6 Dystopian Fantasies That Will Never Be The Same Again After 2020

By | April 16, 2020

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When The Walking Dead premiered in 2010 on AMC, it made regular people wonder how they would handle such an apocalypse. It's a question that genre fans have been asking for decades, and everyone has a different answer. After the rise of the COVID-19 pandemic, however, it's clear that most of the media about the end of the world has it all wrong. There are no samurai swords, the government hasn't declared martial law, and humans haven't devolved into roving gangs of leather-clad psychos. So far, we've just stayed home.

Leaving Cities For The Country

Zombies will never die, both metaphorically and literally. Of course, zombies never existed in the first place, but people are drawn to fiction about zombies because it feels real. The zombie myth is eerily comparable to more mundane horrors, like pandemics and authoritarianism, so it gives audiences a safe place to play out those scenarios in their heads.

And in movies like Dawn of the Dead and TV shows like The Walking Dead, people tend to react to their terrifying new reality a specific way: They run. People leave their homes and band together in abandoned prisons, farms, and malls to stave off hordes of the undead as well as the living who have shed the last vestiges of polite society. In both stories, it takes less than a month for the living to flee the cities.

Recent events, however, prove this is a bad move. Rural areas are actually more likely to be at risk during a pandemic. The best way to stay safe is to stay put, not go running off into the wilderness to play cowboy.

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(Fox Searchlight Pictures)

People Tend To Work Together

28 Days Later, Danny Boyle's gripping dystopian tale about the total decline of society less than a month after a deadly rage virus spreads across England, didn't just reignite the slow vs. fast zombies debate. It fueled the idea that when crisis hits, everyone is on their own.

As strangely beautiful as Boyle's shots of the empty metropolitan streets and uncluttered highways of a post-apocalyptic world may be, humanity has proven time and time again that they're not going to turn on each other the instant the infected blood hits the fan. Not because we're inherently generous; it just makes sense. Outcomes are better for everyone when we work together, whether it's by organizing Zoom dance parties, multi-home movie nights, or testing the ill on the front lines. We don't tend to do well in isolation on a personal level, either.

This isn’t to say that no one is being a jerk, but on the whole, we're not killing each other for supplies. Maybe if the English soldiers in 28 Days Later were able to log onto Zoom, they could have danced out all that aggression.