The Best Survival/Prepper Movies

Looking for an extensive list of survival and apocalyptic movies? Then look no further. I’m outlining the movies I’ve enjoyed below. Whether it’s from the dawn of film or much more recent. I hope you find this film catalog useful.

This is a work in progress. I will update this post as I become aware of new and noteworthy content.

Survival Movies

Castaway (2000) – Chuck Noland (Tom Hanks) is en route to an assignment in Malaysia when his plane crashes over the Pacific Ocean. The sole survivor of the flight, Chuck washes ashore on a deserted island. When his efforts to sail away and contact help fail, Chuck learns how to survive on the island, where he remains for years.

127 Hours (2010) – While exploring a remote canyon in Utah, mountaineer and adventurer Aron Ralston (James Franco) becomes trapped when a boulder falls on his arm. Over the next five days, Ralston examines his life and considers his options, leading him to an agonizing choice: to amputate his arm so that he can extricate himself and try to make his way back to civilization or remain pinned to the canyon wall and likely die.

The Edge (1997) – The plane carrying wealthy Charles Morse (Anthony Hopkins) crashes down in the Alaskan wilderness. Together with the two other passengers, photographer Robert Green (Alec Baldwin) and assistant Stephen (Harold Perrineau), Charles devises a plan to help them reach civilization. However, his biggest obstacle might not be the elements, or even the Kodiak bear stalking them.

Prepper Movies

Alone in the Wilderness (2003) – Follow the story of Dick Proenneke on his journey of self-sufficient living in the Alaskan bush. I’ve personally watched this film many times.

TEOTWAWKI Movies

2012 (2009) – A man struggles to keep his family alive as a series of global catastrophes threatens to annihilate all of mankind.

28 Days Later (2002) – A man wakes in the hospital after humanity is has been nearly swept from the earth by a virus. A handful of survivors seek sanctuary from the infected.

Contagion (2011) – When Beth Emhoff (Gwyneth Paltrow) returns to Minnesota from a Hong Kong business trip, she attributes the malaise she feels to jet lag. However, two days later, Beth is dead, and doctors tell her shocked husband (Matt Damon) that they have no idea what killed her. Soon, many others start to exhibit the same symptoms, and a global pandemic explodes. Doctors try to contain the lethal microbe, but society begins to collapse as a blogger (Jude Law) fans the flames of paranoia.

Outbreak (1995) – A dangerous airborne virus threatens civilization in this tense thriller. After an African monkey carrying a lethal virus is smuggled into the U.S., an outbreak occurs in a California town. To control the spread of the disease, a team of doctors is brought in that includes a contagious disease expert (Dustin Hoffman) and his ex-wife (Rene Russo). Once the Army intervenes to handle the situation, though, the doctors must fight against the clock to save the town and its residents.

Resident Evil (Series)

Resident Evil (2002) – Milla Jovovich and Michelle Rodriguez star as the leaders of a commando team who must break into “the hive,” a vast underground genetics laboratory operated by the powerful Umbrella Corporation. There, a deadly virus has been unleashed, killing the lab’s personnel and resurrecting them as the evil Un-dead. The team has just three hours to shut down the lab’s supercomputer and close the facility before the virus threatens to overrun the Earth.

Resident Evil: Apocalypse (2004) – A deadly virus from a secret Umbrella Corporation laboratory underneath Raccoon City is exposed to the world. Umbrella seals off the city to contain the virus, creating a ghost town where everyone trapped inside turns into a mutant zombie. Alice (Milla Jovovich), a survivor from Umbrella’s secret lab, meets former Umbrella security officer Jill Valentine (Sienna Guillory) and mercenary Carlos Oliviera (Oded Fehr). Together, they search for a scientist (Jared Harris) who might be able to help.

Resident Evil: Extinction (2007) – Captured by the Umbrella Corp., Alice (Milla Jovovich) receives genetic alterations that leave her with superhuman abilities. Hiding out in the Nevada desert, she joins forces with former cohorts Carlos (Oded Fehr) and L.J. (Mike Epps) as well as new survivors Claire (Ali Larter), K-Mart (Spencer Locke) and Nurse Betty (Ashanti) to eradicate the virus that threatens to turn every human on Earth into a zombie.

Resident Evil: Afterlife (2010) – In a world overrun with the walking dead, Alice (Milla Jovovich) continues her battle against Umbrella Corp., rounding up survivors along the way. Joined by an old friend, Alice and her group set out for a rumored safe haven in Los Angeles. Instead of sanctuary, they find the city overrun with zombies and a trap about to spring.

Resident Evil: Retribution (2012) – As Umbrella Corp.’s deadly T-virus continues to turn the world’s population into legions of flesh-eating zombies, Alice (Milla Jovovich), the human race’s last hope, awakes deep within Umbrella’s secret operations facility. The further she delves into the complex, the more of her mysterious past is unveiled. Her global hunt for those responsible for the outbreak leads to a mind-blowing revelation; Aided by friends old and new, Alice fights to escape from a world on the edge of oblivion.


World War Z (2013) –When former U.N. investigator Gerry Lane (Brad Pitt) and his family get stuck in urban gridlock, he senses that it’s no ordinary traffic jam. His suspicions are confirmed when, suddenly, the city erupts into chaos. A lethal virus, spread through a single bite, is turning healthy people into something vicious, unthinking and feral. As the pandemic threatens to consume humanity, Gerry leads a worldwide search to find the source of the infection and, with luck, a way to halt its spread.

Post-Apocalyptic Movies

The Postman (1997) – Years after a major global conflict has left the United States in dystopian disarray, a nomadic traveler who becomes known as The Postman (Kevin Costner) wanders through towns in the Northwest, delivering old mail. Thanks to The Postman’s presence, people begin to believe that the U.S. government has been restored. During his travels, the Postman becomes involved with the lovely Abby (Olivia Williams) and clashes with the dictatorial Gen. Bethlehem (Will Patton).

I Am Legend (2007) – Robert Neville (Will Smith), a brilliant scientist, is a survivor of a man-made plague that transforms humans into bloodthirsty mutants. He wanders alone through New York City, calling out for other possible survivors, and works on finding a cure for the plague using his own immune blood. Neville knows he is badly outnumbered and the odds are against him, and all the while, the infected wait for him to make a mistake that will deliver Neville into their hands.

The Road (2009) – America is a grim, gray shadow of itself after a catastrophe. A man (Viggo Mortensen) and his young son (Kodi Smit-McPhee) wander through this post-apocalyptic world, trying to keep the dream of civilization alive. They journey toward the sea, surviving as best they can on what they can scavenge, and try to avoid roving gangs of savage humans who will turn them into slaves, or worse.

The Book of Eli (2010) – Thirty years after war turned the world into a wasteland, a lone warrior named Eli (Denzel Washington) marches across the ruined landscape, carrying hope for humanity’s redemption. Only one other man (Gary Oldman) understands the power of what Eli carries, and he is determined to take it for himself. Though Eli prefers peace, he will risk death to protect his precious cargo, for he must fulfill his destiny to help restore mankind.

Hunger Games (Series)

The Hunger Games (2012) – In what was once North America, the Capitol of Panem maintains its hold on its 12 districts by forcing them each to select a boy and a girl, called Tributes, to compete in a nationally televised event called the Hunger Games. Every citizen must watch as the youths fight to the death until only one remains. District 12 Tribute Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) has little to rely on, other than her hunting skills and sharp instincts, in an arena where she must weigh survival against love.

The Hunger Games: Catching Fire (2013) – After arriving safely home from their unprecedented victory in the 74th Annual Hunger Games, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) discover that they must do a quick turnaround and begin a Victors Tour. As she and Peeta travel throughout the districts, Katniss senses a rebellion is stirring. However, President Snow (Donald Sutherland) proves that he is still very much in control when word comes of a cruel change in the rules for the upcoming 75th Hunger Games.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 1 (2014) – Following her rescue from the devastating Quarter Quell, Katniss (Jennifer Lawrence) awakes in the complex beneath the supposedly destroyed District 13. Her home, District 12, has been reduced to rubble, and Peeta Mellark (Josh Hutcherson) is now the brainwashed captive of President Snow (Donald Sutherland). At the same time, Katniss also learns about a secret rebellion spreading throughout all of Panem — a rebellion that will place her at the center of a plot to turn the tables on Snow.

The Hunger Games: Mockingjay Part 2 (2014) – Realizing the stakes are no longer just for survival, Katniss Everdeen (Jennifer Lawrence) teams up with her closest friends, including Peeta (Josh Hutcherson), Gale (Liam Hemsworth) and Finnick for the ultimate mission. Together, they leave District 13 to liberate the citizens of war-torn Panem and assassinate President Snow, who’s obsessed with destroying Katniss. What lies ahead are mortal traps, dangerous enemies and moral choices that will ultimately determine the future of millions.


Mad Max (Series)

Mad Max (1979) – In a not-too-distant dystopian future, when man’s most precious resource — oil — has been depleted and the world plunged into war, famine and financial chaos, the last vestiges of the law in Australia attempt to restrain a vicious biker gang. Max (Mel Gibson), an officer with the Main Force Patrol, launches a personal vendetta against the gang when his wife (Joanne Samuel) and son are hunted down and murdered, leaving him with nothing but the instincts for survival and retribution.

Mad Max 2: The Road Warrior (1981) – After avenging the death of his wife and young son at the hands of a vicious gang leader, Max (Mel Gibson) drives the post-apocalyptic highways of the Australian outback, fending off attacks from nomadic tribes that prey on outsiders. Falling into an encampment led by the relatively peaceful Pappagallo (Mike Preston), Max at first schemes to steal their oil, but soon becomes the group’s reluctant defender against the hulking Humungus (Kjell Nilsson) and his ruthless marauders.

Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome (1985) – In the third of the “Mad Max” movies, Max (Mel Gibson) drifts into an evil town ruled by Turner. There he becomes a gladiator and gets dumped in the desert where he is rescued by a band of feral orphans who have been looking for help for years. When several of them take his appearance as a sign and go off into the desert, he follows them back to the town.


28 Weeks Later (2007) – Six months after the original epidemic, the rage virus has all but annihilated the population of the British Isles. Nevertheless, the U.S. Army declares the danger past, and American soldiers arrive to restore order and begin reconstruction. Refugees return to British soil, but one of them carries a deadly secret: The virus is not gone and is even more dangerous than before.

20 Years After (2008) – Everything that could go wrong did go wrong: War, Terrorism, Natural Disasters. Evacuees were ushered from the cities to refugee camps in the surrounding counties. In-fighting, famine, and disease took their toll on the survivors. Now, twenty years after the bombs fell and the plagues ran their course the few that remain live in fear and without hope. This Post-Apocalyptic Fairy Tale about a young woman’s journey to deliver the first child born in 15 Years.

Water World (1995) – [Think Max Max on the water] Most of the globe is underwater after the melting of the polar ice caps. Some humans have survived, and even fewer still, notably the Mariner (Kevin Costner), have adapted to the ocean by developing gills. A loner by nature, the Mariner reluctantly befriends Helen and her young companion, Enola, as they escape from a hostile artificial island. Soon the sinister Smokers are pursuing them in the belief that Enola holds the key to finding the mythical Dryland.

Babylon A.D. (2008) – In a post-apocalyptic wasteland, a battle-hardened mercenary, Toorop (Vin Diesel), lives by his own code and the credo kill or be killed. His latest assignment is to escort a young woman named Aurora and her guardian, Sister Rebeka, from Kazakhstan to New York. Facing danger at each turn, Toorop begins to realize that Aurora represents the last hope for mankind’s survival.

Reign of Fire (2002) – In present-day London, 12-year-old Quinn watches as his mother wakes an enormous fire-breathing beast from its centuries-long slumber. Twenty years later, much of the world has been scarred by the beast and its offspring. As a fire chief, Quinn (Christian Bale) is responsible for warding off the beasts and keeping a community alive as they eke out a meager existence. Into their midst comes a hotshot American, Van Zan (Matthew McConaughey), who says he has a way to kill the beasts.

Stake Land (2010) – Martin was a normal teenage boy before the country collapsed in an empty pit of economic and political disaster. A vampire epidemic has swept across what is left of the nation’s abandoned towns and cities, and it’s up to Mister, a death dealing, rogue vampire hunter, to get Martin safely north to Canada, the continent’s New Eden.

Snowpiercer (2013) – A post-apocalyptic ice age forces humanity’s last survivors aboard a globe-spanning super train. One man (Chris Evans) will risk everything to lead a revolt for control of the engine and the future of the world.

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