Why I'm so Critical of Post Apocalyptic Stories

As anyone who follows me on Twitter knows, I tend to rip into post apocalyptic books, movies and games... a lot. I'll admit that it got a little crazy when I was stuck inside for two months with a back injury, I didn't have much else to do. I usually had a running commentary of each film I was watching, just ripping apart plot holes, inconsistencies or creative choices that I thought were lame. All with 140 characters or less. You'd be forgiven for thinking that I hate all these movies, especially the low budget ones, but there's a bit more to it than that. 

There was a time not too long ago, right up until the last decade, when fans of the post apocalyptic and dystopian genres simply had to accept what we were given. For every indie gem like 28 Days Later, we got a Dawn of the Dead remake or Resident Evil. We sort of had to just accept lesser quality films, which were obviously still watchable, because that's all that was available to us. 

 Don't get me wrong - I love this movie... but it's a bit shit.

Don't get me wrong - I love this movie... but it's a bit shit.

But then films such as The Children of Men, The Road, The Book of Eli and the grand Warlord of them all - Mad Max: Fury Road, were released and the bar was raised. With amazingly successful films such as these, which were profitable even in mainstream circles, I feel we're able to be a bit more discerning these days.  We don't simply have to accept lesser quality content because that's all that's available to us, we've got options now. 

 What the hell happ- oh hey, Kevin Zegers was in this too! 

What the hell happ- oh hey, Kevin Zegers was in this too! 

I don't rip on these films, or books, or games, because I don't like them, I rip on them because I expect more from them. The Colony had Lawrence Fishburne and Bill Paxton and it still managed to be shit, then The Rover came out with Guy Pearce and Robert Pattinson (and a much smaller budget) and it managed to be fucking amazing. The set up for The Colony was great and it had a pretty damn solid cast - so why was it shit? 

 So damn good, and not just because it's set in Australia. The mood was thick and tense the whole way through, you could feel how shitty and oppressive the world was. 

So damn good, and not just because it's set in Australia. The mood was thick and tense the whole way through, you could feel how shitty and oppressive the world was. 

I expect more from my post apocalyptic stories these days, I'm no longer willing to let the little mistakes slide in the hopes of fostering some future accomplishments. The genre is mature and established enough now that it's got responsibilities and expectations to meet. And when it doesn't meet those expectations, when it fails in its responsibilities, I'm sure as hell going to let it know.

Because I love it, so. 

 This is the bar now...

This is the bar now...