Prepper movies? I have your complete list here. The definition of “complete” varies, however. While it’s true that the list will never be “complete” (as new movies are constantly being produced), what one person calls a “prepper movie” another would not.
That was the biggest struggle I had in building this list, determining what a prepper movie is. That definition isn’t an easy one, and it’s the same problem I ran into building the complete list of post-apocalyptic movies (I’d recommend going there to see other movies that might interest you). Alternatively, if fiction isn’t your thing, consider our list of survival documentaries.
Take Red Dawn, for example. It’s not really a post-apocalyptic movie, but it does have survival elements and reflects survival in a situation many preppers prep for – world war. For that reason, it appears on this list as a prepper movie.
In the end, I just went with my gut feeling, what I call a prepper movie. I intentionally avoided any zombie movies, and while this post centers on “prepper movies,” the list also includes documentaries and television series.
Please! If you know of any prepper movies not listed here – leave them in the comments.
I will keep this list updated so that it grows and grows and grows.
Complete List of Prepper Movies
10 Cloverfield Lane (2016) 1hr 43min – After surviving a car accident, a woman finds herself in an underground bunker with two men. They tell her a massive chemical attack hit, and their only hope of survival is to remain inside. But what’s really going on?
127 Hours (2010) 1hr 33min – Based on a true story, a mountaineer and adventurer become trapped when a boulder falls on his arm. Five days pass as he considers his options, leading him to one choice: amputate his arm and try to make his way back to civilization or remain pinned to the canyon wall.
The Adventures of the Wilderness Family (1975) 1hr 39min – Gotta love these older family movies. They don’t make them like this anymore. Skip Robinson leads his wife, son, and daughter on an exodus from Los Angeles. At the site of their new home in the Rocky Mountains, Skip builds a log cabin, and the children befriend wild animals. They discover that, in the wilderness, each day brings its own adventure.
Alaska (1996) 1hr 49min – Jake Barnes ferries supplies in remote Alaska. He goes down in an airplane accident, and after the search party is called off, his two kids go off on their own to find him.
Alive (1993) 2hr 6min – Based on a true story. After a plane crash in the Andes mountains, members of Uruguay’s rugby team respond to their situation in different ways. Once all food runs out, they face a difficult choice: eat one or more of their deceased teammates, or die.
All is Lost (2013) 1hr 45min – During a solo sailing voyage, a veteran mariner finds his vessel taking on water after hitting a stray shipping container. With radio and navigation equipment disabled, he sails into a storm and barely escapes with his life. With supplies dwindling and the sharks circling, the sailor is forced to face his own mortality.
Alone in the Wilderness (2004) 57min – This documentary tells the story of a man who, in the 1960s, built his own cabin in Alaska. Using video footage he shot himself, he traces how he selected his site and built his log cabin. The documentary shows his day-to-day activities as he eked out a living alone in the wilderness.
Aftershock (2012) 1hr 29min – A group of travelers in Chile is in an underground nightclub when a massive earthquake hits. They quickly learn that reaching the surface is just the beginning of their nightmare. Bloody and gory.
A Gray State (2017) 1hr 33min – A man works on a film about a future in which the government limits civil liberties. When he and his family are found dead, conspiracy theorists believe they were assassinated by the government.
American Black Out (2013) 53min – A docudrama covering the impact of a cyberattack on the United States that takes down the power grid.
American Experience: Influenza 1918 (2018 PBS) 1hr – A documentary covering the worst epidemic in American history. As the killer virus spreads, hospitals hit capacity, death carts roam the streets, and city officials dig mass graves. It killed over 600,000 people. While this and the following documentaries aren’t “prepper movies,” they are still worth adding.
American Experience: Surviving the Dust Bowl (2019 PBS) 55min – A documentary detailing the stories of people who endured drought, dust, disease, and death for nearly a decade.
American Experience: The Crash of 1929 (2010 PBS) 1hr – A documentary covering the fateful year of the big stock market crash. The rich kept getting richer. Everyone believed in the stock market… and then…
AmeriGeddon (2016) 1hr 31min – A terrorist organization aligned with the United Nations disables the United States’ power grid and institutes Martial Law. A dedicated family of patriots armed with strong survival skills and the remains of the Second Amendment hopes to reclaim freedom.
Atlas Shrugged (2011) 1hr 36min – A three-part film based on the best-selling book of the same name. A railroad executive and a steel mogul form an alliance to fight the increasingly authoritarian government of the United States.
Blast from the Past (1999) 1hr 52min – A drama/romance film. Adam Webber has lived his entire life in a fallout shelter. When the family’s food supplies grow thin, Adam’s eccentric father sends him on a dangerous restocking mission. Adam learns that the rumors of a nuclear apocalypse were false.
Blindness (2008) 2hr 1min – A city is ravaged by an epidemic of instant blindness. Those first afflicted are quarantined in an abandoned mental hospital. Criminals horde food rations and commit horrific acts. A woman whose sight is unaffected follows her blind husband to quarantine.
Britain Blackout (2013 Documentary) 1hr 30min – A “documentary” on YouTube that shows a family who preps and the blackout that follows.
Bushwick (2017) 1hr 33min – A walks into a bloodbath on the streets of Brooklyn’s Bushwick neighborhood. Texas is attempting to secede from the Union, and militia forces have descended upon New York City. The woman takes shelter in a man’s basement, and he agrees to help her traverse the treacherous five-block stretch to reach her destination.
Captain Fantastic (2016) 2h – A drama/comedy. A man, his wife, and their six children live deep in the wilderness of Washington state. Isolated from society, the parents teach their kids to think critically, train them to be physically fit and athletic, and guide them in the wild without technology, demonstrating the beauty of co-existing with nature. When the mother dies, the father must take his children into the outside world for the first time.
Carriers (2009) 1hr 24min – When a virus threatens to wipe out humanity, two brother and their friends set out across the desert in the Southwest to escape the pandemic. The friends soon learn that the darkness within them may prove deadlier than the pandemic.
Cast Away (2000) 2hr 23min – A FedEx executive (Tom Hanks) is in a plane crash over the Pacific Ocean. The only survivor, he washes ashore on a deserted island. He learns how to survive on the island, where he remains for years, accompanied by only his handmade volleyball friend, Wilson.
Chernobyl Diaries (2012) 1hr 25min – A group of tourists hires an extreme-tour guide to take them to Pripyat, Ukraine, where the Chernobyl nuclear power plant was abandoned after the 1986 nuclear disaster. After exploring the ghost town, they find themselves stranded… and not alone.
Contagion (2011) 1hr 46min – A woman returns from a Hong Kong business trip, and attributes her malaise to jet lag. Two days later she is dead, and doctors tell her husband that they have no idea what killed her. Others start to exhibit the same symptoms, and global pandemic strikes. Society begins to collapse as blogger fans the flames of paranoia.
The Day After Tomorrow (2004) 2hr 3min – An enormous superstorm develops, setting off catastrophic natural disasters throughout the world. Trying to save a boy, a crew must travel to reach him before it’s too late.
Defiance (2008) 2hr 16min – Nazi soldiers are killing Jews by the thousands. Three brothers escape and take refuge in the forest where they played in childhood. Seeking a way to avenge their loved ones, the brothers turn their daily struggle for survival into a battle against the Nazis.
Deep Impact (1998) 2hr 1min – A comet could hit Earth and end all human life. The government keeps the crisis under wraps, but the reporter uncovers the truth, forcing the President to announce his plan. Astronauts will land on the comet and lay explosives, hopefully deterring it from its course. If not, humanity will have to prepare for the worst.
Dirty War (2004) 1hr 33min – A docudrama, London politicians believe they are prepared to deal with a terrorist attack. They are tested, however, when detectives fail to uncover an extremist plot in time. A “dirty” bomb detonates outside a subway station. The city must pull its resources together to prevent the terrorists from striking again.
The Divide (2011) 2hr 2min – A nuclear attack thrusts nine strangers together in the basement of their New York apartment building. They are trapped with no hope of rescue, and only horror on the other side of the door. As supplies dwindle and tempers flare, they become increasingly unhinged.
Doomsday Preppers (2011-2014) 44min – An American reality television show that profiled different preppers and assessed their abilities to survive different types of threats that could bring about the end of the world as we know it.
Dragon Day (2013) 1hr 35min – Duke is an NSA engineer who finds his family stuck in a small mountain town the day a devastating cyberattack destroys the country. Every microchip “Made in China” has been infected with a virus that shuts down modern technology. They fight to survive in a chaotic world without water, food, or power.
The Earthling (1980) 1hr 37min – Diagnosed with terminal cancer, Patrick Foley has returned to his native Australia to die in the peace and quiet of the wilderness. His plan is complicated, however, when he meets a young boy who just lost his parents in an accident, and takes him under his wing. Located far from any civilization, Patrick continues on his mission but decides to teach the child the skills he’ll need to survive after his mentor is dead.
The Endurance (2000) 1hr 37min – A historical documentary. The Endurance recounts one of the history’s greatest tales of survival, Sir Ernest Shackleton’s 1914-1916 expedition to Antarctica.
The Edge (1997) 1hr 57min – A plane crashes in the Alaskan wilderness. Together with the two other passengers, photographer Robert Green and his assistant devise a plan to reach civilization. However, his biggest obstacle might not be the elements, but a man who may be having an affair with his wife and would not mind seeing him dead.
Empire in the Sun (1987) 2hr 32min – A privileged English boy is living in Shanghai when the Japanese invade and force all foreigners into prison camps. He is captured with an American sailor who looks out for him. The boy maintains his dignity and youthful spirit, acting as a beacon of hope for the others captured with them.
First Blood (1982) 1hr 33min – Rambo! A classic movie. Vietnam veteran and drifter John J. Rambo (Sylvester Stallone) wanders into a small Washington town in search of an old friend but is met with disdain by the local sheriff. Rambo flashes back to his time as a POW in Vietnam and unleashes his fury on the officers. A manhunt ensues.
Goodbye World (2013) 1hr 40min – I watched this and other prepper movies while on the elliptical machine. It was… meh. Friends and strangers find shelter in a remote cabin after the collapse of the power grid lead to mass panic.
The Grey (2011) 1hr 57min – Alaskan oil refinery workers, led by a sharpshooter, are flying home when a storm causes their plane to crash in the frozen wilderness. Only eight men survive. As they trek toward civilization, they must battle injuries, icy elements, and a pack of hungry wolves.
Hannah (2011) 1hr 51min – Raised by her father in the Finnish wilderness, a teenage girl has trained all her life to be the perfect assassin. Her father sends her on a mission, and she stealthily makes her way across Europe while evading agents sent after her. As she draws closer to her target, Hanna faces startling revelations about her existence and begins to question her humanity.
Happy People: A Year in the Taiga (2010) 1hr 34min – A documentary that follows the indigenous people on the Siberian Taiga living in a village on the river Yenisei. The area can only be accessed by boat or helicopter. They live close to the land where time stands still.
How I Live Now (2013) 1hr 41min – Based on a novel of the same name, as the conflict in Europe escalates, an American teen fights to survive in the English countryside.
How it Ends (2018) 1hr 53min – In the middle of an apocalypse, a man tries to reach his pregnant wife thousands of miles away.
Into the Forest (2015) 1hr 44min – In the remote Pacific Northwest, two sisters fight for survival after an apocalyptic blackout.
Into the White (2012) 1hr 44min – Two World War II enemy fighter pilots shoot down one another’s planes over a desolate landscape. They then find themselves face-to-face on the ground. In order to survive, they must set aside the rules of war.
It’s a Disaster (2012) 1hr 30min – A drama/comedy, four couples having Sunday brunch become stuck together in a house when they learn the world is ending.
Jeremiah Johnson (1972) 1hr 55min – Now the list of prepper movies would be complete without this gem. A Mexican-American War veteran, Jeremiah Johnson (Robert Redford), heads to the mountains to live in isolation. Unequipped for the task, he comes across a seasoned mountain man who teaches him survival tactics. As life continues in the mountains, Johnson finds himself a native bride and an adopted son. However, their existence is threatened when Johnson angers the Crow Indians.
Jericho (2006 TV series) 45min – This is a very popular TV series among preppers. A mushroom cloud appears on the horizon and for the residents of a small Kansas town, it could mean they’re the only Americans left alive. Fear of the unknown propels Jericho into mayhem. Secrets are revealed, personal agendas take over and even the most sensible people become paranoid.
The Last Man (2018) 1hr 44min – Hayden Christensen plays a vet with PTSD who hears a street prophet proclaim that the end is near! He begins building a bunker beneath his apartment with the help of a loan from this boss. That loan comes with a caveat, however – Christensen has to take in the man’s daughter.
Leave No Trace (2018) 1hr 48min – A father and daughter live in Forest Park, a nature reserve near Portland, Oregon, rarely making contact with the world. But when a small mistake tips them off to authorities, they are sent on an erratic journey back in the world to find a place of their own.
MacGyver (1985 TV series) 48min – A questionable addition to this list of prepper movies, I know. Maybe it was my childhood memories of the show that pushed me toward adding it. MacGyver has an extraordinary knack for solving problems with everyday objects, which comes in handy when he creates a clandestine organization to tackle high-risk missions around the world.
Miracle Mile (1988) 1hr 27min – Musician Harry Washello sits down at a Los Angeles diner, where he takes an interest in the waitress (Julie). The feeling is mutual, so the pair arranges a date for later that day. But Harry picks up a random payphone call from a frantic soldier who warns of a nuclear attack that will hit L.A. Harry finds Julie and the two do everything they can to escape to safety.
Monsters (2010) 1hr 33min – NASA discovered the possibility of alien life and a probe was launched in order to collect samples. After crashing during the re-entry over Central America, new life forms appear. We follow the story of a US journalist escorting a girl back to the United States.
My Side of the Mountain (1969) 1hr 40min – Based on a book of the same name. Thirteen-year-old Sam Gribley decides to emulate his hero, writer Henry David Thoreau, by living self-sufficiently in the Canadian woods. He befriends both a local librarian and a traveling folk musician. All goes well until winter comes on.
Phase 7 (2011) 1hr 37min – English subtitles. A man protects his pregnant wife from their neighbors after the apartment is quarantined.
Prepper (2016) 1hr 39min – This movie was difficult for me to watch. The acting and dialogue needed improvement. A high school teacher undertakes a mission to prepare for impending doom and the total collapse of society.
Quest for Fire (1981) 1hr 40min – In the prehistoric world, a Cro-Magnon tribe depends on an ever-burning source of fire, which eventually extinguishes. Three warriors set out on a quest for more. They make their way across a treacherous landscape full of hostile tribes and monstrous beasts.
Red Dawn (1984) 1hr 53min – “Wolverines!” We all know and love this movie. World War III hits and mid-western high-school students become guerrillas. Love it? Here are 12 facts about the film.
The Reliant (2019) 1hr 56min – A currency collapse leads to rioting and anarchy. In the city of Zanesville, Ohio, one family prepares for a quick exit out of town. Rick, a father of five, having barely survived being caught in a riot, orders his children to quickly prepare to leave. Without weapons to defend themselves, they are resolved to try to hide from the ever-encroaching marauders all around them.
The Revenant (2015) 2hr 36min – A great movie. While exploring the uncharted wilderness in 1823, a frontiersman (Leonardo DiCaprio) sustains life-threatening injuries from a brutal bear attack. When a member of his hunting team kills his young son and leaves him for dead, he must use his survival skills to find a way back to civilization to seek vengeance.
Revolution (2012 TV Series) 43min – Fifteen years after an unknown event caused all electricity to stop working, plunging the world back into the dark ages, a small farming community enjoys a slower pace of life, but danger lurks. After the militia kills a man who supposedly had something to do with the blackout, his daughter and two others set out to find the truth about the past.
Right at Your Door (2006) 1hr 35min – After dirty bombs explode in Los Angeles, an unemployed musician seals himself in his house. However, his lover arrives home after the seals are in place and must remain outside.
San Andreas (2015) 1hr 54min – California’s San Andreas fault triggers a devastating earthquake. As the earth cracks open and buildings crumble, a search-and-rescue helicopter pilot must navigate the destruction from Los Angeles to San Francisco to bring his estranged wife and their daughter to safety.
The Second Civil War (1997) 1hr 36min – A satirical comedy. An immigration issue spins wildly out of control for those involved, ranging from the President of the United States to a news producer.
Seven Alone (1974) 1hr 35min – In the 1840s, a family decides to brave the journey to Oregon in hopes of a better life. While traveling along the trail, their wagon train is attacked by natives, which results in the father’s death. Then the mother dies of pneumonia. The oldest child must lead his brothers and sisters to the new life his parents wanted.
The Survivalist (2015) 1hr 43min – The Survivalist was an obvious addition to this list of prepper movies. A survivalist lives off of a small plot of land in the forest during a food crisis. Two women show up looking for food and shelter, threatening his existence.
Surviving the Game (1994) 1hr 36min – Based on the short story, The Game. When a homeless man hears about a job as a hunting guide for a group of wealthy clients, he gladly signs on and is taken to a cabin in the middle of a Pacific Northwest forest. The next morning, however, Mason is awakened to learn that he’s the prey the men will be hunting.
The Survivors (1983) 1hr 42min – Screwball comedy with Robin Williams. Two men meet on the unemployment line. Demoralized by how long it is, they go to a diner, where they witness a murder by, a notorious hitman. They soon realize that he is now targeting them. One of them cracks under the pressure and enrolls in a survivalist school to learn how to defend himself.
Swiss Family Robinson (1960) 2hr 6min – Based on the book of the same name, the Robinson family flees the reign of Napoleon to start afresh in New Guinea. When their ship gets wrecked, the family takes refuge on a deserted island. They learn to live in the wild, have various adventures, and build an impressive house in a tree. Life is good, and the question of whether to return to civilization looms.
Take Shelter (2011) 2hr 1min – Curtis Lafourche lives in a small Ohio town. He begins having terrifying dreams about an apocalypse that threatens the entire family. Rather than confiding in his wife, he begins building a storm shelter in the backyard. His strange behavior causes tension in the family and community.
Testament (1983) 1hr 29min – News breaks that a series of nuclear warheads has dropped along the Eastern Seaboard and in California. As people begin coping with the aftermath, the Wetherly family tries to survive. They try to support each other while taking in other survivors.
The Tomorrow Man (2019) 1hr 35min – Ed Hemsler spends his life preparing for a disaster that may never come, and Ronnie Meisner spends her life shopping for things she may never use. They try to find love while trying not to get lost in each other’s stuff.
They Live (1988) 1hr 34min – This one I added because it’s fun. A wanderer without meaning in his life discovers a pair of sunglasses capable of showing the world the way it truly is. As he walks the streets of Los Angeles, he notices that the media and government are comprised of subliminal messages meant to keep the population subdued and that most of the social elite are skull-faced aliens bent on world domination.
Threads (1984) 1hr 57min – No list of prepper movies is complete without this one. Young lovers’ quiet lives in Sheffield, England, are threatened when the Soviet Union and the United States go to war. After a nuclear attack destroys a NATO base 20 miles away, the town falls into chaos. They are separated as the fallout spreads, and she must struggle to survive alone in the post-apocalyptic landscape.
The Trigger Effect (1996) 1hr 35min – When a blackout hits, it doesn’t take long before Matthew and Annie start breaking the law to protect themselves, but when the power stays out for several days and violence erupts, they decide to drive to Annie’s parents’ home. They must stop along the way to steal gasoline, but those with resources are desperately guarding them.
Tremors (1990) 1hr 36min – A classic comedy. Residents in small, isolated town defend themselves against underground creatures which are killing them one by one.
The War Game (1965) 2hr – A hypothetical Chinese invasion of South Vietnam triggers a new world war between East and West. The anticipation of a nuclear attack leads to mass evacuations in a small town. When a stray missile actually explodes, the ensuing firestorm blinds all those who see it. It’s not long before the fabric of society is ripped apart owing to radiation poisoning, a lack of infrastructure, and rioting.
The Way Back (2010) 2hr 13min – Denounced by his wife as a spy in 1939, Janusz is in a remote Siberian labor camp. He is determined to escape. A blizzard provides the perfect opportunity, and he and a small group of fellow prisoners make a break for it. Escape was the easy part. They now face a 4,000-mile trek on foot through the frozen Himalayas.
There you have it – hours upon hours prepper movies for your enjoyment. Again, if you are seeing holes in our list, please add the movie to the comments section below. I can’t guarantee it will be added, but I want this list of prepper movies to be as complete as it can be.
So, what’s missing? What are your favorite prepper movies?
Left out PANIC IN THE YEAR ZERO. Classic.
It’s in the list of post-apocalyptic movies. Thanks!
The Last Man (2019) starring Hayden Christensen and Harvey Keitel, good story about our main character preparing for what he sees as doomsday approaching and his interaction with others who share his vision and some who are oblivious.
And on the lighter side, the 1984 movie Night of the Comet is worth a watch. Most life on earth is wiped out and our main characters have to deal with zombies and scientists who have their own agenda.
Thanks. I added The Last Man. Night of the Comet is on the zombie movie list.
The Day After (1983) The film postulates a fictional war between NATO forces and the Warsaw Pact that rapidly escalates into a full-scale nuclear exchange between the United States and the Soviet Union. However, the action itself focuses on the residents of Lawrence, Kansas and Kansas City, Missouri, as well as several family farms situated near nuclear missile silos.
The cast includes JoBeth Williams, Steve Guttenberg, John Cullum, Jason Robards, and John Lithgow. The film was written by Edward Hume, produced by Robert Papazian, and directed by Nicholas Meyer.
Over here, my friend: https://survivedoomsday.com/complete-list-post-apocalyptic-movies/
‘Follow the River’ 1995 made for T.V. movie. True story of a pioneer woman’s capture and escape from native Indians in Ohio. There is a book by the same name.
Good one – but I’m adding it to the list of survival movies.
The first few episodes of the Handmaids Tale shows how access to your money can selectively be controlled and stopped by ‘government’, as well as ending your job. So possible, very realistic.
Another good one, but I’m going to add this one to the list of survival movies as well.
Nomadland which recently won Oscar’s for Best Movie and Best Actress. The movie based on facts in the non-fiction book by the same title written by Jessica Bruder. The movie features real nomads acting in roles where they were portraying themselves. Modern application of how people survived the 2008 economic collapse.
A great movie, but not sure it’s a “prepper” movie. These are hard distinctions. While I can see why you’d suggest it, she doesn’t do much in the way of prepping. It’s more of a human story, albeit a good one.
lost horizons, either version. mars attacks, although the prepper family does not fare so well.
Great list Thanks several my Favorites.
Listed on the Post-Apoc movie list. Thank you.
Don’t know if you have added when the wind blows to your post apocalyptic movies (I’m literally just new to this post) but I would say it’s a prepper movie/cartoon as old Jim the main character is well prepared for the impending nuclear holocaust courtesy of his local library.
Yep, it’s there. Thanks!
Some good movies here no doubt. Did you consider Children of Men 2006, starring Clive Owen, Julianne Moore, Michael Caine and Chiwetel Ejiofor?
It’s in the post-apocalyptic list.
There was a movie/series I seen several years ago on TV. Can’t remember name. Hopefully someone can tell me. There was an event in LA area, a couple and son had to hide in their home until they ran out of food and were unsafe. The wife went bonkers and left in middle of night. The man and son left for “Idaho” as that is where the water was. They finally made it and lived on a small town, resorting to 1800 days of plowing /living. The man cut his hand, and died because there was no Antibiotics. The movie left an impression on me and I always HAVE Antibiotics on hand! Thankful!
Seems like title was a single word like “Virus” or “Plague”. I have been wracking my brain! The dad worked at hospital, a pandemic was spreading. Looters started moving thru city. Dad threw clothes, etc in the yard to make it seem the house had already been ransacked. Most of the neighbors had either already left town or died. Mom wanted to go to her sister’s in Idaho. Freeways were at a standstill.
I watched a faith based series called daily bread and it gave me some good ideas for prepping a bug out location. it is from 2017.