So you just watched Bird Box thanks to Netflix and your holiday vacations, huh? We all realized a lot of important things after that film; Lovecraft mythos makes for good horror and Sandra Bullock still has it (kudos to Ms. Congeniality). Bird Box does leave you wanting more post-apocalypse movies, though. Hence, we have the perfect solution for that end-of-the-world itch: a post-apocalypse movies list! Oh, and these are movies like Bird Box too, don’t worry.
Because after all, Bird Box is pretty much just another addition to a healthy roster of post-apocalypse movies but with a coat of paint you cannot look at lest you go insane. Whether it’s imaginary nuclear wars, zombie pathogens, or something entirely new, we all love a glimpse at the fictional collapse of civilization, some of which are terrifyingly relevant.
It is worth noting that this is not a ranking. As for how these are similar to Bird Box, they mostly focus on the personal story of the protagonist or a group of people as they journey through the wasteland. So here’s 11 of them; your end of the world experience minus the consequences:
A Quiet Place (2018)
Bird Box was post-apocalypse where people can’t look, now, A Quiet Place is also that but people can’t make a sound. That is because the rabid indestructible aliens which caused the apocalypse in A Quiet Place are all blind and only rely on their hearing. This is perhaps the most similar movie to Bird Box in atmosphere and execution (similar plot holes too) thanks to real-life couple John Krasinski and Emily Blunt. This one is also in Netflix and we swear, they really should just make a post-apocalypse Netflix category there since it’s starting to pile up.
The Mist (2007)
Can’t get enough of Bird Box’s Lovecraftian horrors? The Mist will surely sate that craving for Cthulhu and other insanity-inducing tentacle-thingies. The Mist is a direct adaptation of Stephen King’s novel of the same name, can’t go wrong with that guy. Just imagine Bird Box but instead of blindfolds, everyone has to deal with a weird mist full of Lovecraftian horrors that can physically harm them. However, as seen in Bird Box too, the real monsters are often the humans. Make sure to watch both endings, they’re both brutally dark.
10 Cloverfield Lane
This is somewhat of a follow-up to the acclaimed Cloverfield found footage alien apocalypse movie by J.J. Abrams. Thankfully, they did away with the first-person perspective and featured a more tense story about a female survivor of the alien apocalypse. She had the misfortune of getting stuck in a doomsday bunker with a crazed and tyrannical John Goodman (ooh, scary!). Most of the movie takes place in a bunker but make no mistake, this is post-apocalypse, just make sure to watch it until the end.
I Am Legend (2007)
One of Will Smith’s more mature roles in the film industry. Nowadays, this is just your run-of-the-mill zombie infection movie. Back when it was released, however, it was somewhat of a pioneer. That is because it explored what a post-apocalypse would be for a modern “last man on Earth.” The post-apocalypse world established here is lonely, quiet, and you are free to do anything in an empty New York City. Yes, that would have been a perfect place to live in, except there are rabid zombie-mutants at night. There are also two endings for this one, pick your poison.
What initially started off as a short-film contender became a fully-fledged post-apocalypse zombie movie with anti-colonialism themes. It takes place in Australia too, which is a perfect the setting for the said theme. In essence, it is a personal story about a father trying to survive a zombie apocalypse with his baby in tow after losing his wife to the epidemic. Pretty much Bird Box’s second half but with a father instead. If you ever wanted to see Bilbo Baggins (Martin Freeman) in a post-apocalypse, then this is the film for you.
Dawn of the Dead (1979)
George Romero’s resonating masterpiece. This is the pinnacle of zombie movies and it does involve people going animal despite still being humans. At its core, though, it is a zombie apocalypse through and through and features a group of people trying to survive the chaos. There is also a remake made in 2004 by Zack Snyder which is also a good alternative if you want a more modern cinematography and atmosphere.
Say what you will about Soviet Russia but they do know how to treat their post-apocalypse. Stalker, made by a Russian director Andrei Tarkovsky during the communist Soviet era of Russia, is one of the most memorable and bleak post-apocalypse movies ever. It involves hope at a time of nuclear winter where three guys guided by another man known as a “stalker” travel towards the dangerous forbidden Zone where all their desires will be fulfilled, imagine something like that in a post-apocalypse setting. This has also spawned a video game franchise.
Into the Forest (2015)
Post-apocalypse is hard for anyone, however, this is doubly more so for females because human beings are pretty much back to their base animal instincts if society collapses. Into the Forest explores this and follows the story of two sisters trying to scrape by after a global apocalyptic blackout destroyed civilization. A word of warning, it does feature rape and unwanted pregnancy, topics which are often omitted in post-apocalypse movies all from the point of view of two vulnerable female protagonists.
The Survivalist (2015)
An indie post-apocalypse movie which you might not have heard of because it was a sleeper hit. It tends to explore more about the dynamics of human gender roles when there is no more morality or society. It is also more realistic than Bird Box for that matter and perhaps a close representation of human behavior when nature reverts us all back to basic animals. No zombies, aliens, or Lovecraftian horrors in this one though, just pure survival of the fittest. That can be scarier and more familiar.
Children of Men (2006)
The apocalypse does not just happen overnight, it is an ongoing process that takes years. Children of Men explains how that is, in a sense, the movie’s setting is already in post-apocalypse where people can no longer reproduce. Basically, the whole world is just waiting to get old and die to the last human. This is as closest and most realistic to post-apocalypse as humanity can get, perhaps. It does not shy away from including political atmospheres, making it the most familiar post-apocalypse ever. Don’t let the trailer fool you, this one’s a masterpiece.
The Road (2009)
If you thought The Survivalist or Children of Men was brutal and depressing, then we are truly sorry for recommending this one to you. Simply put, The Road is one of the most (if not THE most) painful and gloomy post-apocalypse movies ever. While the main characters are not named, you’ll still end up weeping for them. The Road is also based on a Pulitzer-winning novel of the same name, that’s how legit it is. Again, don’t let the action-packed trailer fool you. The Road is more unforgiving and more realistic than most post-apocalypse movies in this list.
There you have it doomsday preppers. Hopefully, none of these ever happen to us, or if they do, at least we get the mercy of dying from the apocalypse. Because nothing is more cruel than living in humanity’s graveyard with everyone else you know already dead.