Apocalyptic Fascination: A Semester Recap

One thing that we discussed in class that really stood out to me was the question of why apocalyptic films are so popular/so frequently made.  Many of my classmates gave excellent answers that I agreed with, but after it made me think about what I thought to be the real reason behind this fascination.  I concluded that our obsession with the end stems from our insecurity about not having a definite answer about how or why it will happen.

What each of the films throughout the semester did so well was that they created a world where the audience truly bought into the circumstance of their specific ending.  In each film, the rules and limitations of humanity were clearly laid out so that the audience could imagine themselves in similar situations.  What this does is makes us empathize and put ourselves in the shoes of the characters.  It almost becomes fun to imagine what we would do in these situations, but at the same time comforts us because we know that these circumstances are too far fetched to happen in reality.  Speculating every which way of how our world could end provides a sense of comfort, as we don’t have to face the realities of what really could potentially wipe out our existence.  Instead, we fantasize about tentacle-wielding aliens or living on a never-stopping train.

I personally find enjoyment in watching these films for similar reasons.  It is fun to imagine all of these scenarios, but being able to see the credits at the end and know that I can turn off the TV after is comforting.  I view these films as tiny ventures away from the inevitable reality that one day our world will end too.  Because I know this subconscious is shared by countless others, films like these will never go out of style.

To you, which film from the semester seems the most realistic in terms of an apocalypse that could actually happen?

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