By Sam Cook
The witching hour is almost upon us and that means the spooky season is well underway. If you are anything like me, that means you will be celebrating with a copious number of horror flicks.
Sometimes a ghost movie isn’t cutting it and you don’t know if you can stomach another slasher. That’s why we have put together this list of the 5 best post-apocalyptic horror movies to watch this Halloween.
The Divide (2011)
I just finished watching this one so I could see where it would fall on this list, and man if it isn’t a bit of a downer. Just for the record, that isn’t a bad thing. Director Xavier Gens took a bleak look at what would happen after the bomb drops.
The story follows a group of survivors holed up in the basement of a New York City apartment building immediately following a nuclear detonation. Things only get worse from here as the group struggles to survive attacks from both outside and within.
Don’t expect to like any of the characters, but watch out for a great performance from Michael Biehn as Mickey. His grizzled, survivalist character is played incredibly convincingly, especially in all later scenes with Lauren German.
This is one post-apocalyptic romp that is sure to hit close to home this Halloween. Fun fact, Carriers almost didn’t come out at all. After the movie was completed, the studio was ready to shelve it in fear no one would enjoy the movie. It wasn’t until the film’s star Chris Pine starred in 2009’s Star Trek that they decided to release it.
While this is far from the greatest horror film of all time, the subject matter could help make it a bit scarier, all things considered. In Carriers, a lethal respiratory virus has spread globally. A group of friends must travel through the plague-stricken nation while trying to find a virus-free zone.
Yes, this is a fairly cookie-cutter popcorn flick, but in hindsight, they were actually able to portray a bad pandemic level even incredibly well. The story is fairly lacklustre, but the concepts shown throughout the tale are incredibly terrifying when applied to our current global situation. Maybe give this film another chance and see what you think!
Miracle Mile (1988)
Miracle Mile is an intense romp through southern California after a man finds out, by chance, the United States is about to start a pre-emptive nuclear war. From the moment he learns of this, the movie follows him in real-time as he tries to find the love of his life and escape to Antarctica.
While not a traditional horror film, this movie plays out like an extremely intense thriller. There will be moments where you see how quickly panic would spread that will make you wonder how you’d fare in similar circumstances.
This one is definitely a bit cheesy but is well worth your time. When I was watching Miracle Mile for the first time I was blown away by the ending. It did not go the way I was expecting it to go and I would love to hear what you think about it in the comments down below.
I struggled to even put this one on this list because knowing there is an apocalypse involved is a bit of a spoiler for the second and third acts of this Japanese horror masterpiece. I decided it was fine as I still enjoyed the film despite having this spoiled for me going into it as well.
Pulse follows two interweaving stories that tell a ghost story that is so unique and refreshing in the horror genre. It appears that somehow ghosts have made their way onto the internet to disastrous results.
This one is a bit of a slow burn, but the scares within, as well as the desolate third act, make it a contender for the top spot on this list.
The Road (2009)
Of course, this one would be taking the number one spot on this list. The Road is probably the most depressingly bleak look at the realities of living in a post-apocalyptic wasteland. Based on the novel of the same name by Cormac MacCarthy, The Road follows a father and son as they continue to exist and survive.
At its core, The Road is a coming of age story. As the boy and his father follow the road, they are met with a number of threats. These are not only physical threats but also existential. What is living, why do we bother to go on, what would we do to protect the ones we love from evil, and what exactly is evil?
I have long believed that this book should be made required reading for teaching young adults about the hard realities of the world. The lessons within are ones that can easily be applied to each and every one of us if you follow closely. The Road is one of the greatest works of fiction, regardless of genre.
If your favorite post-apocalyptic movie didn’t make this list, let us know in the comment section! If you have any foreign language films you think we may not have seen, definitely let us know. We’d love to feature them in a future article!
Sam Cook is a freelance writer from London Ontario. He is passionate about geekdom and politics. When he’s not writing you can find him gaming in VR or watching classic horror flicks.
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