Post-apocalyptic films are repeatedly critiques of contemporary concerns which have spiralled out of control and forced civilisation to take a turn for the worst. The question is, how do film makers decide which events will be the ones to escalate? These films typically show us a dystopian future in which elements from the past and present are used to create a story, which often include characters who are trying to escape. These stories depict our fear that contemporary concerns are causing society to turn negative. In essence, most post-apocalyptic films represent the future as a detrimental place; a typical dystopian film creates an image of government or society “attempting to exert control over free thought/authority/energy/freedom”1. Some other films focus on discrimination and limitations based on factors such as genetics, fertility, intelligence and age. All of these factors tend to lead to the idea of the government collapsing, which then, after a film’s release, can link to a circulation of conspiracy theories, reflecting contemporary society and government issues. The characters are often fighting against the laws or ways of the government, leading to violence and further problems. For example, Logan’s Run (1976) and Nineteen-Eighty-Four (1984).
The idea of different themes flowing through these films demonstrates how film makers think thoroughly as to which contemporary events could be included and lead to events presented in the film, allowing the fiction to seem realistic and believable. For example, the conspiracy theories about the world’s end in 2012 was made into a film, which followed the theories and ideas about how and why it would happen. This made the film seem more realistic as it was set soon after the film’s release date (2009) and it led more people to believe that the world really was going to end. Another example of scaring the audience into how believable the film is, is Children of Men (2006) which is focused on the idea of infertility and immigration. The UK is portrayed in such a state of crisis, and “it is scary because it could only take 2-3 years for the UK to fall into that place” and “there is a gentle reminder of problems that the UK has come up against in the past”2. This demonstrates how fear factor is a huge element to post-apocalyptic films, and that it is simply achieved by over exaggerating a contemporary aspect.
(Numbers are connected to sources on word document)