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  Table of content    
  1. Bird Box (2018)
  2. A Quiet Place (2018)
  3. Zombieland (2007)
  4. World War Z (2013)
  5. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)
  6. The Day After Tomorrow (2004)
  7. I Am Legend (2007)
  8. The Hunger Games (2012)
  9. Wall-E (2008)
  10. Train to Busan (2016)

10 Unique Post-Apocalyptic Movies You That Define The Genre

With the ever-growing global warming and the Earth being under constant threats of a nuclear war between the big countries, people are living in fear that the world we are living in right now, might come in peril sometime in the future. The post-apocalyptic films that we see in theaters are the embodiment of this fear, and a popular genre that never fails to make the audience purchase their tickets. 

Often set in a world ravaged by catastrophic events or widespread societal collapse, these films explore the gritty aftermath of a world gone wrong, where survival becomes paramount and the boundaries of humanity are pushed to their limits. From iconic classics like "Mad Max" and "The Road Warrior" to modern blockbusters like "The Hunger Games" and "The Maze Runner," the post-apocalyptic genre has found enduring popularity by tapping into the human’s primal fears, pushing us to question our own existence, and offering a glimpse into a future that could be. Let’s take a look at the most 10 iconic and post-apocalyptic movies that have defined the genre, and discover the unique barren world and settings behind them.

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#1. Bird Box (2018)

Source: IMDb

Starring the veteran actress Sandra Bullock as the main protagonist, the movie tells the story of a woman named Malorie who embarks on a perilous journey with two children, blindfolded to avoid a mysterious force that drives people to commit suicide if they look directly at them, in search of a sanctuary. The monsters’ faces aren’t revealed in the movie, but the build-up tension and spine-chilling sound effects are enough to make the audience shivers.

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#2. A Quiet Place (2018)

Source: MUBI

A quite similar but widely-considered superior version of Bird Box, A Quiet Place revolves around a family struggling to survive in this world, communicating through sign language and taking every precaution to avoid making any noise. The monsters in this world detect their prey through the smallest of sounds instead of vision, and the thrilling silence throughout almost every part of the movie is the most intense and scary aspect of all.

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#3. Zombieland (2007)

Apart from other post-apocalyptic movies, Zombieland takes on a rather humourous and less serious route about the genre. The film, features big stars such as Jesse Eisenberg, Woody Harrelson, and Emma Stone, who rally together as a team to travel across the country in search of safety. Combining humor, action, and a quest for Twinkies, they face hordes of zombies and encounter both friends and foes along the way.

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#4. World War Z (2013)

Source: IMDb

Starring Brad Pitt, World War Z is one of the most iconic movies of the genre in the 2010s. While the zombie Armageddon isn’t a particularly new concept, Pitt’s brilliant performance along with the devastating scenery of hoards of zombies piling over each other are interesting enough to make the viewers sleepless at night.

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#5. Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

Featuring the charismatic Tom Hardy and Charlize Theron, the video game adaptation follows a woman named Furiosa who rebels against the tyrannical ruler, Immortan Joe, and helps a group of enslaved women escape in the post-apocalyptic wasteland. Joined by the reluctant hero, Max Rockatansky, they embark on a thrilling high-speed chase and battle against other dangerous factions and tribes in a fight for freedom and survival.

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#6. The Day After Tomorrow (2004)

Source: IMDb

Instead of a barren wasteland, the 2004 sensation puts Earth back into the Ice Age after a sudden and catastrophic climate change. As global superstorms ravage the planet, a climatologist named Jack (Dennis Quaid) races against time to find his son Sam (Jake Gyllenhaal) and navigate the extreme weather conditions to reach safety.

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#7. I Am Legend (2007)

Adapting from Richard Matheson’s iconic sci-fi novel, the movie starred Will Smith as Robert Neville, a virologist who’s immune to the deadly virus that turns humanity into peril. Struggling to survive to find a cure for humanity, Robert has to fight the infected Darkseekers along the way, while also finding in vain for any fellow survivors.

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#8. The Hunger Games (2012)

Source: IMDb

Adapting from the bestselling novel series by Suzanne Collins, The Hunger Games is a 4-episode film franchise that sets in a dystopian future, and tells the gripping story of Katniss Everdeen, a young girl forced to participate in a titular brutal event. In a bid to maintain control over their divided society, the ruling Capitol selects one boy and one girl from each of the twelve districts to fight to the death in an elaborate televised spectacle. 

As Katniss fights for her survival, she becomes the symbol of hope for the oppressed districts, challenging the Capitol's authority. With the help of her fellow tribute, Peeta Mellark, she must navigate alliances, betrayals, and the moral complexities of the games to defy all odds.

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#9. Wall-E (2008)

Source: Pixar

The only animated film in this list, Wal-E of course has a lighter and more playful tone than the others, however still manages to show us the wasteful and barren land of Earth in the distant future. Wall-E, a small waste-collecting robot, is left behind to clean up the mess left by humanity, which develops a curious personality and a deep sense of loneliness amidst the desolate remains. 

However, everything changes when he encounters EVE, a seeker robot sent to Earth on a mission to find any life forms on the planet. Wall-E falls in love with her and embarks on a captivating adventure through space, uncovering a greater purpose for humanity. This heartwarming animated film explores themes of environmentalism, human connection, and the potential consequences of unchecked consumerism.

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#10. Train to Busan (2016)

Source: IMDb

Telling the story about yet another violent zombie outbreak, however, Train to Busan’s emotional and heartbreaking storytelling makes it on par with other Hollywood blockbusters in this list. Seok-woo, a workaholic father, boards a train to Busan with his young daughter, Su-an, as the infection spreads rapidly throughout the train, turning passengers into ravenous zombies. The two join a group of survivors and fight their way to safety. 

In a race against time, the passengers must not only battle the undead but also confront their own fears and prejudices. Train to Busan offers intense action sequences, and emotional depth, and explores the resilience of the human spirit in the face of adversity.

Which of the movie above is your favorite post-apocalyptic movie ever? Do you want to add any other title to the list? Let us know in the comment.

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