apocalypse, this should be your pick. No brainer. 

1) I am Legend (2007)

And hopefully this was a no brainer. This novel-turned-film is awesome. There’s slim to no moments when your eyes aren’t disappointed. The world has been devastated by a cure for cancer morphed into a virus transforming humans into flesh-eating monsters that only come out at night. Just like in 28 Days Later, these monsters are faster than Usain Bolt. Literally. The monsters screech, crawl like Spider-Man, and are smart enough to set a trap for our hero, played by Will Smith. He plays a hopeful doctor living in Ground Zero of the epidemic. You feel his loneliness but also the warmth of his furry companion, Sam. A great movie to watch (and an even better book). 

Honorable Mentions 

Cloverfield (2008)

Quarantine (2008) 

12 Monkeys (1995 – Bruce Willis) 

Dr. Strangelove (1964)

Alien: Covenant (2017)

The Day After Tomorrow (2004)

Planet of the Apes (2011-2017) 

Zombieland (2009-2019) 

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