Five Lesser-Known End of the World Movies More People Need To See


It has often be said through time that when the world finally ends, it will end with a whimper, and not a bang, but you ask us who were in Boston over the last month, and we would tell you the opposite. Some of us would tell you it already feels like the world is ending. Like we are, as a whole, circling the drain. The good news gets drown out by the screams of the bad news, which always resonates louder and with a larger audience.

So how would you live your life differently if you knew that this was all for nothing and that all of us as a people were going to be wiped out? Would you embrace the day and be brave enough to do all the things you wanted, or would you just let anarchy reign and do whatever it is you felt like doing, no matter the consequence? I ask because the reality is none of us truly know what will happen, or if something will happen, but thanks to the wonderful (and widely under appreciated)  movies on this list, I feel like we can prepare most efficiently if such a scenario should unfold anytime soon. Just kidding.

These are just movies, and in the REAL end times, all of us shall be freed of our flesh prisons and made as equals, or so the great God of the underEarth, Sassgroth, has been promising me. Either way, these are the films I watch when preparing for the second coming of THE OLD ONES. Note, movies like The Road and Madd Maxx will obviously be off this list, for I am trying to bring some attention to the end of the world films that clearly have not gotten the attention they deserve. Take to the comments and let me know if I missed any of your lesser-known favorites.

Time of the Wolf


An intense and moving pic about the struggle to survive in a world that no longer wants you.

Man, our backyard SUCKS!

Quick disclaimer, this is a Michael Haneke movie (Funny Games, Cache) so you need to be aware that this film will be soul wrenching. A fact that will be made glaringly clear within the first five minutes of this stark and stunning film.

Time of the Wolf is about a a disaster that has occurred, rending most water contaminated. We follow one family (Father, Mother, Sister, Brother) as they try to acclimate themselves with this new situation, yet feel themselves getting swallowed alive by it. This is the anti-Armageddon. An apocalypse film that, rather than focus on giant explosions and action scene, relies on the silent observation of a family, pushed to the very limit by their current predicament. It is, at times, heart wrenching. This, to me, feels about as real as these types of films get. It reflects a people willing to do ANYTHING THEY CAN, no matter the cost, to save and protect themselves and their families. It is a magnifying glass held up over the worst parts of our beings, showing us those sides, magnified ten times.

Also, if you paid attention to the movie closely, than you will know just how powerful those final seconds of that film are. Might be the most powerful ending to any film I had ever seen, even though it is widely misconstrued. The film is a slow burn, but well worth sticking out for the true scope and impact of the story.



The entire film has a sickly, washed-out look that lends itself incredibly well to that universe.

Another foreign film, Hell is a German film about a society where the sun begins to burn brighter and brighter, and eventually, finding water and fuel becomes a life or death struggle. In Hell, we follow one family as they deal with these changes, but unlike Time of the Wolf above, which runs a little slower, Hell finds this family in some really extreme scenarios. Think Walking Dead (comic and game) WITHOUT the walkers, and you have a very honest vision of the world from this film.

It is ultimately about pitting the worst human beings in a contest to see who can be worse to one another. But it is a powerful film, that pulls you in with its washed out look (funny side note, Hell in German means bright, so both uses of the title work here). Hell is on Netflix, so do yourself a favor and check it out next time you have a few hours to kill.

The Divide


Yeah, they look normal now. Wait until the end of the film.

I f*cking loved The Divide. It takes the ideas of the two movies mentioned above and just cranks up the volume to ten. In The Divide, eight survivors of some kind of attack on New York meet up in the basement of the building, where a survivalist has been making a shelter for just such an occasions. The survivalist, played by the awesome Michael Biehn (BLLLLOOOOOD DDDRRAAAGGGOOOONNNN) does not want anyone else down there, but until they know what happened outside, and who they are dealing with, he has no choice.

I don’t know if you are aware what happens to the human condition when you are locked down with only each other in an enclosed space over a long period of time, stuff starts going south really quickly. Woman are being used like objects, some of the guys are bullying other guys. It starts slow enough, but in a scenario like that, it gets bad, really quickly, and that is EXACTLY what happens in The Divide. I have spoken of the film before, and shall again, until all of you characters had seen it and can admit how awesome it is.

And unlike most, I LOVED that ending, and found it to be the perfect exclamation point to one helluva ride.

Right At Your Door


Man, this backyard SUCKS!

Thinking of an apocalypse episode in general is scary enough, but what Right Outside Your Door does brilliantly is to put the apocalypse scenario in terms of just one couple. Yes, that’s right. A dirty bomb hits L.A, and the guy is still home, and his girl is on her way to work. Guy hears a radio transmission about if anyone was out when the blast happened, you can’t let them in. Pay very special attention that simple idea, because it is written so fucking astutely that, by the end of the movie,  you jaw will be hanging on the floor.

Things are never as they seem, remember that.

Anyway, the films pulls our heart strings because we see the girl rush home and beg her husband to let her in, and he refuses. This happens across various scenarios with them, multiple times throughout the course of the film. And I wondered what most would think in that exact situation. I’d just let her in and die with her. I don’t want someone I love to have to die, outside, alone.

But remember, it is NEVER that easy. Never that cut and dry. There is ALWAYS fine print, and this film reminds us of that in the most intense ways possible, Easily the most believable and realistic film on the list (outside of Time of the Wolf), this movie could, honestly, happen, and that makes it one of the scariest movies ever, just for its potential truth factor.

So what would YOU do? Would you open the door for your love?



This moment in the film is one the most captivating shots I have ever seen.

Another Lars Von Trier movie I just cannot help but love. I know this film walks at a pace too slow for some, but if you only slowed down enough to walk this pace you would see, even amid all the madness, that there is beauty to be found in everything. Even hopelessness.

Melancholia is about a young bride (Kirtsen Dunst) who just so happens to be getting married as the world is about to end. And not in some “let’s fly up there and save the Earth” kind of way. No, this is a society where these people clearly know they are on borrowed time, and for that reason, they act as such. You see, some family issues present themselves at this wedding, and considering the world is ending, a general “let’s put all our issues on the table” vibe permeates this hopeless yet lovely film.

While I am aware Trier is clearly not the director for everyone, if you like apocalyptic visions, this film has some of the most stunning imagery of any film you will ever, and you owe it to yourself to see it, atleast once.

Also, enough pandering for other people, I wanna pander for me now! Please go read my site. Thanks, guys and gals.

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  1. Good grief! You missed the most poignant and most important and most overlooked end-of-the-world story released in the last decade! Ewan McGregor and Eva Green in PERFECT SENSE.

  2. You’re speaking my language again. I LOVE this stuff. RAYD isn’t really an end of the world film, but it’s worth putting on pretty much any list for any reason and it sure as hell must have seemed like the Apocalypse to the characters so good enough. Even Richard Matheson thinks that ending’s irony was too freakin’ dark. And yeah, I’d have let her in. Speaking of Matheson, “Last Man on Earth”. Yeah.

  3. Man I have been putting off Melancholia for so long, once I read about the film I was excited to watch it but then I read the cast list and its lead my Kirsten Dunst and I was just “well…shit”. It just bums the fuck out of me to watch that woman on screen I find her “acting” to be really just disgustingly bad. I always end up being about to download it or stream it and I am like “aw fuck, no, there must be another movie I can watch without Kirsten fucking Dunst in it”.

  4. Melancholia was absolutely fantastic. It was a bit slow, but the entire story was fascinating and Sutherland’s “Oh shit” moment still haunts me.

  5. “Would you embrace the day and be brave enough to do all the things you wanted, or would you just let anarchy reign and do whatever it is you felt like doing, no matter the consequence?”
    Those are the same thing, “would you do what you wanted, or what you felt like.”
    The idea you’re going for is something like: “Would you devolve into cruelty and survival by any means, taking and doing whatever you wanted, OR would you uphold reason and civility, try to help others and maintain your humanity?”

    And a little explosion in Boston is both unrelated and irrelevant to dystopian/post-apocalyptic film/literature/genre. You don’t just use the criminal murder and injury of a few dozen people as a fucking segue. Author needs to go find some blinking decency, yeesh.

  6. A Boy and His Dog. This movie was just a constant “What the shit?!” for me. It was so weird that I kept thinking about it for three days after watching it the first time, so I watched it again and was still all, “What the shit?!” I love it anyway though.

    *WARNING* For those that try to watch this movie. It is an older movie. Give it a chance but turn it off if it bores you. It is not a good movie. It’s just one I love.

  7. @Seanicus, actually, I write for a living and live just outside of Boston. I can use whatever I want.
    Don’t YOU try to tell me what I can and can’t do, and moreover, what it did or didn’t feel like here.
    Also, no one else seemed to take issue with those lines besides you, which has to make you wonder what the real problem here is.
    It was clear from the first sentence of your comment that you weren’t so much commenting on the piece as dissecting me and my writing, so everything that came in that comment had all the impact of a pebble hitting a wall.
    Thanks for reading though, regardless of your lack of any actual feedback on the list itself.

  8. I don’t know if you’ve ever seen Threads. It’s a BBC drama about a nuclear attack on a British city. It’s very poignant and very jarring. It starts before the bombs land, then goes through the attack and then goes on for the sort of immediate aftermath of the survivors of the attack. Definitely worth watching.

    You can watch the whole thing here:

  9. Melancholia is excellent but I viewed it as the darkest of dark comedies. Everything in the movie leading up to the cataclysm at the end is rendered completely meaningless.

    Also loved Night of the Comet.

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