Tag: Dystopia


Harmony dir. Michael Arias & Takashi Nakamura (2015) Feature-length anime postulating a dystopia based on total healthcare. Padded to bursting point with information dumps (in faux-philosophical voice-over), Harmony tries at once for a SF thriller vibe, a teenage rebellion/right-to-die terrorism plot and an epic tragedy/romance, achieving only a confused mess.

Psycho-Pass, Season 1

Psycho-Pass, Season 1 (Fuji TV, 2012-2013) Japanese anime that postulates the cyberpunk-esque tracking down and stamping out of latent criminals by state-sanctioned deviants and their police handlers. Dark, stylised, and graphically violent, Psycho-Pass spurns all hint of cutesy to deliver on its premise. A disturbingly plausible near-future dystopia.    


Pawn by Aimée Carter (Harlequin Teen, 2013); audiobook read by Lameece Issaq (Audible, 2013) Carter portrays a near-future American dystopia worth fighting against. Kitty is a strong protagonist but her insistence (however laudable) on doing what’s morally right comes across as just frustratingly silly given the unmitigated and continuous black-and-white villainy of those she’s up against.    

The Knife of Never Letting Go

The Knife of Never Letting Go by Patrick Ness (Walker, 2008); audiobook read by Humphrey Bower (Bolinda, 2011) A young adult quest with genuine moments of high emotion but also a relentless, dour futility that cries out for—yet in this first book of the trilogy, doesn’t afford—resolution. Bower’s audiobook reading is grist to the grimly dystopian first-person narrative.    

The Fifth Wave

The Fifth Wave dir. J Blakeson (2016) A not-terribly acted alien invasion film introducing young adults to the soul-destroying clichés and tropes infesting the genre. While The Others plot dystopian sequels, we learn only that teens (both as characters and viewers) are considered incapable of recognising a plot hole.    

Dollhouse, Series 2

Dollhouse, Series 2 created by Joss Whedon (2009-2010) Dollhouse series two carries itself like a show that’s seen cancellation in its future, hastening with dour determination towards a dystopia now seemingly inevitable (although thankfully Enver Gjokaj has his show-stealing acting moments). Much of the original appeal falls by the wayside.  


Priest dir. Scott Stewart (2011) In a pseudo-futuristic dystopia, an excommunicated warrior priest confronts inner demons and a newly spawned vampire threat. The premise may not inspire but the plot at least hasn’t been twisted to throttle itself, allowing moody quiet moments to mollify the over-the-top action.