Blockbuster Existential Angst by Christa Thomas.

HungerGames-NYET539-AP-676x450Dystopian movies aren’t new. From Fritz Lang’s silent classic Metropolis (1927) to The War of the Worlds (1953), and Blade Runner (1982), they’ve long been a staple of cinema.

What is new is the rise in popularity of these films and the veritable slew of them in recent years. Nightmarish futuristic visions of human misery are now regular blockbusters.

The volume of dystopian films raises questions about why audiences are drawn to this kind of screen angst.

Over the course of the last 20 years, movies with dystopian themes have been appearing more frequently. While there were approximately 130 film releases in this category during the 1980s, the number already sits at 175 for the 2010s, and will likely reach at least 300 by decade’s end.

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