Many would still recall Bong Joon-ho’s ‘Snowpiercer’ as one of the finest pieces of post-apocalyptic cinema. Inspired by the movie, a new TV show of the same name is also here, promising an equal amount of action, grit, and sci-fi melodrama. Both have a very distinct story that centers around the lives of the passengers of a train, which circumnavigates the icy ruins of a destroyed world. While the rich people of the train have the time of their lives, the poor struggle to survive in the impoverished conditions of its tail. With this, a harsh battle of the classes ensues, making several dark revelations of the coveted Snowpiercer.
If you’ve already seen both, you’ll probably be interested in watching shows and movies that adopt similar themes. So here’s a list of some of the best movies and shows that are very similar to ‘Snowpiercer.’ Most of the shows and movies listed below can be found on Netflix, Hulu, or Amazon Prime.
8. The 100 (2014-)
Based on a dystopian novel of the same name, ‘The 100‘ is a heavy-handed drama that brims with violence. Pretty much like ‘Snowpiercer,’ the show uses its gore to reflect upon its overt of themes revolving around freedom and community rights.
The show portrays a world where humans and pretty much every form of life has been wiped off after a nuclear disaster. The few remnants of humanity, who managed to flee into space stations before impact, have now survived. Among these are juvenile prisoners who live with other survivors on the Ark—a huge spacecraft that accommodates generations of survivors. Not being legally eligible for the Ark’s capital-punishment, the 100 juveniles are sent down on the planet as test subjects to deduce if the living conditions are safe. But once these prisoners are set free, a chaotic battle for survival ensues, with danger lurking in almost every corner.
7. Falling Skies (2011-2015)
With Steven Spielberg as its executive producer, ‘Falling Skies’ revolves around the lives of humans who have survived a global alien attack. Being the last few remnants of the dying human population, they join forces and decide to fight back to regain control over their planet. Because it involves the extraterrestrial—unlike ‘Snowpiercer’—’Falling Skies’ is not grounded to reality. Even so, it does have some dialed-down themes that deal with oppression and humanity implicit in crisis.
6. Under the Dome (2013-2015)
Adapted from a novel of the same name by Stephen King, ‘Under the Dome’ is about a small town that is abruptly cut off from the rest of the world, inside a colossal impenetrable dome. With growing chaos, the ones trapped inside it struggle to find ways to survive, while the ones outside try to rescue them. The show’s dense sci-fi plotting is compelling, and the credit, of course, goes to Stephen King. If you manage to stick around with this show for a while, you’ll also be able to notice its undertone of allegories that reflect on the ecological problems we face today.
5. Revolution (2012-2014)
Pretty much like every other entry on this list, ‘Revolutions’ is also set in a post-apocalyptic world where traditional government systems have collapsed, technology is thin on the ground, and law enforcement is almost non-existent. As a result, society begins to crumble under those who set out to seek power by instilling fear and violence. Several parallels can be drawn between ‘Snowpiercer’ and ‘Revolutions.’ But the most prominent themes that both the shows share revolve around freedom, oppression, and the value of community.
Movies Like Snowpiercer
4. District 9 (2009)
With the theme of social inequality at its core, ‘District 9‘ depicts a world where aliens are a minority on Earth and are forced to live in the most horrid conditions. Labeled as “Prawns,” the local government decides to relocate these aliens to District 9 from their ruinous slum. But that’s when a government agent discovers that there’s a lot more to District 9 than meets the eye. In many ways, ‘District 9’ alludes to real-life systems of institutionalized racial segregation that were once quite common in the world.
3. Train to Busan (2016)
At its surface, ‘Train to Busan‘ is another by-the-numbers zombie apocalypse thriller. But just like ‘Snowpiercer’, the whole setup of the movie is confined to a train where its passengers are completely trapped inside, post a zombie outbreak. ‘Train to Busan’ is bolstered with gory action and grit which—if not better—works as effectively as that of ‘Snowpiercer.’ And in all of its brutal glory, the film also has subtle metaphors of class rebellion, similar to ‘Snowpiercer.’
2. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)
Some might dismiss this as a mere adaptation of Roald Dahl’s children’s classics. However, there is a lot more to ‘Charlie and the Chocolate Factory’ than Johnny Depp‘s stellar performance, especially if we compare it with ‘Snowpiercer.’ And just so you know, there’s also a strange fan theory which suggests that it is a prequel for ‘Snowpiecer.’
For the unversed, the movie is simply about a poor young boy who wins the coveted golden ticket of Willy Wonka’s mysterious chocolate factory. Among other privileged kids from all over the world, Charlie happens to be the only kid who appreciates the Factory for what it is instead of being driven by his greed. If you take a closer look at the movie, with a second viewing perhaps, you’ll notice heavy commentary on classism right from its beginning. Moreover, both the films are primarily about groups who attempt to work their way up in a dark, fantastical construction.
1. Parasite (2019)
While ‘Snowpiercer’ was lauded with positive reviews after its release, ‘Parasite‘ created waves in the world of cinema. Even so, both the films, helmed by Bong Joon-ho, have quite a lot of similarities. To begin with, they heavily focus on class conflicts between the rich and the poor while satirizing it in a very clever manner. Moreover, both films involve a whole lot of violence and eventually end on somewhat of a despairing note. So if you loved Bong Joon-ho’s ‘Snowpiercer’ and you haven’t seen ‘Parasite’ yet, this one should certainly be on top of your watch list.
Read More: Snowpiercer Ending, Explained