As we enter 2013 with a clean new year ahead of us, it’s always useful to remember that according to a bafflingly misconstrued ancient Mayan prophecy, we were all meant to have died here in 2012. So as you head into the New Year with hangovers the size of walruses; stop and take stock of some of the awful scenarios you could have been faced with back on 21st December 2012.
[REC] doesn’t strictly deal with hordes of rampaging zombies the way The Walking Dead currently does, but it does cover the outbreak of a violent, necrotising disease somewhere between flesh-eating zombies and demonic possession.
The film follows TV reporter Ángela Vidal and her cameraman Pablo as they follow a story of a woman trapped in a nearby apartment building. Upon arrival with the local fire service, however, it becomes quickly apparent that they are all trapped inside the building with a fast-spreading virus that’s turning its victims into increasingly frenzied and violent monsters.
Whilst [REC] doesn’t quite demonstrate the full capabilities of a Mayan apocalypse, it’s a film that leaves you with the haunting fear of what an outbreak like this could cost the human race.
One of the more popular theories for the ending of the Mayan calendar was that the earth would be plagued with natural disasters such as earthquakes, volcanic eruptions and tidal waves. Whilst we thankfully avoided that mess, it’s less than can be said for the characters of Korean movie Tidal Wave (Haeundae) who become embroiled in the midst of a vicious tsunami.
The film itself is as much about re-building as it is death and destruction. Unlike the disputable Mayan predictions, the audience is shown a life after the chaos of the apparent end of the world. The tsunami rages throughout Haeundae tearing apart buildings and families, ending with a distraught but hopeful feeling as the community of survivors gather themselves and begin to reconstruct their lives.
Where would any apocalyptic countdown be without Godzilla? The Mayan’s might not have made reference to a giant dinosaur-like creature emerging from the sea in a haze of metropolis destruction, but with most of the ocean floor left unexplored there’s nothing saying that it couldn’t happen.
1954 saw the first of the Godzilla films come to life as he/she crawled out of the sea to lay waste to the city of Tokyo and threaten the rest of the world with its impending doom. This urban assault burrows into a universal fear of everything from ancient creatures to alien invaders that is capable of tearing the world as we know it asunder.
The Tribe was a teen TV series that first emerged in 1999 and still has a cult following today, as well as a future cinematic film in the works. The series follows the struggle for survival of a rag-tag group of kids in a post-apocalyptic world. In their world, a virus has spread which targets anyone above a certain age, accelerating the aging process until they have passed away before they’ve made it out of their teens.
Set in a desolate, wasteland of an unnamed city in New Zealand, the series sets an interesting premise as not only the idea of a wide-spread pandemic taking out most of life but more-so how a child could cope with such events if left behind.
The Tribe marks one of the more credible possibilities of apocalyptic destruction, as the virus in the show is man-made and is susceptibly contagious similar to the zombie-like virus of [REC].
Extraterrestre has a combination of factors in it for the Mayan doomsday theorists. For the one part, it contains the widely popular notion that aliens would be coming to Earth (for attack, observation or otherwise) whilst also retaining the element that life goes on regardless.
The film deals with the aftermath of a one-night stand in which Julio wakes up next to his dream girl (who is sadly married) and then, thanks to a sudden alien invasion, he finds an excuse to hole up inside her apartment with her in a combined attempt to survive; her husbands presence is, however, a slight hindrance.
The film appears to lack all of the chaos and violence of the standard alien invasion, opting instead to concentrate more on human nature and how even our most shallow of desires must be fulfilled in the face of an impending apocalypse.
There are dozens of ways the Mayan’s could have chosen for the world to end but thankfully the message somehow got lost throughout the years. So, as we usher in 2013, it’s important to remember that there are probably a lot of apocalyptic films and shows you could be watching right now.
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