Pre- and Post-Apocalypse Narratives and their Exposition of Human Fear

After our in-class discussion about the morbid fascination with post-apocalyptic narratives in a lot of modern media I’ve noticed an increasing amount of post-apocalyptic games, movies and TV shows. I’ve noticed two distinct archetypes many films/TV shows use to design post-apocalyptic narratives – the “post apocalypse” narrative and the “apocalypse discoverer/beginning-of-apocalypse” narrative. The former begins in the middle of a preexisting timeline and the narrative arc is generally contextualized as an individual narrative in a larger event or as a sequel to whatever happened prior to the apocalypse, while the latter is usually either done in a current events-based style that attempts to convey a sense of scale or in a “small group of people uncovers something dark that will end the world” sort of deal. I think that the pre-apocalypse movies seem to post-modernly convey fears of scientific progress overreaching medical progress as well as the fear that science will not progress as fast as nature and there will be some sort of violent reclamation of the world from humanity. Examples of this are almost the entire genre of zombie movies as well as films like Blood Glacier, the movie that prompted this post. Blood Glacier additionally contains post-modern fears of human overprogress in the form of global warming symbolism, making me think that this style of narrative is an attempt to play on the human fear of the potential that planet earth might eventually reject us (or that a god or gods will reject us, but the end result is the same). In the other style of narrative, the “post-apocalypse” one, fear of rejection is more implicitly religious in my opinion. Two post-apocalptic anime shows/movies in this style are Ergo Proxy and the infamous Neon Genesis Evangelion, both narratives that are both explicitly and implicitly tied to Gnostic theology and the post-apocalyptic departure of God.