The Most Underrated Post-Apocalyptic Horrors of the 2010s, Ranked
The next time you're looking for some underrated post-apocalyptic watch, give one of these lesser-known movies a shot.
1. The Battery (2012)
Baseball might not be the first thing that comes to mind when you think about the end of the world. But, The Battery isn't your average post-apocalyptic horror. Here, two former baseball players, Ben and Mickey, wander a deserted New England after a zombie outbreak. What makes this different? Instead of focusing on the horror of the zombies, the story is driven by the tension between the two men. Ben's a pragmatist, ready to face the world as it is, while Mickey holds onto the hope of the world as it once was, even listening to his Discman as a form of escapism.
2. It Comes at Night (2017)
No, it's not about monsters creeping in the shadows; it's about something much deeper. The story revolves around a family, Paul, Sarah, and Travis, huddled up in a desolate home, sheltered from the external plague. When another family seeks refuge, paranoia creeps in, showing that sometimes, human nature is scarier than any supernatural entity. The real kicker here? The film made a modest $20 million worldwide, but its eerie take on human interactions in dire circumstances makes it worth every minute.
3. The Girl with All the Gifts (2016)
A world overrun by zombies, but with a twist: kids can control their zombie cravings, making them humanity's last hope. Melanie, the film's brilliant young protagonist, is one such child. She adores her teacher Helen, and when their military base is overrun, Melanie, Helen, and a few others venture into a dilapidated London. As Melanie grapples with her dual identity, the film serves as a metaphorical playground of what it means to be human.
4. The Endless (2017)
Brothers Justin and Aaron receive a mysterious tape from a cult they'd escaped years ago. Curiosity (and maybe a dash of nostalgia) compels them to revisit, only to find that maybe the cult was onto something. There are strange loops of time, eerily unaged members, and a suggestion that an otherworldly entity might be in play. What stands out isn't the mind-bending weirdness; it's the tension between the brothers. By the way, the movie's budget was a mere $1 million.
5. Monsters (2010)
Imagine if after trying to cut a date night short, you end up on a risky journey through an alien-infested zone. That's the deal with Monsters. Andrew, a photojournalist, is tasked with escorting his boss's daughter, Samantha, from Mexico to the U.S., navigating through a quarantined area full of extraterrestrial creatures. But here's the twist: the aliens aren't really the monsters.
6. The Silence (2019)
A world where you have to be quiet to survive? Sounds familiar, right? But, The Silence offers its own flavor. The world is under attack from creatures called "Vesps", blind monsters attracted to sound. We follow 16-year-old Ally, who lost her hearing in an accident, and her family as they seek refuge. And yes, while the premise might remind you of a certain box office hit, this one's got its own story to tell. Plus, the cult subplot? Unsettling to the max.
7. How I Live Now (2013)
Who'd have thought a summer vacation could go so wrong? Daisy, an American teenager, visits her British cousins only to find herself trapped in the middle of a third world war. The film strikes a balance between war-induced anarchy and the personal, intimate story of Daisy and her cousin Eddie. Love amidst chaos might seem cliché, but it's the rawness of the film that captivates.
8. Stake Land (2010)
Zombies are done to death, but what about vampires? In a broken America, young Martin teams up with a vampire hunter simply named Mister. As they navigate this blood-sucking new world, the duo encounters religious cults, other survivors, and of course, hordes of vampires. But Stake Land isn't just a gore-fest. Trust me, it's more than just pointy teeth and wooden stakes.
9. Cargo (2017)
The Australian outback, an unforgiving terrain, becomes even more treacherous with a zombie pandemic. Martin Freeman plays Andy, a father trying to get his baby to safety before he turns into a zombie. The ticking clock element, combined with the vast, indifferent landscapes, creates a tension that sticks. It's a fresh perspective in a genre that often feels repetitive. Kudos to Freeman for portraying the desperation of a doomed father so convincingly.
10. The Domestics (2018)
Mad Max meets midwest America. After a chemical attack decimates the U.S. population, different gangs take over. Amidst this chaos, a couple, Mark and Nina, decide to journey through gang territories to reach safety. From the all-female gang of "Sheets" to the sadistic "Nailers", every stretch of road is a gamble. The kicker? It's not just about surviving; it's about the couple rediscovering their love amidst the carnage.