Cover Photo: The Witness / Love, Death & Robots

Add some more ominous gloom and end-of-the-world thrill to your pandemic experience with this list of dystopian movies and series to binge-watch on Netflix and Disney+

Not that anyone needs any more frightening foretelling of the end of the world in this climate of pandemics and medical scares, but sometimes we need to fight fire with fire in order to cope with this #pandemicstress.

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There is something uncanny about watching a dystopian film or series these days because we now realise that the tumultuous realities we see in movies could happen in real life and we can see certain parallels in how zombies in an apocalyptic world can be akin to the coronavirus taking over the world.

Even though this doesn’t mean that we should fuel our anxieties about the pandemic and the possibility of the virus proliferating, we can still enjoy these dystopian movies in a note of levity and jest and add some apocalyptic thrill to our daily entertainment.

Be it sci-fi, horror or a case of alien invasion, get some popcorn and candy ready and enjoy the show.

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1 / 8

Netflix: Ad Astra

A sudden mysterious power surge disrupts the stability of the universe we live in and all human beings. Major Roy McBride—played by Brad Pitt—attempts to find and uncover the truth about his father, Clifford McBride, after he went on a space expedition and went missing for thirty years to pursue intelligent alien life. This riveting science-fiction film checks all the boxes of a classic dystopian and you can expect to be thrilled and amazed by the realistic depiction of space travel and action. Directed by James Gray, this critically-acclaimed film was also nominated for Best Sound Mixing at the Academy Awards.

Watch on Netflix

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2 / 8

Disney+: The Walking Dead Season 11

In the final season of The Walking Dead, the remaining survivors from the apocalypse are living in Alexandria while they struggle to consolidate and care for the growing number of residents—including survivors from the fall of the Kingdom and the burning of the Hilltop. The famed post-apocalyptic horror wants to end with a bang and while die-hard Walking Dead fans might be reeling from the end of their favourite show, this culminating season will finally give its longstanding viewers the resolution they’ve all been waiting for. Adapting material from issues 175 to 193 of the comic books, this season is upping the ante with the exploration of the large Commonwealth of fifty thousand survivors.

Watch on Disney+

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3 / 8

Netflix: The Happening

An airborne virus is threatening to eradicate all life in the northeastern part of the United States and science teacher Elliot Moore escapes to the countryside with his wife and colleague but he soon discovers that no one is safe from this elusive threat. Sounds familiar? This ominous film eerily mirrors the Covid-19 era and the invisible virus that is rampantly taking over regions around the world, and the movie does a great job at highlighting the fears and anxieties associated with the natural plague and the fight for survival. Directed by M. Night Shyamalan, the movie stars Mark Wahlberg and Zooey Deschanel in the foreboding tale of viruses and natural apocalypses.

Watch on Netflix

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4 / 8

Disney+: Independence Day: Resurgence

Two decades after the ruinous interstellar war against the alien invaders, planet Earth faces a new extraSolar threat. David Levinson—played by Jeff Goldblum— returns as the director of the Earth Space Defense programme and he begins preparing and training a group of heroes to save the world from extinction. The sequel to the 1996 film Independence Day, this sci-fi action film explores the themes of extraterrestrial threats and alien invasions once again as it showcases the reality that threat and danger will always resurface and humanity must stay resilient to survive and fight the forces that threaten us.

Watch on Disney+

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5 / 8

Netflix: 3%

Set in an unspecified time in the future, twenty-year-old individuals of the crowded “Inland” squalor only have one chance to finish “The Process” and progress to the affluence of the distant “Offshore” society. Throughout the challenge, most of the unsuccessful candidates are eliminated with some failing to survive and only three per cent of the candidates succeeding in the end. The acclaimed Brazilian dystopian thriller takes inspiration from the survival obstacles and cutthroat trials of movies like The Hunger Games and The Maze Runner, and brazenly depicts the fight to survive in a hopelessly devastated and congested society.

Watch on Netflix

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6 / 8

Disney+: The Maze Runner Trilogy

A science-fiction dystopian action-adventure, The Maze Runner trilogy depicts a misfit group of teenagers—or also known as gladers—that are trapped inside a maze without any memory of the external world but the dreams of a mysterious organization called WCKD (World Catastrophe Killzone Department). After their many attempts to escape from the treacherous maze, the gladers have to face their biggest challenge yet—to evade WCKD and the deadly Flare virus. In this film retelling of James Dashner's popular book series, the movie stars Dylan O'Brien and an ensemble cast and the portrayal of young adults in a dystopian world makes the themes of loss of innocence and fear of the unknown even more jarring and horrifying.

Watch on Disney+

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7 / 8

Netflix: Love, Death & Robots

The house-cleaning Vacuubot in a futuristic community malfunctions and goes into termination mode. A dystopian future sees humans obtaining drug-induced biological immortality which culminates in overpopulation and breeding becomes strictly forbidden, and any children found are executed by the police while their parents are prosecuted. An albino man wanders across a barren planet where he is being pursued by a merchant for his unique physiology which grants him a regenerative ability that renders him immortal. This adult animated anthology explores a series of disturbing yet insightful dystopian tropes through a myriad of different animation styles and short storylines that will leave you desperate for more.

Watch on Netflix

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8 / 8

Disney+: American Horror Stories

This popular anthology retro horror series created by Ryan Murphy explores incredible stories of mental asylums which houses the criminally insane, murder houses and mansions filled with ghosts, political divides and cults following the 2016 election of Donald Trump and apocalypses where the Antichrist brings about the ultimate destruction of mankind by nuclear warfare. As we gear up for the much-anticipated 10th instalment in this anthology, we can expect to see more bone-chilling occurrences that we have seen before like a struggling writer who moves to an isolated town with his family and bizarre things happen when he gets a quick fix for his writer's block.

Watch on Disney+

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