If you’re reading this, then the world didn’t end on 21 December, 2012, like some believed the Mayans had predicted, but that probably won’t stop the ongoing worldwide interest in the apocalypse.
Countless movies have been made about the end of the world over the years. The Weekender takes a look at its favourite end of days celluloid offerings.
Perfect Sense: This little seen and quietly horrifying film explores what happens when the world’s population loses its senses one by one over a few months. It begins with one man losing his sense of smell. It doesn’t seem like a big deal until the olfactory senses of every single person on the planet disappears – and that’s just the beginning. Ewan McGregor and Eva Green star.
2012: Roland Emmerich’s film centres on what happens if the Mayans were right. The film was released in 2009, so everyone had three years to worry if this was how it was all going to turn out. John Cusack rushes to save his family from the annihilation of Earth as the poles shift and tsunamis and earthquakes wreck the planet.
28 Days Later: Danny Boyle’s terrifying tale of a virus that infects the population of Britain. Cillian Murphy awakes from a coma in abandoned hospital to find the city of London deserted. He enters a church, only to be attacked by zombie-like human infected with the Rage virus. He survives that encounter and joins a small band of survivors seeking sanctuary. If you like what happened 28 days after the virus broke out, you should see what happens 28 Weeks Later.
Seeking a Friend For the End of the World: You’d be forgiven for expecting a movie starring Steve Carrell (The Office, 40-Year-Old Virgin) to be a comedy, but don’t be fooled. If you’re looking for giggles, you’re watching the wrong movie. An asteroid is heading for Earth and there’s no escape. Everyone in the world knows they’re going to die in three weeks when the asteroid hits. How would you spend your last three weeks?
Twelve Monkeys: Starring Bruce Willis and Brad Pitt, this time-bending film has Willis travelling back in time from 2035 to 1996 to save the Earth from the release of a virus that has killed five billion people in the future – only he mistakenly gets sent back to 1990 and locked in a mental asylum with a wonderfully nutso Pitt.
Children of Men: It’s 2027 and people have stopped procreating. With no children being born, the inhabitants of Earth come to terms with being the planet’s last generation. And then, a miraculously pregnant woman shows up and needs Clive Owen’s help getting to sanctuary, where her newborn could be the saviour of the human race.
The Day After Tomorrow: Here’s one for the global warming buffs. The Earth’s ocean temperatures have plummeted, bringing freak, extreme weather throughout the northern hemisphere and ushering in a new Ice Age. Jake Gyllenhall rides out the storm in a New York library, burning books for warmth, while his dad Dennis Quaid treks across the now frozen landscape to find him.
The Road: The film version of Cormac McCarthy’s stunning post- apocalyptic tale of a father and son walking alone across America, through a burned-out landscape, destroyed by some unknown disaster. Dogged by ragged gangs of cannibals, all they have to protect themselves is a gun with two rounds in it, as they travel south to the sea, lugging a shopping cart with their scavenged belongings and memories of a wife and mother.
The Terminator: James Cameron’s seminal film of a soldier who gets sent back in time to save a young woman who will eventually be the mother of the man who leads the resistance against machines that take over the planet and wipe out most of the human race. Arnold Schwarzenegger stars as the robot assassin on the hunt for Sarah Connor.
Dr. Strangelove, Or How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb: Stanley Kubrick’s classic 1964 film about a paranoid general who sets in motion a nuclear war with the Soviet Union which a war room of politicians and military men frantically try to stop.
The Weekender takes a look at its favourite end of days celluloid offerings.