It may seem like dystopian movies are a dime a dozen these days. The genre is almost as over-saturated as the zombie genre, but there are still some good movies sneaking through the system.
If you're tired of watching only the movies that get the front covers of entertainment magazines, you've come to the right list. If you like movies that portray what it would be like if the world as you know it ended and you had to fight to survive, here are some must-watch movies to add to your list.
What Is A Dystopian Movie?
Before delving into this list of films you must-see, it helps to understand what a dystopian movie must entail.
Not everyone enjoys the elements of science fiction, and the dystopian genre definitely fits in as a subcategory to this type of film.
Essentially, a dystopian film is one set in a post-apocalyptic time. There could be vampires or zombies present, but often it's plaque survivors or war survivors just trying to stay alive and rebuild the world again. These movies have a flair for sci-fi, and you shouldn't be surprised when the dead come back to life in them or when people do very inhuman things to their fellow man.
1. Z for Zachariah
Based on a book by Robert C. O'Brien, Z for Zachariah is a 2015 movie starring Margot Robbie, Chris Pine, and Chiwetel Ejiofor. It's a dystopian flick that looks at the world post-nuclear apocalypse.
Not only a lesson in the effects of radiation on the human body, but this film also looks at what it's like to be alone at the end of the world. While the characters slowly find one another, you see it's hard for them to build trust. On top of that, the movie plays out a bit of a love triangle with one woman and two men trying to survive together.
2. Right At Your Door
Right at Your Door isn't a dystopian film that shows the effects of terrorism on a global level, but instead, it isolates it and shows you what people would go through in one area in the event of an act of terrorism. In this
2006 film, you see what happens in Los Angeles after the detonation of multiple dirty bombs.
Rory Cochrane, probably best known to 90s kids for his role in Empire Records, steals the show in this movie. He plays a husband whose wife has left the house to go to work right before all hell breaks loose. When he turns on the TV, he hears about the dirty bombs. He then frantically tries to find his wife. It's a movie that will make you hug your loved ones and maybe even get you to start packing a bug-out bag.
3. Death Race 2000
There's a chance you may have seen the 2008 remake of this movie that starred Jason Statham, though Death Race was really nothing like its predecessor. In the original Roger Corman version form 1975, you get to see what it might be like to live under Martial Law.
Starring David Carradine and Sylvester Stallone, Death Race 2000 is about a race that has some pretty sadistic rules. The drivers actually get points for killing pedestrians!
4. Stake Land
If you dig vampires in your dystopian futures, Stake Land is the rare gem you're looking for. Stake Land 2 is also worth watching, but it isn't as remarkable as the first film.
In this movie, a plague turns people into vampires. Sounds typical, right? It's about a guy that hunts these undead creatures, traveling across the country with a kid he took under his wing. It's a lesson in survival and friendship.
5. The Last Man On Earth
The Last Man on Earth, a film starring Vincent Price, is the first movie version of Richard Matheson's awesome novel “I Am Legend.” The book has been made into films many times, including the Charlton Heston Omega Man of 1971 and the Will Smith I Am Legend from 2007 versions.
In each of these films, you get to see a scientist that has survived the plague alone, essentially. He continues working to find a cure while slowly going insane from loneliness.
6. How I Live Now
How I Live Now is the newest film on this list, from 2013. This one stands out because, once again, there is a focus on a female survivor. The talented Saoirse Ronan plays an American teen stuck in Europe while the crap is hitting the fan.
Strictly a movie on terrorism and surviving it, this film is probably the most frightening on this list because it is something you can imagine happening in real life.
Why Watch Dystopian Movies?
After reading these movie descriptions, you may wonder why anyone would want to watch something so frightening. These are like horror movies for reality. They are much more frightening than the Freddie Kruger's and the Jason Vorhees' of the world because terrorism is a real thing.
Just watch out for nightmares.