Do-or-the-whole-world-dies scenarios hold tremendous appeal for me–which might explain why I write paranormal romance. In both PNR and urban fantasy novels, the continued existence of humanity is often at risk, and the heroes have their work cut out to save he day. Apocalypse is a mainstay of the genre.
No surprise then, that I’m also attracted to disaster flicks. I love the danger and the over-the-top action—the bombs exploding, the volcano erupting in the middle of downtown, the giant spaceship blasting a few cities off the map. But the true appeal of disaster flicks, for me, boils down to my deep-seated belief that no matter how bad things get, there will always be honor and courage and good people. I’m not so Pollyanna as to believe everyone will resist the pull of evil—I just need to believe some segment of the population will. That a few good men and women will never let go of their principles.
It was that belief that drew me to the trailer for The Road. I’m not usually a fan of stories that end on a dismal note, and I tend to avoid stories that I know will make me cry. I write romance for a reason—I love my Happily Ever After. But I went to see The Road anyway.
Yes, part of the attraction was Viggo Mortensen. Love that man. But the real draw was the intriguing concept of a father-and-son pair trying to survive while remaining the last hold outs of true humanity. I found myself curious about the courage it would take to face such a bleak existence and wondering if the movie would touch on that.
I wasn’t disappointed—it’s a post-apocalypse movie, and the heart of the story is the father-son relationship. And although it doesn’t end on a cheery note, I left the theater reaffirmed in my hope for mankind. Always the sign of a satisfying apocalypse story. I haven’t read the book by Cormac McCarthy, but I’ve borrowed a copy from a friend, and I intend to.
If you enjoy watching or reading apocalypse stories, why do you think they appeal to you?