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5 Apocalyptic Films and TV Shows to Prepare You for ‘The Last of Us’

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With HBO’s The Last of Us mere days away, it seems like a good time to take a look at some other films and television shows to fill the small gap before the much-anticipated video game adaptation premieres. Long considered one of the biggest and best story-driven games of the last decade, fans around the world rejoiced when news broke of HBO adapting the world we’d come to love over nine years, two games and two remasters/reboots. If the wait is killing you, here’s a few suggestions for what to watch in the meantime…

1. The Walking Dead

the last of us
Andrew Lincoln as Rick in The Walking Dead.

“In the wake of a zombie apocalypse, various survivors struggle to stay alive. As they search for safety and evade the undead, they are forced to grapple with rival groups and difficult choices.”

Arguably the most famous post-apocalypse television show out there, The Walking Dead  recently came to its well-needed end with the season eleven finale. With its heavy focus on the drama involved in the lives of those attempting to survive in a world full of zombies, The Walking Dead manages to draw some meaningful comparisons to The Last of Us, if only to highlight the lengths some people will go to in order to ensure they’re the ones to survive and come out on top, no matter the violence or the cost.

Related: The Last of Us Creator Refused Sam Raimi’s Film Adaptation, Wanted ‘No Country For Old Men’ Style Instead of Sexier ‘World War Z’ Tone

2. Snowpiercer

the last of us
John Hurt as Gilliam (left), Chris Evans as Curtis (middle) and Jamie Bell as Edgar (right) in Snowpiercer.

“When the earth is frozen, only a few survivors of the human race are left and they board a train travelling the globe. Curtis leads a group of people wanting to control the engine and the future.”

Based on a french graphic novel, we’ve been treated to both a 2013 film and a Netflix television series, so you can take your pick of either. Whilst following the same premise, the film is a much better, tighter-knit adaptation of the graphic novel where the planet has succumbed to such a catastrophic climate-change event that to survive, humanity has to board a perpetually moving train. As is human nature, the train becomes a class-divide of it’s own making, with the rich at the front benefiting from the slave-like working of the less fortunate at the back. Staging a coup, the poor citizens end up unearthing all sorts of horrors and proving once again that when push-comes-to-shove, humanity will place survival over morality, another shared theme with The Last of Us.

3. 28 Days Later

the last of us
Cillian Murphy as Jim in 28 Days Later.

“After a mysterious virus wreaks havoc in the United Kingdom, a team of survivors tries to cope with the aftermath of the disaster and find security.”

Danny Boyle’s first foray into the zombie genre brought with it a new type of zombie for audiences to be terrified of, and whilst it’s debatable whether they are true zombies rather than rage-fueled humans as many say, the dread felt by both audience and characters alike is similar to that experienced in The Last of Us.

4. Cargo

the last of us
Martin Freeman as Andy in Cargo.

“Stranded in rural Australia in the aftermath of a violent pandemic, an infected father desperately searches for a new home for his infant child and a means to protect her from his own changing nature.”

The story of Joel and Ellie in The Last of Us is the emotional vehicle of the first game, with the game-play, setting and environments simply being the backdrop to their relationship. Very few games manage to capture a realistic relationship between two characters like Naughty’s Dog’s first venture into The Last of Us universe.

Cargo is a good example of the sort of lengths a father will go to in order to save his own child from the ravages of a post-apocalyptic world, and whilst the duo in the video game aren’t blood-related, their bond and relationship is close to that of a father and daughter. Cargo features Martin Freeman as he tries to find safety for his infant daughter, trekking for miles through dangers and death in an attempt to find someone to entrust her to before he succumbs to his own infection.

Related: “I hope you’re okay with your heart being broken over and over again”: The Last of Us Showrunner Craig Mazin Confirms HBO Adaptation Will Stay True to the Original Game By Neil Druckmann

5. The Road

The Last of Us
Viggo Mortensen as Man in The Road.

“In a post-apocalyptic world, a father must protect his son from a group of cannibals who have menaced the streets. They plan to head south, where there is a hospitable environment to live in.”

Arguably one of the most bleak post-apocalyptic films to date, The Road follows Viggo Mortensen as he attempts to save his son from the grasps of a cannibalistic group intent on using them for food. Not many films have showcased the depravity of the human race when faced with utter hopelessness, at least not like The Road.

As with Cargo, The Road follows a father and his child, both willing to do anything to ensure their survival, be it murder, self-sacrifice and more, which again isn’t far from what Joel does in The Last of Us.

There’s our picks for five films and tv shows to prepare you for the upcoming The Last of Us television show from HBO, but what else will you be watching before the premiere?

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Written by Luke Addison

Luke Addison is a writer for Fandomwire. He's an avid consumer of all things movie, TV, comics and gaming, especially Marvel.

Insta: @callmeafilmnerd
Twitter: @callmeafilmnerd