We all know the basic staples of the approaching end of days – zombies, aliens, nukes, robots, viruses, asteroids, global warming – all those good things. When a movie uses one of these go-to death-day scenarios we can’t help but to shell out the cash to watch it all go to hell on the big screen.
However it takes some real brainpower to pull away from these apocalyptic norms, and when a movie does come along toting some hip new way for us all to die – even if said movie doesn’t pan out – you have to respect their willingness to get creative.
Here are some movies that took a chance and gave us an end we’d never see coming.
10. Everyone Kills Themselves – The Happening
Can’t stress enough the whole ‘movie doesn’t pan out’ aspect to this list. The Happening was probably the defining moment of M. Night Shyamalan’s career in that it had every terrible element of his previous films rolled up into one muddled plot. It was the make or break moment when we could all just nod our heads and say, ‘Yep, okay, I think I’m done with this guy.’
That being said – there was one element to this film that was pretty damn neat, and that was the means in which everyone was being taken out. Everyone in the film kills themselves in the quickest and often brutal ways available. While what science the movie offers as to why this happens in questionable at best, there’s something pretty damn spooky about seeing a guy willingly allow himself to be torn to shreds by tigers, or lay himself down in the path of a lawnmower.
And while the ‘plants are trying to kill us’ angle kind of left the audience laughing as we watched Mark Wahlberg run from the wind like a kid playing imaginary land, there are certain fungi out there that will actually make insects lose their mind. Had this movie been written by someone besides Shyamalan it probably could have actually held water (something that can be said for pretty much all his modern films).
9. Bureaucratic Aliens – The Hitchhiker’s Guide To The Galaxy
By far the most insulting mass extinction on this list, in The Hitchhikers Guide To The Galaxy earth is laid to waste by aliens – however not for the reasons you’d normally expect. In this case they don’t want our resources or have any feelings of aggression towards us but are rather just following orders. This is probably way worse when you think about it; being murdered out of passion is one thing, being murdered out of indifference and procedure on the other hand is just terrible. As explained in the film, the planet must go to make way for a ‘hyperspatial bypass’ – so it’s not really even for a huge cause, but rather convenience.
What makes this all especially surprising is how quick the whole thing goes down. In most movies about aliens taking over the planet – Independence Day, War Of The Worlds, The Day The Earth Stood Still – there is some amount of foreplay leading up to out global demise. We have time to cope with the fact that aliens exist, then usually attempt to make contact, then learn that the aliens are bad, and finally come to terms with the fact that the aliens want to destroy us all.
In this film, however, we learn that other life exists in space in the same 30 seconds we learn that said life is about to kill us all – it’s just so much in so little time. And then when it happens! No fireballs, no lasers, not even an explosion! Earth is there one second and then, poof – gone! What an asshole way to take out a planet!