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Lean Into Your Discontentment With These Movies Like ‘I Am Legend’

Apocalyptic themes kinda fit the bill right now.

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Movies Like I Am Legend
Warner Bros.

There seem to be two main camps of people when it comes to the 2007 post-apocalyptic film I Am Legend — those who loved it and those who, you know, didn’t. When the film first came out, it definitely received some mixed reviews from critics. If you’re here, it’s safe to say you’re a fan who appreciates the fact the zombie thriller starring Will Smith delivers on what it promises: genuine suspense and more than its fair share of jump scares. In it, Smith plays a virologist who survives a manufactured plague. Wandering Manhattan with his dog, he searches for other survivors, all while trying to use his own blood to find a cure or vaccine and dodging the now-mutant humans, who are out to get him. If you’re looking to get the same sort of thrill on your next movie night, these movies like I Am Legend should do the trick, whether or not they’re critically acclaimed.

In Den Of Geek, Rosie Fletcher muses about the film in 2021 through the lens of the coronavirus pandemic. They wrote, “Forget zombies, I Am Legend is an exploration of the pure horror of being alone — it’s resonant as all hell in the current climate where we know that hordes of other people exist but that they pose an actual threat of death. That loneliness is so acute that talking to a dog or a shop dummy — or indeed a plant, your computer, the TV — seems completely legit. Neville’s struggles with socialization once Alice Braga’s Anna is in the picture feel entirely authentic and familiar. Has he gone slightly mad from the loneliness and isolation, the film posits? In 2021, have we?”

At this point, we can probably agree we’re all a bit mad, right? And on that note, let’s lean into some of those dark, broody, and downright apocalyptic vibes with the following flicks.

Movies Like I Am Legend to Watch Next

1. Book of Eli (2010)

The Book of Eli is also a great movie about being alone in the post-apocalypse. Denzel Washington stars as Eli, who is making a trek 30 years after the world was decimated by war and some unspoken circumstances surrounding the sun — hence all the sunglasses, of course. Eli is making a journey in the hopes of saving humanity, but stay tuned for some other twists along the way.

2. The Day the Earth Stood Still (2008)

Jennifer Connelly and Keanu Reeves star in the 2008 remake of the classic 1951 sci-fi film, which means you can make a whole night of watching and comparing the two. In the movie, Reeves plays Klaatu, an alien visitor who comes to Earth with a message that something terrible will happen to the planet despite his being a “friend to the Earth.” Connelly, a scientist, and others work hard to figure out what he means and how to stop it, while her son, played by Jaden Smith, befriends the creature.

3. Contagion (2011)

This movie, directed by Steven Soderbergh, has a star-studded cast that makes it worth watching on its own. Marion Cotillard, Matt Damon, Laurence Fishburne, Jude Law, Gwyneth Paltrow, Kate Winslet, Bryan Cranston, Jennifer Ehle, and Sanaa Lathan star in this movie that shows the onset of a pandemic from various points of view. The film is a great watch, if only because it now feels very… normal. Writer Scott Burns told i09, “The thing Steven and I wanted to avoid was: I didn’t want the virus to be divine retribution or the result of a military conspiracy. I wanted it to be the result of life on Earth in its most mundane. To me, there’s something more frightening about what really truly happens in the world.” In 2021, we can attest to that.

4. Train to Busan (2016)

This Korean thriller is more horror zombie than anything else, so be forewarned. The film follows a father and daughter who decide to take a train as a zombie apocalypse begins to take the nation. At the last minute, an infected girl hops onto the train — effectively trapping everyone. Make sure you have someone to watch this one with you if you’re faint of heart.

5. The Happening (2008)

You know that if M. Night Shyamalan directs a movie, it’s going to be creepy. This one stars Mark Wahlberg and Zooey Deschanel as a husband and wife who, along with their friend John Alberto Leguizamo, are trying to avoid an invisible killer that apparently just comes out of the sky and causes violent, random deaths all over the country.

Even More Movies Like I Am Legend

  1. 28 Days Later (2002)
  2. 28 Weeks Later (2007)
  3. Children Of Men (2006)
  4. World War Z (2013)
  5. Cordon (2014)
  6. The Darkest Hour (2011)
  7. Oblivion (2013)
  8. I, Robot (2004)
  9. Snowpiercer (2020)
  10. Edge of Tomorrow (2014)
  11. District 9 (2009)
  12. Mad Max (1979)
  13. After Earth (2013)
  14. Daybreakers (2009)
  15. I Am Omega (2007)
  16. Carriers (2009)
  17. The Road (2009)
  18. Resident Evil (2002)
  19. The Colony (2013)
  20. A Quiet Place (2018)
  21. Outbreak (1995)
  22. The Omega Man (1971)
  23. Bird Box (2018)
  24. Cloverfield (2008)
  25. Stake Land (2010)
  26. The Invasion (2007)
  27. Chernobyl Diaries (2012)
  28. The Crazies (2010)

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