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Is This The End? Get To Know Your 2013 Apocalypse Movies

The Playlist By Edward Davis | The Playlist June 13, 2013 at 11:59AM

Hollywood likes to second-guess itself and look over its shoulder. “Oh, you’re producing a film about a math wizard who falls in love and takes a trip around the world in a balloon?” [Turns head, whispers in teeth to assistant] “Where’s our version of this? Get a draft on my desk by next Thursday.” This year we’ll see two White House movies (“White House Down” and “Olympus Has Fallen”) going toe-to-toe and a number of superhero film face-offs. But with apocalypse movies, it’s almost something else entirely. It seems to have captured the creative zeitgeist, and/or everyone is just creatively bankrupt. In Hollywood, it’s always hard to tell.
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Pacific Rim

Pacific Rim
What’s It About? Legions of monstrous creatures, known as Kaiju, started rising from the sea, starting a war that takes millions of lives and consume humanity’s resources for years on end. To combat them, civilization creates massive robots called Jaegers.
What Brings On The Rapture? Legions of monstrous creatures from the sea, yo.
What Makes It Stand Out From The Rest Of End Is Nigh Movies? Well, it’s much more high-concept, blockbuster-y apocalypse than the rest of these films, even “World War Z.” A cross between Godzilla, Kaiju Big Battel (seemingly the main inspiration) and robot anime cartoons like "Voltron" and such. It also features the sure-to-be-classic line, “We are canceling the apocalypse today!” which children will surely be shouting aloud for Halloweens on end, when they are running around in cumbersome, awkward robot costumes.
Will Audiences Go See It? It seems like such a gigantic spectacle that yes, nerds will eat it up and regular audiences too. That said, all the money has been spent on effects and the cast is largely unknowns, Idris Elba of “The Wire”/"Luther" probably being the biggest names followed by Charlie Hunnam, Rinko Kikuchi, Charlie Day, Ron Perlman and Max Martini. Names probably don’t matter in a film like this, right? Time will tell.
Final Verdict: None, as it’s not out til July 12th. That said, our gut tells us it’s either feast or famine. A huge whopping hit or something audiences turn their noses up at and nothing in between; such is usually the fate of the modern blockbuster with expensive, winner takes all stakes.

The Devil's Rapture

The Devil's Rapture
What’s It About? When young girls start to go missing within a religious cult, older followers fear a long-told prophecy while the younger members suspect abusive elders are killing them off.
What Brings On The Rapture? The Supernatural, the Occult, maybe Satan.
What Makes It Stand Out From The Rest Of End Is Nigh Movies? Not a lot. The budget, motley crew cast collects a who’s who of also-rans that weren’t busy during the film’s shooting schedule like Jennifer Carpenter, Alycia Debnam-Carey, Rufus Sewell, Thomas McDonell, Adelaide Kane and Leah Pipes. The director is Danish filmmaker Christian E. Christiansen, whose 2011 English-language debut was "The Roommate" (Minka Kelly and Leighton Meester in what amounts to a godawful remake of “Single White Female”). All signs point to a cheapo horror meant to make money. Though to be completely fair, maybe it's a cut above because LD Entertainment, the production company behind it, has a decent track record ("Biutiful," "Killer Joe," "I Love You Phillip Morris"), though not so much with horror.
Will Audiences Go See It? Yes, as the very average, very forgettable “The Purge” reminded everyone, audiences will flock to cheap, forgettable horrors on opening weekend, but the film will usually lose at least two-thirds of its audience after that and be straight-to-video not long after.
Final Verdict: None, but if we were gambling people, we surely wouldn’t take a bet on it.

Snow Piercer, Chris Evans

Snowpiercer
What’s It About? Based on the French graphic novel “Le Transperceneige,” the film is set in a future where inhabitants of the Snowpiercer -- a train that travels around the globe and is powered by a sacred perpetual-motion engine -- are the only people left alive on Earth.
What Brings On The Rapture? Well, arguably the apocalypse has already arrived and we’re cheating here a little bit. This is a post-apocalypse movie, technically. After a failed experiment to stop global warming, an Ice Age kills off all life on the planet except for those on the aforementioned train.
What Makes It Stand Out From The Rest Of End Is Nigh Movies? Well, it’s post-apocalyptic for one. For two, it’s a sci-fi thriller which adds the dimension of three genres and there’s a class system theme running throughout the film as well (social texture). It's cast is super dynamic and multi-racial -- Chris Evans, Song Kang-ho, Jamie Bell, Alison Pill, John Hurt, Tilda Swinton, Octavia Spencer, and Ed Harris -- that perhaps has global appeal. The film’s director is Bong Joon-ho, the filmmaker behind "Memories of Murder," "The Host," "Mother," and he's one of the most exciting international genre auteurs working today.
Will Audiences Go See It? Probably, though it’s likely not going to be an easy sell and The Weinstein Company, who has North American distribution rights hasn’t yet dated it for 2013 despite the fact that it’s coming out in South Korea this summer. TWC always hedges their bets, so it could be they’re going to test it out during the fall film festival circuit and if it plays, it gets a 2013 release. If it doesn’t, they’ll likely shelve it until the spring of 2014; a season that typically houses a lot of indie genre films.
Final Verdict: None, but it was on our Most Anticipated 2013 list so we for one are definitely looking forward to it. Though we have to admit, the international trailer hit yesterday and the first thing we thought was, “OK, now we know why this didn’t premiere in Cannes...” TIFF 2013?

Honorable Mention
Uhh, if we’re gonna mention one post-apocalyptic movie, we suppose we could mention “Oblivion,” “The Hunger Games: Catching Fire,” “Warm Bodies,” “After Earth,” and “Elysium,” but they don’t exactly count. That’s about it for the end is nigh movies of 2013, but there’s probably more on the way next year. That is unless a new trend tends to consume everyone instead.

This article is related to: Features, The World's End, This Is The End, Feature, Rapturepalooza, World War Z, Pacific Rim, It's A Disaster


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