The year 2012 means terrible things for people who believe that the world will end along with the Mayan calendar on December 21. Thankfully, we have decades of movies to look back on and learn how to deal with whatever the apocalypse has to throw at us.
Biblical prophecies, Mayan prophecies and Jedi prophecies have all contributed to a rich legacy of cryptic future-telling in film, and whether or not they all came true, we love it when Roland Emmerich and Bruce Willis show us how things play out.
Depending on the source, Earth may overheat, its civilizations could crumble or the entire planet might just pop like a real-life Alderaan by the end of the year. So if end-of-the-world prophecies have you feeling glum, kick back and remember that our ten favorite movie prophecies were all make believe.
10. The coming of the Great Evil, “The Fifth Element” (1994)
Every 5,000 years, Earth has to deal with a destructive force that could end life as we know it, and this time around, Korben Dallas (Bruce Willis) and Leeloo (Milla Jovovich) are all that stand in its way. As far as apocalyptic events go, you can do a lot worse than Jovovich, and the film has an all-too-brief Luke Perry cameo to boot.
9. The Antichrist, “The Omen” (1976)
When it comes to the spawn of Satan, those of us who survived the turn of the millennium in 2000 will always be forced to remember “Little Nicky.” Luckily, however, we’ll always have “The Omen” as well. You just can’t replicate the ‘70s-style thrill ride that director Richard Donner’s film brought to theaters—though John Moore did try in 2006.
8. Satan’s child, “End of Days” (1999)
Far less subtle than “The Omen,” this explosion-fest heralded the arrival of the end times as only a movie starring Arnold Schwarzenegger and directed by Peter Hyams (the guy who made “Timecop”) could. The result turned out to be one of the most gratuitously violent romps of Schwarzenegger’s career, but it also gave us a lot to be thankful for when the year 2000 arrived without incident.
7. The Rapture, “Left Behind” (2001)
Buck Williams (Kirk Cameron) may not have been God-fearing enough to make it straight to paradise when all of the holiest people in the world vanished one day. He was lucky enough to have two sinful pilots flying his plane, though. Unfortunately, we were all punished with two long, grinding “Left Behind” films before President Louis Gossett Jr. arrived to help things move along in the third act.
6. The destruction of the Mayans, “Apocalypto” (2006)
Director Mel Gibson undertook one of the more noble feats of his career when he went back in time to get at the drama behind a previous, localized Mayan apocalypse. And we’ll say one thing for sure about his directing—Gibson knows how to make a little girl seem super creepy when she foretells the end of everything.