World ending

7 Thrilling World Ending Films for Introverts

World ending films, or apocalyptic films are perfect for introverts. Whilst the subject nature of the film may cause anxiety, the list I have compiled is entirely introvert-friendly for our iTHINK readers.

This is a film that needs to be watched by any film fan, introvert, and action film enthusiast. The success of the film single-handedly revived the franchise.

The end of the world is sometimes depicted as a time for individual self-reflection and a time to spend by yourself to think about how you’ve lived your life before you watch the world crash and burn.

Relaxing, right? Some of the films on this list subscribe to this version of the end of the world such as Lars von Trier’s Melancholia starring the fantastic Kirsten Dunst.

Others relish in the world burning and dying where everything returns to being primitive and learning to survive. So choose your side, do you want a peaceful apocalypse or live out your last days fighting to survive the end of it all?

Melancholia (2011)

World Ending

In my opinion, Melancholia is one of Lars Von Trier’s finest films. I reckon I am slightly biased though because I love Kirsten Dunst’s performance in pretty much anything she does. Melancholia tells the story of two sisters, one of which is getting married just before a planet is about to collide with Earth.

Sources say that this film came out of a depressive episode that Von Trier suffered which explains the themes of depression, isolation and of course melancholy in the film.

The film is divided into two parts named ‘Justine’ and ‘Claire’ played by Kirsten Dunst and Charlotte Gainsbourg respectively.

The film can be considered to play on themes of the apocalypse due to the key sequence which opens the film. The sequence involves the film’s characters and images from space and the galaxies before focusing on Justine.

The film is named after a newly discovered fictional planet called ‘Melancholia’ which blocks the Sun and as Justine’s depression gets worse, she becomes certain that Melancholia will destroy the Earth.

Most of Lars Von Trier’s films are hard to watch but many would argue that they are ultimately about the human condition. For a different kind of ‘end of the world’ film, I recommend the philosophical Melancholia.

Donnie Darko (2001)

Despite having talked about Donnie Darko in a previous article, I couldn’t resist adding it to this list as well. Donnie Darko, for me, is not just a film about the end of the world, it is a lot more complex than that as anyone who has seen it will surely know.

Donnie is a mentally ill individual who, in his nightmares, gets visited by a giant demonic rabbit who gives him a countdown to the end days of the planet.

Such a catastrophic event suddenly becoming quantifiable is terrifying and throughout the film, many unexplainable events begin to occur as the countdown goes on.

Donnie Darko is an excellent film that you need to see at least twice to fully understand everything that is going on. There are many articles and videos on YouTube which try to make sense of the alternate universe timeline and the dominant theme of the apocalypse.

This makes the film sound incredibly complex and it can be, but it is worth it for Jake Gyllenhaal’s memorable performance as Donnie.

When the Wind Blows (1986)

World Ending

When the Wind Blows is a short 80 minute animated film based off of a graphic novel by English writer Raymond Briggs. The film is a hybrid of stop motion and traditional animation, for example, the main characters are hand-drawn but most of the objects are animated by stop motion when they move or are interacted with.

The film tells the story of James and Hilda Bloggs, an elderly couple who become increasingly aware of the looming nuclear war with the Soviet Union.

They build a shelter and prepare supplies in anticipation of the war however James and Hilda are confident that they can get through it, just as they did in the Second World War.

Again, this is not a cheerful watch but it shows what life was like when a nuclear war was impending, which at the time, did indeed feel like the world was going to end.

It is very much worth watching this film because of the beautiful and delicate animation and soundtrack.

Dr Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love the Bomb (1964)

Dr Strangelove is Stanley Kubrick’s satirical black comedy as the director became engrossed in the issue of nuclear war.

He studied the subject hard before writing and producing the film and apparently even considered moving to Australia as he thought New York was too likely a target for the Russians.

Like When the Wind Blows, this is a film which very much relates nuclear war to the end of the world but Kubrick adds a touch of comedy and absurdism.

Presently, the film is considered to be one of the sharpest comedies ever made and holds a near-perfect score on Rotten Tomatoes.

This is a must-see for Kubrick fans and fans of comedy films: it is a remarkable achievement.

I Am Mother (2019)

World Ending

Now for a newer release in the list, ‘I Am Mother’ is an Australian science fiction film released on Netflix in June of this year. The film follows the life of Daughter, a young girl living in a post-apocalyptic bunker being raised by Mother who is an android with the aim of repopulating the Earth.

Starring the brilliant Rose Byrne and Academy Award winner Hilary Swank, I Am Mother is set in a distant future after a mass extinction of human beings.

The android Mother teaches Daughter lessons of morality and ethics and constantly warns her not to interact with the outside world.

Inevitably, Daughter becomes more and more curious about the outside world and the stakes for survival becomes higher. With clear influences from sci-fi films such as Ex-Machina (2015) and Blade Runner (1982), I Am Mother focuses on women’s issues in a post-apocalpytic context.

I highly recommend this film as it is readily accessible on Netflix and provokes a lot of thoughts and discussion on the future of the human race and the popular theme in recent science fiction films of the increasing interactions on androids and robots in everyday human life.

How I Live Now (2013)

World Ending

How I Live Now is a film adapted from the young adult novel by Meg Rosoff. Starring the Academy Award nominated Saoirse Ronan, How I Live Now focuses on the life of Daisy, a mentally ill teenager sent to stay in the English countryside with her Aunt and cousins.

She arrives during a time where security is heightened and there are reports of a bombing in Paris. The summer ends when a terrorist coalition detonates a nuclear bomb in London which potentially kills thousands of civilians. With the world in a crisis, everyone is on high alert and panicking for the future of the planet.

This film is perfect for an introverted personality because it is about an individual during a time of crisis. Daisy is faced with tough decisions throughout the film as well as feeling out of place as a stranger in a new country.

She witnesses acts of violence and desperation as she and her cousins attempt to survive in this strange new world.

Daisy tries to find love and hope in a world of war and a divided population. This film could be considered to be all too close to home, considering the current state of world politics, however it is important to remember how much the film favours hope, helping each other and love to create a slightly more positive ending.

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015)

‘The future belongs to the mad’ screams the tagline on the poster for Mad Max: Fury Road. The fourth installment in the Mad Max franchise also revives the franchise for a new audience with the same director, George Miller.

It has been hailed by film critics as one of the best action films of all time and generated many Academy Award nominations. The film was in development hell as it has been in development as early as 1997, with production being additionally delayed due to the September 11 attacks and the Iraq War.

Typically, projects that have been in ‘development hell’ which finally get made and released, do not do well commercially or critically but luckily, Fury Road disrupts this pattern. The film takes place during an energy crisis where key supplies are dwindling and in high demand for the continuation of the population.

Set in a desert due to the collapse of civilisation, Max, a survivor of this crisis has been captured by an enemy and used as a blood supply for another warrior.

This is a film that needs to be watched by any film fan, introvert, and action film enthusiast. The success of the film single-handedly revived the franchise.

Films with a plot that revolves around the potential end of the world can be interpreted as depressing and all doom and gloom, however this list presents an array of films which shows that end of the world films transcend genre.

Sometimes the threat of the end of the world can be something in which film characters confide in and trust or sometimes it just intensifies the plot and a character’s quest for survival and dominance over others.

Personally, I wouldn’t binge a load of apocalyptic films of an evening, mix some light hearted comedies in there to balance it out!


camera-iconImage respects to - Roger Ebert, Somerset House, Time Out, The Verge, ccpopculuture, Empire