Guest / Limited Access /
Everything's Turning Up Apocalypse
ABC
Tony Goldwyn and Kerry Washington in 'Scandal'

If you, like me, scroll down the list of recent pieces in this column and feel like (save for Wishbone) there's a lot of hellfire and end-of-the-world cropping up in my titles—well, you're right. I get emails at least weekly about upcoming movies that deal with the Rapture or the tribulation or other end-of-the-world judgments (just got another today, in fact), and of course there's the Nic Cage Left Behind reboot in two months.

Actually, I haven't seen much of anything made recently that isn't about the apocalypse: an impending one, or the world right after one. Last week, I saw Snowpiercer, which is about a train-bound post-apocalyptic dystopia. I also saw the upcoming The Congress, a bizarre film about a futuristic dystopia in which people ignore their circumstances by drugging up, in which reality has been replaced by something else entirely, in which people have brought their own apocalypse down on their own heads.

Of course, I'm watching The Leftovers, which has already experienced its apocalypse or is waiting for it, depending on how you read it. And there's tons more on TV and the movies: especially obvious ones, like The Walking Dead and The Hunger Games. I wrote about a bunch last summer. Everyone thinks of these as apocalyptic.

But there are less obvious ones, too.

Apocalyptic stories are not just ones in which a catastrophe brings the world to an end. They're more than that. In apocalyptic literature, one way of life is ending, but another one is beginning. The stories pull back the veil on what "seems" real to show what's going on underneath. The book of Revelation is apocalyptic literature for just that reason. In Desiring the Kingdom, James K.A. ...

Subscriber access only You have reached the end of this Article Preview

To continue reading, subscribe now. Subscribers have full digital access.

Watch This Way
How we watch matters at least as much as what we watch. TV and movies are more than entertainment: they teach us how to live and how to love one another, for better or worse. And they both mirror and shape our culture.
Alissa Wilkinson
Alissa Wilkinson is Christianity Today's chief film critic and assistant professor of English and humanities at The King's College in New York City. She lives in Brooklyn.
Previous Watch This Way Columns:
Support Christian thought journalism. Donate to our nonprofit ministry today.
Read These NextSee Our Latest
Current IssueGive Us This Day Our Daily Chores
Subscriber Access Only
Give Us This Day Our Daily Chores
Why even our smallest routines are the stuff of worship.
RecommendedThe Broken Hands of Doctor Strange
The Broken Hands of Doctor Strange
What Marvel’s latest hero movie teaches us about engaging suffering.
TrendingWhy Do We Have Christmas Trees?
Why Do We Have Christmas Trees?
The history behind evergreens, ornaments, and holiday gift giving.
Editor's PickWhen Christmas Meets the ‘Umbrage Industry’
When Christmas Meets the ‘Umbrage Industry’
If history is any guide, there’s no escaping the hostilities that erupt every December.
Christianity Today
Everything's Turning Up Apocalypse
hide thisAccess The Archives

In the Archives

July 2014

To continue reading, subscribe now for full print and digital access.