It’s not the end of the world!

Published April 23, 2022, 1:00 PM

by Jules Vivas

Literature, movies, and series about the imagined apocalypse and the post-apocalypse to keep our minds off this one

Apocalyptic fiction challenges us to think of a far-fetched world, somewhere entirely different from reality. In the Covid era, however, most of the horrific, imagined narratives seemingly align with the current situation. Be that as it may, people still find comfort in cathartic and cautionary tales. Books and films about epidemics have even found new life during the health crisis.

Whether you’re being extra vigilant against the coronavirus, a person still unable to go out of the house for whatever reason, or just someone who simply wants to be entertained during your travel, you might want to try and watch these films or read these books of journey and survival amid an apocalypse to pass the time.

Cargo

According to critics, the 2017 film takes a refreshingly character-driven approach to the zombie genre, further distinguished by Martin Freeman’s remarkable lead performance and its Australian setting.

This 2017 horror drama directed by Ben Howling and Yolanda Ramke with a screenplay by Ramke is based on a viral 2013 short film of the same name.

The narrative revolves around a father searching the wilds of Australia amid a terrifying pandemic for someone willing to take care of his infant daughter.

*****

One Hundred Apocalypses and Other Apocalypses

Lucy Corin’s collection is set in the past, present, and indefinable future. The stories, fables, anecdotes, prose poems, and situational musings are not simply focused on the end of the world, but on the rapture of existence. What this exposes is the tricky landscape of man’s longing for a clean slate.

*****

After the Pandemic, Hunt or be Hunted

From filmmaker Richard Lowry who directed Apocalypse Rising and President Evil comes this dark sci-fi thriller set around the Covid-19 health crisis. The movie is set in a post-apocalyptic world where a global airborne virus has wiped out almost all of the human population. Only the young and immune remain and act as scavengers to survive. The protagonists, Ellie and Quinn, fight against the merciless “Stalkers” to stay alive.

*****

Spare and Found Parts

In a city devastated by an epidemic, a lonely, motherless girl with a clockwork heart risks everything to create a mechanical friend in futuristic Ireland where computers are forbidden. Sarah Maria Griffin utilizes her novel to scrutinize technology and humanity’s relationship with it, asking questions on the nature of artificial intelligence and whether it is right to fear it.

*****

All of Us Are Dead

The South Korean coming-of-age zombie apocalypse television series that was recently released on the streaming platform Netflix is based on the Naver webtoon Now at Our School by Joo Dong-geun, published between 2009 and 2011. The show is about an experiment gone wrong prompting a local high school to be overrun with zombies. It follows the story of the trapped students. With no food and water, and communication cut off by the government, the kids use their available resources to survive the battleground lest they become part of the undead.

*****

A Beginning at the End

Six years after a worldwide pandemic wiped out the majority of the planet’s population, the survivors endeavor to rebuild the country, splitting between self-governing cities, hippie communes, and wasteland gangs. The book synopsis reads: “Krista, Moira, Rob, and Sunny are brought together by circumstance, and their lives begin to twine together. But when reports of another outbreak throw the fragile society into panic, the friends are forced to finally face everything that came before—and everything they still stand to lose. Because sometimes having one person is enough to keep the world going.”

*****

Blindness

The 2008 thriller film is an adaptation of the 1995 novel of the same name by the Portuguese author José Saramago. Written by Don McKellar and directed by Fernando Meirelles, the movie presents a society suffering from an epidemic of blindness. It stars Julianne Moore and Mark Ruffalo as the wife and doctor, respectively.

*****

People still find comfort in cathartic and cautionary tales. Books and films about epidemics have even found new life during the health crisis.

*****

I Am Legend

A vaccine created to cure cancer wipes out most of mankind, leaving Neville (portrayed by Wil Smith) as the last human in New York, other than nocturnal mutants. He is immune to the virus and works to develop a cure while defending against hostile abominations. The post-apocalyptic action thriller is the third feature-film adaptation of the 1954 novel of the same name by Richard Matheson following The Last Man on Earth in 1964 and The Omega Man in 1971.

*****

How High We Go In The Dark

Be warned, the book is all about death.

Sequoia Nagamatsu’s debut novel about a climate change virus in 2030 that alters humanity centuries into the future is often compared to Emily St. John Mandel’s pandemic tale Station Eleven.

The collection of interlinked stories inhabits the ripple effects of a 30,000-year-old Arctic plague unleashed from melting permafrost. There’s a story of an aimless young man who works at a euthanasia theme park for terminally ill kids by placing them on a roller coaster that would salvage the children from the contagion; a test subject pig gains sentience, only to realize its true purpose as an organ donor; and people connect in VR online chat rooms to make suicide.

*****

Flu

The 2013 thriller directed by Sung-su Kim portrays an airborne disease in a South Korean suburb 20 kilometers from Seoul, which results in quarantine and chaos. The virus is traced from a human trafficker who is infected with an unknown virus and dies in a Bundang hospital, covered in oozing red rashes and coughing up blood. In a few hours, the virus spreads all over the city and the death count rapidly rises. Medical professionals are in a panic over the mystery killer virus and soon the government orders the military to quarantine the entire area. No one gets in or out. Desperation and violence grip the public as the infected and non-infected struggle for life.

 
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