11. Bird Box (2018)
One of Netflix’s most talked about originals, Bird Box has been the subject of numerous memes since its release. Despite its drawbacks, this one has a lot to offer, and no one seems to be able to agree on it.
What’s left of humanity must do everything it can to avoid seeing a mystery “monster” that makes people want to commit suicide just by looking at it.
A superb cast, including John Malkovich at his most savage, features Sandra Bullock in the starring role. In all of the hype surrounding this film, there are some truly memorable set pieces (the flaming automobile, anyone?).
If you’re looking for a good, but not groundbreaking, thriller, this is the one for you.
10. The Day (2011)
Even if The Day isn’t the best post-apocalyptic film ever made, or even one of the best on this list, it deserves to be talked about. The Day, on the other hand, merits praise for being part of a select group of WWE Studios films that don’t completely awful.
The Day has a harsh and dirty tone to it that feels authentically “all hope is lost,” despite its low budget appearance. Just a lot of morally ambiguous folks doing morally ambiguous stuff in this one. In addition, it boasts a compelling villain, although one that hails from the Far Cry school of baddies
9. The Book of Eli (2010)
The Book of Eli presents a post-apocalyptic world in which there is very little goodness left. If people aren’t killing each other, they’re devouring each other—and in some cases, both.
After a nuclear explosion decimated the earth, Denzel Washington’s Eli takes it upon himself to carry a book across the desolate landscape of the United States. Aside from its heavy-handed use of religious overtones, The Book Of Eli has enough surprises to make it one of the most overlooked movies from this decade.
8. Carriers (2009)
Pre-fame Chris Pine is at his most unsettling in Carriers, as he and his fellow survivors set out on a harrowing journey through a desolate America. Everyone has been killed out by an extremely contagious illness, which leads to an almost unbearable level of distrust within Pine’s gang.
Because there are no zombies, Carriers is the perfect zombie movie, which may explain why so many people were disappointed. Carriers, despite its many flaws, is nevertheless a worthwhile viewing, if only to observe how rapidly friendships can erode when every breath is a potential death sentence.
7. The Divide (2011)
In my opinion, Xavier Gens does not have a great deal of faith in human beings. It doesn’t take long for an unusual gang of nuclear survivors to destroy what little life they have left in the subterranean of an apartment complex in his The Divide.
Some of the individuals will be completely unrecognizable by the end of the film, as the group breaks into factions with varying mental states and views as the radiation takes hold. Bringing a bucket of water with you to the theater for The Divide might be a good idea.
There might be some citalopram in there for good measure.
6. Cargo (2017)
Freeman leaves Fargo for Cargo: an intriguing zombie film that forgoes gore and spectacle in favor of a heartfelt tale about a group of survivors. Unlike Maggie or The Dead, Cargo features Morgan Freeman’s character searching for a safe place for his young daughter in a plague-infested Australian outback reminiscent of Maggie.
Cargo has a beautiful color palette, but it also boasts a fantastic cast, notably the young daughter, who is utterly adorable. No matter how prepared you are for the conclusion of Cargo, you’re going to be shocked and saddened still.
Cargo, a slow-burning post-apocalyptic thriller, is one of Netflix’s best originals.
From our review of Cargo:
Cargo, a zombie movie on Netflix, tells a heartfelt story of fatherhood and sacrifice.
5. Escape from L.A. (1996)
This sequel to John Carpenter’s New York is not quite as wonderful as its predecessor, Escape from L.A., but it is bolder and more bombastic than its predecessor was.
This time around, Snake Plissken (the inspiration for Metal Gear Solid’s Solid Snake) returns to the big screen in the form of Kurt Russell’s character.
If you’re looking for a “out there” experience, this one is definitely worth returning.
4. Night of the Comet (1984)
Even though this list is chock with of cult favorites, Night of the Comet stands out as the quintessential example. It wouldn’t be appropriate to see it on anything other than a VHS cassette. Its DNA is infused with the ’80s vibe, neon and all.
While Night of the Comet isn’t anything close to a cinematic masterpiece, it does make the most of its post-apocalyptic scenario to have a good time. There are a few survivors who band together after a comet wipes out much of humanity and transforms the unlucky few into zombies.
Night of the Comet is a B-movie with a capital B.
3. Turbo Kid (2015)
Turbo Kid is a more lighthearted take on the post-apocalyptic world, but that doesn’t mean it cuts back on the gore. As the titular youngster scavenges for comic books and other necessities, Turbo Kid takes place in an alternate 1997.
As a modern-day Stand By Me, Turbo Kid has a charming romanticism and naivety at its core, like its filmmaker was hoping for a modern-day successor. This post-apocalyptic world has a certain whimsy about it.
It’s visually stunning, and the fact that it was done on a shoestring makes it even more astounding. Most studios spend a fortune on having a movie look and feel this fantastic.
2. Stake Land (2010)
Vampires are more effective when they don’t sparkle, at least according to the uncompromising Stake Land. Just like in 30 Days of Night, Stake Land shown how scary it can be to see vampires depicted in a more visceral light.
To locate a new home in New Eden and learn how to live again after the death of his parents, a young kid teams up with a vampire hunter.
Stake Land is a gloomy and grim trip that is beautifully shot despite the cruelty at its core, but it contains moments of authenticity. There’s a follow-up, but this is the one you need to see.
1. I Am Legend (2007)
I Am Legend’s first two-thirds are visually stunning, regardless of what you think of it. To put it another way, it’s the American equivalent of 28 Days Later.
His portrayal of a lonely survivor is a career highlight for Will Smith, despite the fact that it has been used as meme fodder over the years. After discovering that most people had died of cancer and that most of those who survived had transformed into bald, violent, and deranged psychopaths, the only companion that he had was his faithful dog.
The Omega Man may be preferred by some, but here, I Am Legend takes the prize for sheer spectacle and that adorable dog.