10 Haunting Dystopian Dramas That Will Keep You Up At Night

Do you like to be confused and disturbed but utterly intrigued? Then you have come to the right list. Dystopian stories often serve its audience as a critic of our reality. These stories often explore technology, but they also come up with ideas such as "what if everyone just could no longer have children?" or "what if there was a nuclear apocalypse?" They are stories that both capture the imagination but also teach harsh lessons about what humanity is capable of.

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So if you are feeling in the mood to be thoughtful and entertained, here are some dystopian movies and television shows that are worth at least one viewing (if not many!).

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Clive Owen and Clare-Hope Ashitey in Children of Men
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10 Children Of Men

Clive Owen and Clare-Hope Ashitey in Children of Men

Can infertility among humans create a dystopia? The 2006 film, Children of Men, proved that it could. Without children, everyone is on the brink of extinction and war has erupted everywhere. The movie opens with news that the youngest person in the world has been killed (and they are about 18-years-old!).

The movie follows the story of a woman who managed to get pregnant. She has the power to change the world, but too many factions want her for their own selfish gains.

9 Black Mirror

Striking Vipers Black Mirror Shared Universe

If you have not heard of Black Mirror yet, then you are an anomaly of current trends. This show is an anthology, with each episode exploring different dystopian stories. The show has been widely talked about for its creativity and exploration of how technology can go too far. Episodes have ranged from cynical, scary, and romantic.

They will definitely keep you up at night, as the episodes are known to have mind-blowing twists as well as just disturbing outcomes. They even have a movie now, "Bandersnatch," which is a must-see for its game-like platform. Whether it's dystopian though, can be debated.

8 I Am Legend

Based on the book of the same name, I Am Legend, was a memorable film for its feeling of isolation and madness. Will Smith's performance was particularly well done. Also, the film definitely takes some tear-jerking turns. Ones in which your friends will call you heartless for not shedding a tear.

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The film has been met with criticism by book fans, as the ending was done quite differently and some would argue even delivers a completely different and regressive message. Despite the differences between it and the book, the movie alone delivers a memorable dystopian story worth at least seeing once.

7 The Lobster

Now, this film is one of the weirdest on this list. The premise is that you either find a partner and get married, or you get turned into an animal of your choice. This ridiculous seeming concept is played out in the most deadpan way, making it shift from disturbing to sometimes silly. It's hard to find films similar to this one in its combination of humor and ruthlessness.

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The story follows David, who needs to find a partner or else he will be transformed into an animal. He goes to an institution of other singles who are looking for find someone within a limited set of time.

6 The Road

Similar to I am Legend, The Road is also based off of a book set in a world where humanity has mostly died out. Except there is a father and son instead of a man and his dog. Also, there are no monsters except other humans who are trying to survive.

What extinction event happened, we learn little to nothing about. The story focuses on just a father and son trying to survive in a cruel and bleak world. The film is known to be beautiful, but in a horrifying way. It's not afraid to be quiet and ask the difficult questions when it comes to survival.

5 Westworld

Both a film and a currently running television show, Westworld explores artificial intelligence. It takes the creative idea of creating a theme park full of the highest quality realistic people who are actually robots. However, the robots start to become self-aware and break the cycle of just doing what the park expects of them every day.

It's very easy to sympathize with the robot characters, as they begin to seek freedom and break away from a nightmare of being controlled for human entertainment. The television show also has some amazing twists that'll make your jaw drop.

4 Attack On Titan

Attack on Titan is not for the lighthearted when it comes to violence. This show has giants that eat people, and it does not mind showing it. If you can get past the violence though, the show is a dystopian drama at its heart.

The characters live in a walled off society that protects them from titans. However, there is way more going on than meets the eye. There are a lot of people that don't know about the Titans, and the premise centers on learning about them and what is beyond the walled-off city.

3 Akira

Akira is regarded as one of the best animated films and science fiction pieces of all time. We have it to thank partly for how anime became popular worldwide. There is no doubt that even if you have never seen this movie, that it has then at least influenced one of your favorites. The premise is that the main character is trying to save a friend from the government's secret project.

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As for the dystopian tropes, it's about as dystopian as you can get with themes such as the loss of humanity, corrupt institutions, and a post-apocalyptic world.

2 The Handmaid's Tale

Based on one of Margaret Atwood's bestselling books, The Handmaid's Tale TV show is a haunting dystopian story about women being treated as property in a world of plummeting birth rates, a totalitarian regime, and environmental disasters.

The show is continuing to run since it first aired on April 2017. In current times, the image of the women in their red outfits and white bonnets has become a symbol to serve as a warning when women's rights are pushed backward. The premise revolves around one of the few fertile women trying to survive and reunite with a daughter that was taken away from her.

1 A.I. Artificial Intelligence

In a way, this dystopian film is a very creepy re-telling of the fairytale, Pinocchio. Except instead of a puppet, we get a robot boy who can experience the emotion of love. The robot boy is adopted by a family whose original son was put into cryo-sleep due to having a non-treatable illness.

However, their family life does not last for various reasons and the boy is abandoned in the wilderness. He then explores a rather cruel world while looking for this mother. Haunting is a very fitting word for this film. It's odd and sometimes funny, but there is a cosmic loneliness in the story that is very hard to shake off.

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