12 Best Disaster Films if You Like Watching an Apocalypse on TV
If you’re craving thrilling movies that explore the cataclysmic scenarios of doomsday, you’ve come to the right place. Others may not understand your sadistic thought experiments, but I get it.
When you’re bored, why not traumatize yourself with horrific scenarios? These 12 disaster films will satisfy your appetite for apocalyptic doom without you, you know, actually having to die.
From meteoric threats to alien invasions and global catastrophes, these movies will make you grateful that your life isn’t this exciting.
1. Terminator 2: Judgement Day (1991)
After Arnold captivated the world in The Terminator (1984), fans were given an explosive sequel about the future where AI Skynet has destroyed Earth and must be stopped in the present day.
When it comes to future apocalyptic shows, nothing is scarier than The Terminator franchise — especially in today’s push to use AI.
2. The Day After Tomorrow (2004)
Brace yourself for a climate catastrophe of epic proportions. When global warming triggers a sudden ice age, a climatologist (Dennis Quaid) races against time to save his son (Jake Gyllenhaal) and reunite with him amid the chaos. This Roland Emmerich-directed disaster film delivers intense action, jaw-dropping special effects, and heart-pounding suspense as humanity battles against nature’s fury.
3. Dante’s Peak (1997)
Welcome to Dante’s Peak, a seemingly idyllic town nestled near a dormant volcano. When the volcano unexpectedly awakens, geologist Harry Dalton (Pierce Brosnan) must convince the skeptical townspeople to evacuate before it’s too late. This thrilling disaster flick combines stunning visuals, nerve-wracking suspense, and explosive action as Dalton races against magma flows and toxic ash to save lives.
4. Twelve Monkeys (1995)
In a post-apocalyptic future ravaged by a deadly virus, James Cole (Bruce Willis) is sent back in time to gather information about the outbreak. As he navigates a decaying world, he encounters a mysterious group called the Twelve Monkeys.
This mind-bending sci-fi thriller, directed by Terry Gilliam, involves time travel, conspiracy, and the desperate quest to alter a future destined for destruction. This is perfect for those with a savior complex: would you save the world?
5. Melancholia (2011)
In this visually stunning and emotionally charged Lars von Trier film, a planet named Melancholia approaches Earth, causing mounting anxiety and uncertainty. As two sisters (Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg) navigate their struggles amidst the impending cataclysm, tension builds, and the fate of humanity hangs in the balance.
Prepare for an intimate and haunting exploration of human nature in the face of impending doom. Disclaimer: Do not watch this movie if you’re looking for a lighthearted, upbeat, fun escapism movie.
Here’s what a viewer says about it, “It’s a really dark yet beautiful film broken up into two parts: one showing the effects of depression and bipolar, and the other showing how when the world is inevitably going to end, people who have those things are more accepting of the end of the world than people who don’t suffer from those things.”
6. This Is the End (2013)
Buckle up for a hilarious, star-studded apocalypse. Chaos ensues when an end-of-the-world event traps a group of Hollywood actors (including James Franco, Seth Rogen, and Jonah Hill) in a party at Franco’s house.
This raunchy comedy turns the end of the world into a wild, uproarious ride filled with irreverent humor, over-the-top antics, and self-aware celebrity portrayals. You’ll appreciate this if you like irreverent comedies like Superbad and Knocked Up. There are enough apocalyptic movies filled with doom and gloom; this movie is great when you want to laugh in the face of disaster.
7. Cloverfield (2008)
This found-footage monster movie delivers relentless thrills and suspense. As a gigantic creature terrorizes New York City, a group of friends tries to survive and document the chaos on their handheld camera. Directed by Matt Reeves, Cloverfield combines the intensity of a disaster film with the horror of an unknown and menacing creature, creating an immersive and nerve-wracking experience.
8. The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)
When an alien visitor (Keanu Reeves) arrives on Earth with a cryptic message, humanity’s fate hangs in the balance. As governments and scientists scramble to understand the extraterrestrial’s intentions, tensions rise, and the planet faces the brink of destruction. This thought-provoking sci-fi film poses existential questions with captivating visual effects and gripping suspense.
9. World War Z (2013)
Possibly the best zombie flick to grace the screen, Brad Pitt stars in this fast-paced zombie thriller that takes the genre to a global scale. As a former United Nations investigator, Gerry Lane races against time to solve a rapidly spreading zombie pandemic that threatens to wipe out humanity.
Spanning continents and featuring intense, heart-pounding action sequences, World War Z offers a unique take on the end-of-the-world scenario with its relentless suspense, breathtaking visuals, and a race against time to save what remains of civilization.
10. Deep Impact (1998)
In this disaster epic, an enormous comet hurtles toward Earth, posing an extinction-level threat. People face profound choices and personal sacrifices as governments scramble to devise a plan to deflect or destroy the comet. With a stellar ensemble cast including Morgan Freeman, Tea Leoni, and Robert Duvall, Deep Impact combines thrilling action with emotional depth, exploring humanity’s resilience in facing imminent destruction.
11. War of the Worlds (2005)
Directed by Steven Spielberg, this modern adaptation of H.G. Wells’ classic novel depicts an all-out alien invasion. Tom Cruise stars as a father desperately trying to protect his children from the ruthless extraterrestrial invaders. Gripping and intense, this film presents an apocalyptic battle for survival between man and extraterrestrials.
Over the years, this film got a lot of flack for annoying children and for unrealistic scenes like Tom Cruise’s son wanting to run into a warzone where aliens were firing on civilians for no reason. Still, it’s honestly an incredibly creepy, suspenseful film with excellent world-building.
Sure, it has some cheese and unrealistic character motivations here and there but nothing atypical for a disaster film. Plus, any child would scream like Dakota Fanning if aliens were invading, so leave her alone.
I used to have nightmares about the eerie sound of the alien machines announcing they’d arrived and are about to commit utter destruction. To be frank, I still have nightmares about it. Want a terrifying apocalyptic film? War of the Worlds is your best bet.
12. Bird Box (2018)
Navigating the world with blindfolds, Malorie (played by Sandra Bullock) gives audiences a thrilling performance about living in an apocalyptic world where strange entities make people end their lives if seen by human eyes. Malorie’s quest to survive with her family in this new world will keep you on the end of your seat, praying you never experience a world like this.
14 Important Facts People Seem To Ignore About a Zombie Apocalypse
If a zombie apocalypse were upon us today, how would you survive? Many people have the uttermost confidence in their survival, while others do not. In an online forum, people discuss numerous things others need to consider. And many are hard truths or valuable knowledge that would be beneficial not to ignore should the world becomes overrun with zombies. Here are things to consider.
Alien Invasion Anxiety: The 12 Movie Aliens We Pray Stay on the Screen
If aliens ever decided to invade Earth, it’s safe to say that people would be more than a little concerned. Hollywood has long been fascinated with the idea of extraterrestrial life and has created many alien creatures ranging from the friendly to the downright scary.
According to a film forum, these are the 12 most feared cinematic alien species.
10 Movies Based on Urban Legends That Will Make You Question Reality
Urban legends have long captivated our imaginations, weaving tales of suspense that leave us questioning the thin veil between fact and fiction. Many of these legends have been fertile ground for filmmakers, inspiring some of the most spine-chilling and memorable movies. From supernatural beings lurking in the shadows to cursed objects that bring about doom, here are ten films that have successfully brought urban legends to life on the big screen.
12 Best Movies About Alien Encounters and Invasions
Stories of conquest, friendship, protection, and evolutionary indifference to humanity exist in these films about aliens on Earth. That breadth of tones and themes makes it difficult to pick the best of this sci-fi subgenre. But with some digging (and personal consideration), I’ve done my best to create a definitive list of the ten best movies about aliens visiting Earth ever made.
Ghoulishly Good: Here Are 14 Monster Movies To Sink Your Teeth In
Monster movies have always captivated audiences with their thrilling tales of monstrous creatures causing havoc for unsuspecting victims. Whether you are a fan of giant reptiles, deadly insects, or deep-sea predators, we have you covered. Movie fans recently got together in an online forum to recommend their favorites.