10 Most Brutal Apocalypses In Cinema

It's the end of the world as we know it, and we're not doing all that well thanks very much.

One of cinema€™s favourite obsessions is with armageddon, and it€™s only growing stronger. Following on from the success of the horror movie and the disaster movie, which portrayed in various forms the heroes€™ struggle to survive a particular horrendous scenario, filmmakers €“ always an ambitious bunch €“ began to widen the scope of those scenarios. After all, the saving grace for the protagonists in each of these types of survival movie was that the antagonists (whatever they may be) were self-contained. The fire would be put out, the police would come€ dawn would break. But what if the fire kept spreading? What if the police came, and couldn€™t help? What if day never came, and the night wore on forever? As the 20th century wore on, increasing numbers of major apocalyptic movies began to be released, each cheerfully positing their own variation on the end of the world. To give you an idea: Wikipedia€™s fairly exhaustive €˜list of apocalyptic films€™ gives us 11 in the fifties, 20 in the sixties, and a steady 33 every decade after until the new millennium, which saw 58 different kinds of Armageddon unleashed upon the world in cinematic form. And the advent of the 21st century hasn€™t diminished our appetite for planet-wide doom. Since 2010, 42 films have been released that deal in some way with the utter destruction of our way of life. Post-millennial angst? Is that even a real thing? Whatever, as the decades have passed it€™s become obvious that there are categories of cataclysm. Sometimes those categories will blend together, as often occurs with modern post-apocalyptic zombie stories, but that€™s popular culture for you. This, then, is the countdown to extinction: the ten most brutal apocalypses in cinema. As always, remember that there will be spoilers. Well, of course there will. This is the end of the world.

Professional writer, punk werewolf and nesting place for starfish. Obsessed with squid, spirals and story. I publish short weird fiction online at, and tweet nonsense under the name Jack The Bodiless. You can follow me all you like, just don't touch my stuff.