As a genre, science fiction is one of the most fertile grounds for making bleak movies: they tend to be set in universes where things can go wrong, or where things have already gone wrong, and the fallout informs the trajectory of the narrative. Whether that’s through major intergalactic tragedies, or more introspective portraits that look at grander human issues against backdrops that magnify them and make them grotesque and terrible.
Seriously, when was the last time you saw a sci-fi movie where things went right? If you can remember one, share it so other people will avoid it, because it is probably terrible.
The genre offers bountiful opportunity for stories with dramatic, far-reaching consequences and spectacular implications if something goes wrong. There is also a strong sub-genre of movies that are themselves devoted to bleak Dystopian worlds, where darker stories play out, and both hope and happy endings are far removed concepts.
In order to qualify for this particular type of film, it isn’t just a matter of death and destruction, there has to be some craft in the story-telling: after all it isn’t enough to destroy the world – you need to destroy the soul of humanity. When bleak science fiction stories are told with emotion and craft, one death can be more devastating than the death of an entire galaxy. It takes a true artist to really make a great movie that is bleak in such an inherently dark genre.
In a genre full of death and destruction, we’ve pulled 10 movies, which are exceptionally bleak, and which will probably drawn you into an endless wormhole of misery if you watch…
This article was first posted on December 8, 2013