Fiction has the ability to create whole new universes, and it’s often home to magical places that we spend our days daydreaming about going to. Places like Hogwarts, Middle Earth, and Neverland have left fans wishing they could be there instead of being stuck in our comparably boring reality. We’re left pining for magical abilities, the chance to go to places beyond your wildest dreams, or even just the chance to meet your childhood crush, Hermoine Granger. Well, we could settle for Emma Watson, but we’re not too into muggles.
But there are some fictional universes you wouldn’t dream of going to in a million years. All the dystopias, dark fantasies and horror films create fictional worlds that you’re glad to keep as just that — fiction. Whether they are intended to warn us about a potentially dark future or just scare us senseless, even the most hardcore fans wouldn’t dream of going to some of these places. Whereas if Peter Pan came to take you to Neverland you’d jump at the chance, if Effie Trinket showed up trying to talk you into volunteering and going into the arena, you’d run for your life. That doesn’t make the stories or films any less awesome, but let’s just say some things are best kept as fantasies. So without further ado, here is possibly the worst holiday brochure you could ever read. Here is a list of 15 Fictional Universe We Don’t Want To Live In.
15. Game Of Thrones
The basic selling point of Game Of Thrones is that it’s completely messed up in a variety of ways. So anyone who knows even just a little bit about it would probably have the sense to know that their world isn’t a great place to live in.
It’s definitely not all sunshine and smiles, that’s for sure. And considering their frequent habit of killing off just about every character people like, we’re guessing the life expectancy numbers are pretty low in the world of Westeros. It’s not just the massive amount of deaths that are bad either — the little life you get is pretty weird. The world is full of incest, killer dragons, and cutthroat battles. Some adventurous types may think they’d have what it takes to survive in George RR Martin’s world, but the overwhelming odds say that they wouldn’t last nearly as long as they think they would.
And that’s not to mention the fact that everyone dresses like they’re in a racy period drama. Who would want to dress like that every day? That alone is just reason enough to say no. Throw in the never-ending battles, incest, and the killer army of undead that will soon descend on the world of man, and it’s an even bigger no.
14. The Hunger Games
Whereas most successful teenage film franchises like Harry Potter or Twilight have an army of fans wishing they could live in that universe or be in that story, The Hunger Games couldn’t be further from that. Any diehard fan probably couldn’t think of anything worse than being thrown into Panem or the dreaded Hunger Games themselves.
But for a moment, let’s put aside the part where a group of mostly poor children are forced to fight to the death to entertain the rich and scare the poor into subservience. Not that that isn’t validation enough for us to not want to live in this universe, but let’s look at all the other awful parts too. The majority of the population have been forced into a life of poverty and labor in order to serve the privileged few (who all look ridiculous, by the way). The whole society is corrupt and brutal, and it serves as a bleak reflection of all of our society’s darkest traits.
13. The Dark Knight Trilogy
Living in any superhero world would actually be pretty terrifying given the presence of supervillains and the frequency of city-destroying battles that come with it. But the Gotham in which Batman Begins, The Dark Knight and The Dark Knight Rises were based were both insanely dark.
Firstly, any universe in which the Joker is in is pretty scary. But this is not just any Joker, this is Heath Ledger’s Joker, perhaps the most notorious and terrifyingly unpredictable of them all. Just being in the same universe as him would be being too close for comfort — his terror and destruction know no bounds, and we certainly want to stay as far away from that as possible.
Of course, he isn’t the only guy to stay clear of, as Batman is constantly busy fighting crime and preventing Gotham from utter destruction. And unlike some of the hero’s previous incarnations, this universe is very dark and gritty and the world around it is set to a similar tone. All in all, it’s not the campy fun world of past Batman adaptations that made it seem like it was all fun and games.
12. Silent Hill
Silent Hill takes the implications of paranormal existence to a much higher level than most horror films. This isn’t just a ghost-in-your-new-house type horror film, this is a whole town of ghosts and monsters you’re trapped in. At the sound of a siren, the town transforms into a darker, alternative version of itself, one plagued with disfigured creatures and various monsters.
And while you might think you could be okay as long as you avoid Silent Hill and stick to the rest of the world, you might want to revisit that notion. If it’s possible it can happen to one town, it’s possible it can happen to more. In fact, in a universe where Silent Hill is possible, there is likely to be a few other haunted towns that transform at night, and who knows what they could transform into. And of course you could only find out by rolling the dice and finding out for yourself — something that is bound to be horrendously scary, not to mention life threatening.
11. Jurassic Park
A world where people bring dinosaurs back to life is terrifying enough, but a world where they make the same mistake of involving themselves with dinosaurs four times (and counting) is even worse. The Jurassic Park universe is one in which humans are monumentally stupid and mind-blowingly shortsighted, and the threat of dinosaurs seems to be a fairly regular occurrence. And if these people are stupid enough to bring back dinosaurs and allow it to go catastrophically wrong time and again, then who knows what other stupid things go on in this world.
The humans of this world seem to have more scientific knowledge than sense, so there is bound to be a range of weird experiments they’ve done that could lead to chaos. These are the kind of people who would let someone clone themselves infinite times just because they can, without realizing that there will now be an army of clones to deal with. Or they would discover how to time-travel and mess up all of history. Seriously, if they’re smart enough to make dinosaurs but not smart enough to know not to (at least by now), then who knows what else they’d get up to.
1984 was the dystopian novel that truly defined the genre. The dystopian world then hit the screen in a perfectly timed cinema release in the year (yeah, you’ve guessed it) 1984. The world in which it’s set is a bleak prediction of a totalitarian future. While some of the predictions may have already began to creep their way into the real world (CCTV — big brother is watching), here is hoping that we can avoid the nightmare society that is known in the story as Airstrip 1.
If the word dystopia didn’t put you off enough, then let us paint you a picture of what life would be like in the undesirable world which has terrified readers since the novel was first published back in 1948. Firstly, and most famously, the government monitors your every move with their freaky extreme surveillance. Secondly, the world is in a constant state of war. And thirdly, every facet of life is manipulated and controlled by the government. Oh and independent thought is a crime. You think that’s ridiculous? Well stop thinking, it will get you in trouble.
9. A Clockwork Orange
It seems like the British like their fictional universes to be bleak and miserable, as another famous British dystopia has cracked the list. A Clockwork Orange started off as a novel but got the blockbuster treatment courtesy of Stanley Kubrick back in 1971. It was the perfect match, as not only do the British dystopias make for the least desirable fictional universes, but Stanley Kubrick loves to creep us out too.
The story follows a sociopathic delinquent who is part of a widespread youth culture of extreme violence — his hobbies included committing violent crimes like rape. With this kind of violence having become a full-blown epidemic, torturous aversion therapies soon get put to use, making the society seem even more messed up. While the movie may be a classic that you could watch again and again with enjoyment, spending just a day in the universe of A Clockwork Orange could be enough to drive you insane.
WALL-E may be a very cute robot, but the universe he lives in is …well, not so cute. Despite being a Disney film, the world in which it is set is the basic premise of a dystopia: a bleak vision of the future. The film takes place in a world in which Earth has been abandoned after basically being turned into one giant garbage heap by humanity. It is the aftermath of a world that became overly capitalist and completely inconsiderate of the environment. Some would probably argue we’re not too far off that now, but let’s hope we never have to deal with the disastrous world in which WALL-E is set.
While space exploration may be advanced enough to travel to other planets, which is cool, losing our planet is definitely not great. Not to mention the fact that the human race seems to be completely reliant on the giant corporation Buy-n-Large and have become fat, devolved servants to capitalism. Being set 800 years in the future, it’s safe to say we will never have to live through it. Which is definitely a relief, because who would want to?
7. Spirited Away
Spirited Away fans may consider this blasphemous to say, but the whole situation is pretty messed up. Firstly, the No Face character looks like the kind of horror movie villain that would leave you with sleepless nights. Any universe with that thing wondering around is not one that we want to be a part of. And that’s just the part that was intentionally creepy, because in all honesty, even the parts that were supposed to be charming and magical were nightmare-inducing as hell.
Things don’t take long to get weird either. Early on in the film, young Chihiro stumbles into some strange abandoned area and her parents turn into pigs. Any world where your parents turning into actual pigs is a potential risk is not an ideal locale. The movie soon spirals further into weirdness, as every character she meets seems to look — whether they’re meant to or not — horrifying beyond all rational kids movie standards. From the terrifying witches with the giant heads to the talking baby, it seems there is no shortage in creepy characters in that universe. Life in the Spirited Away universe would be best described as one big bad acid trip, unless you’re viewing it from the safety of your couch. Then, it’s an absolute joy.
6. Final Destination
In this terrible, terrible universe, the only thing worse than dying is not dying. Because if you don’t die, you get strung along in a series of freak accidents until you do die. The concept of death hunting you down after you’ve had a near miss is terrible. Imagine narrowly avoiding slipping in the shower just once, and having to spend the rest of your life trying to avoid freak accidents as a result. You couldn’t use sun beds, do gymnastics, and oh — remember to avoid fences. Seriously, at least two deaths in the Final Destination franchise have been fence related.
Being constantly hunted down by death would be exhausting. You would get as sick of your life as we all got of the Final Destination films until they finally (pun intended) ended. Also, in this universe, any large-scale disaster is even more devastating than it already is in real life. There are never any survivors, because one by one they all get killed off in a freakish way — surviving just means a waiting game, and these not-so-lucky individuals oftentimes bring a few of their loved ones down with them. Imagine surviving a plane crash and then having the embarrassing death of being hit by a stray javelin or something. Life sucks, death sucks, and most of these films suck, too.
5. Battlestar Galactica
There is no shortage of fictional universes in which aliens cause mayhem for the human race. Everything from Independence Day to War of the Worlds has given us horror stories in which we are all doomed by an intelligent extra terrestrial lifeforce. But what makes the universe of Battlestar Galactica so much scarier than any of these is the intelligence with which every episode is crafted.
Maybe it’s the fact that the whole series serves as a kind of religious extremism parable that is shockingly relevant in today’s world, or maybe it’s just the horror of imagining being the only surviving members of humanity trapped on a ship with nowhere to go. But no matter how you look at it, the universe of Battlestar is a hostile one. Whether you look at the robotic Cylons or the secret humanoid ones living amongst everyone, there’s rarely a good day on board the Battlestar Galactica. And in a world where battles are fought and hard won only to directly segway into the next confrontation minutes later with no end in sight, we can’t imagine ever cracking the kind of smiles that some of our favorite characters do. There’s no denying that watching Battlestar is immensely more enjoyable than living it would be.
4. American Horror Story
Aside of course from the quality storytelling, the one thing that American Horror Story does unquestionably well is create creepy atmospheres that you would not want to step foot in. Ever.
The permanently eerie state that occupies every moment in this world is nothing in comparison to all the weird goings on that come with it. It is a world in which the supernatural and the super strange seem to have taken over, and every story seems to be twisted and dark.
The universe seems to be creepy in not just one place, but basically anywhere. In fact, the world of American Horror Story seems to have one basic principle: no matter what scenario you’re in, scary things are going to happen (and weird covers of songs will be sung). Everything becomes tainted — moving to a new house, going to the circus, and even staying in hotels. After all, this is a world where Lady Gaga might just be the least bizarre person you encounter that day.
3. Children of Men
The futuristic London of Children of Men isn’t too far off from a pessimists’ view of the world today — religious terrorism runs rampant, the world is an impersonal wasteland, and Clive Owen is underappreciated — but that’s ignoring the main plot point of the film. In a world where no one can have children and everyone’s all but ready to give up on humanity, one beacon of hope shines through the misery when a young woman shows up with a pregnant belly. So as Julianne Moore and Clive Owen try to get the woman to safety, even Alfonso Cuaron’s spectacular direction can’t make us want to live in a place with so little hope and even less Michael Caine.
Although the film is singularly special, it’s this specialness that makes the universe of Children of Men such a downer. And while we’re used to seeing fictional worlds in the aftermath of complete disaster – just take a look at this list and have your pick of post-apocalyptic adventures – Children of Men‘s setting just before the impending extinction of humanity makes it the kind of one in a million world that we can imagine living in just enough to never want to have to face it.
2. Black Mirror
Black Mirror has been called our generation’s The Twilight Zone, and while that’s accurate in that both shows are anthology horror series that will go down in history as being amongst the best in the history of television, there’s a reason The Twilight Zone isn’t on this list and Black Mirror is: believability.
Black Mirror‘s brand of horror is one that stems directly from technology that is conceivably only a few years away. In most episodes, this technology has consumed society in ways that we’re used to — a la Twitter, Facebook, YouTube, and all of the devices that you’re reading this article on — and the world is a scarier place because of it. Unsettling and raw in a way that most shows can’t dream of, Black Mirror paints its universe as a technologically convenient and incredibly seamless hellscape; a place so full of tech that’s meant to make our lives better that it’s ended up making it a whole lot worse. As a result, we’re left to watch Black Mirror peering out through our fingers, terrified of the world that it presents while potentially surrendering ourselves to it more and more with each passing day.
1. The Walking Dead
Most people have given some thought as to what they would do in a zombie apocalypse, and plenty of us spend our time playing games and watching films centered around such scenarios. But when it comes down to it, most of us would be pretty useless in a world populated by the undead — and not to mention terrified that a zombie is going to eat our faces off. And that’s why The Walking Dead universe is the perfect example of how little fun a zombie takeover really is. It would be constant work, and the long-running TV series demonstrates better than most films just how relentless it would be — that is if you survive long enough, which is already very unlikely.
Aside from the gangs of cannibals, lunatics, thieves, and rapists that Rick and his gang happen upon every season, and aside from the aforementioned zombies, even eating in The Walking Dead universe is a horrible task. Whether it be hunting for squirrels or chowing down on some gross expired stuff out of a can, there’s just no good meals to be had in post-zombie Georgia, and that makes us very sad. And yeah, the constant death of people near and dear to us wouldn’t be so great either. But the food thing for sure is no good.
Which of these worlds would you least want to step foot in? Are there any that you’d dare to visit? Let us know in the comments.