5 Scary Movies That Will Inspire You to Prep*

Scary Movie Night Ghosts

*4 scary movies, plus 1 movie for the whole family.

It’s spooky szn! We’re planning our horror movie marathons and stockpiling candy, but our minds never wander far from the disaster genre. It’s a good thing there are plenty of scary movies that feature disasters; they’re the perfect inspiration for preparing without boring ourselves to tears in the process. Let the Halloween viewing begin!

Without further ado, we present five films that will motivate you to work on disaster prep. Laugh, cry, and be utterly captivated by the ingenuity or ineptitude on display – all while sitting in the comfort of our own cozy couch. 

The Shining (1980) – Snowstorms

  • Genre: Psychological Horror
  • Our Summary: This Stanley Kubrick horror classic, based on Stephen King’s critically acclaimed novel, tells the story of the Torrance family’s experience as the winter caretakers of the haunted Overlook Hotel. This film will not only captivate you for every second of its 146 minute run time, it will also hopefully inspire you to prepare for blizzards and the unhinged behavior of anyone experiencing cabin fever.
  • Letterboxd Community Rating: 4.3/5 stars (1,300,000+ ratings and 126,000+ reviews)
  • Our Favorite Letterboxd Review: “Outstanding. I feel foolish for having put this movie off for so long. It’s beautiful, haunting, weird, confusing, and completely transfixing. Save for the crossfades and occasional quick zooms (all used to GREAT effect) this movie feels like it could have been made in the last few decades.” –Demi Adejuyigbe 

Shaun of the Dead (2004) – Zombies

  • Genre: Romantic Comedy… with zombies!
  • Our Summary: This movie will have you running to our zombie apocalypse guide! Shaun, a rather aimless and underachieving Londoner is caught in a rut: he’s stuck in a dead-end job and a troubled relationship. When the zombie drama begins to unfold, Shaun, his best friend Ed, and a group of survivors find themselves fighting to stay alive together. The film cleverly blends humor with elements of horror, making it a unique and entertaining take on the zombie genre. A romp you’ll never forget, especially the next time you’ve got red on you!
  • Letterboxd Community Rating: 4.0/5 stars (580,000+ ratings and 52,000+ reviews)
  • Our Favorite Letterboxd review: “This is what EVERY other zombie comedy ever is missing: a scene where the characters beat a zombie to death with pool sticks in-sync to Queen’s ‘Don’t Stop Me Now’.” –Maria

Nim’s Island (2008) – Volcanos

  • Genre: Adventure, Family
  • Our Summary: Here’s a (non-scary) movie for the whole family! As a child, HCTA team member, Sarah was inspired by Nim’s resourcefulness and wit as she explores her island’s volcano and defends it from invaders all by herself, while her scientist father is lost at sea. Nim does all of this while also contacting mysterious adventure novel author, Alex Rover. This movie, especially its adorable lizard and sea lion, captures hearts, however (not to be *that person*) nothing beats the original book! A perfect choice for a group that wants to be excited, rather than terrified.
  • Letterboxd Community Rating: 2.8/5 stars (15,700+ ratings and 800+ reviews)
  • Our Favorite Letterboxd review: “Nim really was ‘That B*tch’ and my elementary school *ss would’ve given ANYTHING to trade places with her like imagine living on an island in a treehouse that somehow has wifi and also a zipline and your best friends are a seal, a lizard, and a pelican and your step-mom is Jodie Foster like are you KIDDING ME ???” –Sindhu

Contagion (2011) – Pandemic

  • Genre: Medical Disaster Thriller
  • Our Summary: You probably already rewatched with everyone else on earth in 2020, but it’s time to break it out again! Contagion follows the rapid global spread of a deadly virus and the ensuing chaos as society unravels. The film delves into the panic, scientific efforts to find a vaccine, and societal breakdown that we also “enjoyed” IRL during COVID-19. This film underscores the importance of preparedness through its portrayal of the chaotic reality of facing an infectious disease outbreak, hopefully inspiring people to take preparing for future pandemics and endemic disease surges seriously. Get your flu shot already!
  • Letterboxd Community Rating: 4.0/5 stars (580,000+ ratings and 52,000+ reviews)
  • Our Favorite Letterboxd review: “The closest thing to ‘life imitating art imitating life’ we are likely to ever see.” –MJsays

The Impossible (2012) – Tsunami

  • Genre: Disaster Drama
  • Our Summary: Nothing supernatural about this entry: this is pure Mother Nature, and she’s bringing the pain. Based on a true story about the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, Maria’s and Henry’s idyllic family vacation to Thailand becomes a living nightmare when a terrifying roar rises from the depths of the sea. A giant wave devours everything in sight. The family’s resilience and fight to survive against all odds in the face of a devastating natural disaster will inspire you, while the intense visuals will have you running to our tsunami prep guide. Remember: preparation is the easiest and best way to maximize your chances of surviving a natural disaster! Practice your hill sprints if you enjoy spending time at the beach.
  • Letterboxd Community Rating: 3.6/5 stars (158,000+ ratings and 12,000+ reviews)
  • Our Favorite Letterboxd review: “The tsunami sequence is one of the most terrifying things I’ve seen in a film. The performances are fantastic. The story is incredible.” –Marianna Neal
  • Honorable Mention: “I should probably learn how to swim…. cause if this happened to me…… gone..” –st.10

Get out there and get scared! Then calm down and level up your prep game. Happy Halloween!

About the Authors

Sarah joined Here Comes the Apocalypse from her digital marketing work at Artsy Geek. Her Go- and Stay Bags contain matcha as a comfort item along with a massive power bank to stay connected.

It takes a village! We are researching, writing and fact checking as a family. Collaboration is the name of the game, whether we’re running from a zombie horde or finding the best way to turn a complex concept into a deliciously digestible set of bullet points.

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