Quiz: Is this a Horror Movie or Climate Change Documentary?
If the existential threat of our time were an asteroid or alien invasion, Hollywood has shown us what to do. "Welcome to earth," we'd quip as we punch an alien in what we think is its face. Unfortunately for us, the greatest threat to life right now is un-punchable, economy-crushing climate change. Marxist theorist Fredric Jameson has a famous quote that goes: “It has become easier to imagine the end of the world than the end of capitalism." Seeing as saving ourselves from climate change means overcoming capitalism, the pool of film heroes to emulate is quite sparse.
Beginning with the pioneering stop-motion of The Lost World in 1925, nature run amok is a theme that reliably strikes fear in our hearts. The most famous films in this genre are, of course, Alfred Hitchcock's The Birds (1963) and Steven Spielberg's Jaws (1975). It's like as much as we try to harness the environment and claim we are its masters, our lizard brains know the truth: we are inextricably connected to nature, and thus also yoked to its destruction.
As climate change (and the warning from experts) grows more urgent, it turns out the truth is stranger than fiction, or at least more terrifying. Below, I've compiled a list of both documentaries and horror films about the environment — can you tell which is truth and which is fiction?
1. The Thaw
At a remote Arctic research station, four ecology students discover the real horror of global warming is not the melting ice, but what's frozen within it.
Thousands of people converge at a private airport shielded by the military in France for a last attempt to save our planet.
A man lives off the grid on a small plot of land deep in the forest. Can he last?
Damage to the Earth's ozone layer causes wild behavior in high-altitude animals.
Everything is at stake in these five stories about the battle for the survival of Earth.
Birds in Half Moon Bay, California attack people in response to the devastating damage they're inflicting on their habitat.
An invisible threat weakens the Earth's life-support systems. Is the solution to save humanity beyond reach?
8. The Cove
A group infiltrates a cove near Taiji, Japan and exposes a shocking conspiracy.
Nuclear action between the United States and the Soviet Union causes hysterical panic.
Are sharks or man more destructive to life?
A plan to tap the geothermal energy of the Earth's interior could cause serious repercussions.
12. Take Shelter
Fearing the worst from a coming storm, a man builds an elaborate storm shelter in his backyard.
The lives of remote islanders are threatened when a grim discovery about the ocean is uncovered.
Answers: Horror: 1,3,4,6,11,12 Documentary: 2,5,7,8,10,13