Apocalypse Movies We're Scared Might Actually Happen In The Global Warming Era

From zombies to tsunamis, humans have battled cruel, inhuman, uncaring forces on cinema screens around the world. Apocalypse movies imagine how quickly the fabric of society would unravel should something utterly unprecedented occur. And while no two pop culture apocalypses are alike, many contain the same ingredients: blood, civil unrest, and decaying moral fiber.
But while zombie movies are exercises in imagination, eco-apocalypse films get at a reality that’s all too possible. In fact, the effects of climate change sound much like the symptoms of the apocalypse. Rising sea levels. Escalating temperatures. Expensive summer houses washed away by waves.
If you’re a masochist like me, you’ll watch these movies with a grim sense of foreboding. Consider us Cassandras, watching the world fall apart in movies before it falls apart on the news. As climate change’s effects become more palpable, CNN might start to resemble a movie.
Let’s hope we can get our act together before The Day After Tomorrow becomes our actual tomorrow.
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How I Live Now (2013)

All is not well in the idyllic English countryside. Daisy (Saoirse Ronan) is an anxious, anorexic American teenager sent to spend the summer with her British cousins. But while she's there, a terrorist group sets off a nuclear bomb in London that kills hundreds of thousands of individuals and ravages the environment. England descends into martial law; Europe is plunged into a terrifyingly vivid war-scape; and the kids, left to fend for themselves, have to become hunters, foragers, and survivalists overnight.
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Snowpiercer (2013)

Sometimes, even the best intentions go awry. The scientists who tried to eradicate climate change but instead set off a global ice age in Snowpiercer would certainly agree with that statement.

By 2031, humanity’s remaining population lives on a train that perpetually circumnavigates the frozen-over globe. As with all closed capitalist environments, the train is separated into the “haves” in the front and the “have nots” in the back. All that is set to change when one man (Chris Evans) decides to lead the tail passengers in a revolt that’ll bring them to the front of the train.
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The Day After Tomorrow (2004)

Densely populated and marooned from the mainland by bridges and tunnels, Manhattan is the perfect setting for an eco-apocalypse. The Day After Tomorrow runs with Manhattan’s extremes to visually stunning effect. Watch as cruise ships navigate avenues, the Statue of Liberty sinks, and New Yorkers’ big egos shrink when confronted with the elements. It might not be scientifically accurate, but it is an interesting thought experiment.

In The Day After Tomorrow, Jake Gyllenhaal plays Sam, a man who's trapped on Manhattan with his girlfriend when the superstorm hits. Will his climate scientist dad be able to save Sam in time?
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Children Of Men (2006)

For the characters in Children of Men, the world ended 20 years ago, when women stopped being able to get pregnant. With pandemics, war, and a prevailing sense of doom, humanity's on the brink of collapse.

Theo Faron (Clive Owen) now works as a bureaucrat in the U.K., the world's last remaining democracy. After he discovers a refugee is pregnant, he reawakens his old roots as an activist and becomes bent on ensuring humanity's ongoing survival.
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Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

After a nuclear holocaust wipes out everything green and holy from the world, society's precious resources, like water and gasoline, are controlled by a tyrant in a terrifying desert-scape. Mad Max: Fury Road begins when Imperator Furiosa (Charlize Theron) flees with Joe's wives, as they attempt to reach the Green Place, a verdant paradise run by women. They join forces with Max Rockatansky (Tom Hardy), a rebel without a cause, who's soon to adopt their cause as his own.

Elaborate stunts, imaginative car fights, and interest feminist discourse ensue.
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WALL-E (2008)

The apocalypse happens, but humanity's not around to see it. Instead, they're orbiting the world on a space ship.

WALL-E is not so lucky. For 700 years, WALL-E has roved the garbage heap of a planet, cleaning up the impossible mess humans left behind. When EVE, a reconnaissance robot, is sent down to Earth to see whether it can sustain life, WALL-E follows her on an adventure across the Milky Way.
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Soylent Green (1973)

It's the year 2022. The world is hot, overcrowded, and kept alive through a protein-rich foodstuff called Soylent Green. What's the secret ingredient in the one item that's sustaining humanity?

You might not want to find out.