There are hundreds, if not thousands of survival movies out there and they are a great way of getting your head into gear when it comes to your own prepping and survival.
I absolutely love the survival genre of movies, especially those that are based on true stories, and when I find one I really like, I could watch it time and time again without ever getting bored.
Below, is my personal top 10 list (in no particular order), and all for different reasons. These are the ones that get me thinking, feeling, and more importantly, learning!
My Top 10 Survival Movies
Into the Wild
You don’t need human relationships to be happy, God has placed it all around us.
This movie is based on the true story of 19 year old Christopher McCandless who left his privileged life and promising future behind to become a back-to-nature wanderer in the 1990s. On the way, he encounters a series of adventures and people that will all shape him in a unique, meaningful way.
His eventual aim is to travel into Alaska, into the wild, to spend time with nature, with ‘real’ existence, away from the trappings of the modern world.
When he reaches Alaska, he finds he is insufficiently prepared and despite making it through the winter he prepares to return home in spring, only to find the frozen stream he crossed in the snow has become an impassable, raging torrent, and that he is trapped. With no means of sustaining himself adequately, he eventually starves to death in his so-sought-after isolation.
You can view the trailer for the movie below.
Don’t lose it. Aron, do not lose it.
127 Hours is the true story of mountain climber Aron Ralston‘s remarkable adventure to save himself after a fallen boulder crashes on his arm and traps him in an isolated canyon in Utah.
Over the next five days Ralston examines his life and survives the elements to finally discover he has the courage and the wherewithal to extricate himself by any means necessary, scale a 65 foot wall and hike over eight miles before he can be rescued.
Throughout his journey, Ralston recalls friends, lovers, family, and the two hikers he met before his accident. Will they be the last two people he ever had the chance to meet?
Check out the trailer below.
I knew this was coming. They were warning us.
It’s a post-apocalyptic world, several years after whatever the cataclysmic event, which has in turn caused frequent quakes as further potential hazards. The world is gray and getting quickly grayer as more and more things die off. A man and his pre-teen son, who was born after the apocalypse, are currently on the road, their plan to walk to the coast and head south where the man hopes there will be a more hospitable environment in which to live.
The man has taught his son that they are the “good people” who have fire in their hearts, which in combination largely means that they will not resort to cannibalism to survive. The man owns a pistol with two bullets remaining, which he will use for murder/suicide of him and his son if he feels that that is a better fate for them than life in the alternative.
Food and fuel are for what everyone is looking. The man has taught his son to be suspect of everyone that they may meet, these strangers who, out of desperation, may not only try to steal what they have managed to scavenge for their own survival, but may kill them as food.
Although life with his father in this world is all the boy has known, he may come to his own thoughts as to what it means holistically to be one of the good or one of the bad.
Meanwhile, the man occasionally has thoughts to happier times with his wife/the boy’s mother before the apocalypse, as well as not as happy times with her after the apocalypse and the reason she is no longer with them.
Check out the trailer below.
I don’t walk through this world with fear in my heart.
A crew of Alaskan oil-drillers find themselves in the wilderness after their plane crashes. As the crew tries to make a camp around the wreckage of the plane, they discover that they are being watched.
The plane has crashed near a wolf den, causing these creatures to aggressively attack the survivors. Separated from society, we start to see these characters for who they are instead of what they were made to be by their circumstances.
As Ottway sees his (now) companions picked off one by one, he questions himself, his companions, and the God he didn’t use to believe in.
Check the trailer out below.
Title Card: This story is based upon the true story of María, Quique, Lucas, Tomás and Simón.
Christmas Eve 2004. The Japan residing Brits, the Bennetts – husband and wife Henry and Maria, and their three sons Lucas, Thomas and Simon – have just arrived at the Orchid Beach Resort in Khao Lak, Thailand, for their Christmas vacation.
They are all at the resort’s pool area when, without warning, a massive tsunami hits. In the tsunami’s aftermath which results in a landscape full of carnage and destruction, the surviving family members, some with serious injuries, are separated from each other.
The first priority for each is to find at least one other family member so that he/she is not alone in dealing with the uncertainty of the situation. Once he/she is able to do so, they have to decide if finding the other family members, not knowing if they are dead or alive, should still remain the only priority, especially as some things become better known and as other things are still unknown, such as if another tsunami will hit which makes heading to higher ground a sound move for one’s own safety.
Along the way, each person will have to decide whether to help others, and conversely if others are willing to help them, most of who are facing the same situation of being injured and requiring medical assistance and/or are looking for missing loved ones, not knowing if they are dead or alive.
Life of Pi
Above all: don’t lose hope.
After deciding to sell their zoo in India and move to Canada, Santosh and Gita Patel board a freighter with their sons and a few remaining animals. Tragedy strikes when a terrible storm sinks the ship, leaving the Patels’ teenage son, Pi, as the only human survivor.
However, Pi is not alone; a fearsome Bengal tiger has also found refuge aboard the lifeboat. As days turn into weeks and weeks drag into months, Pi and the tiger must learn to trust each other if both are to survive.
Roberto Canessa: We’re gonna die, you know.
Nando: Maybe. But if we die, we’re gonna die walking
The amazing, true story of a Uruguayan rugby team’s plane that crashed in the middle of the Andes mountains, and their immense will to survive and pull through alive, forced to do anything and everything they could to stay alive on meager rations and through the freezing cold.
The only thing the team has riding on after losing so many of their good friends and family members is the slim chance of making it through alive and their faithfulness to God.
All is Lost
This is The Virginia Jean with an SOS call, over.
Deep into a solo voyage in the Indian Ocean, an unnamed man (Redford) wakes to find his 39-foot yacht taking on water after a collision with a shipping container left floating on the high seas.
With his navigation equipment and radio disabled, the man sails unknowingly into the path of a violent storm. Despite his success in patching the breached hull, his mariner’s intuition and a strength that belies his age, the man barely survives the tempest.
Using only a sextant and nautical maps to chart his progress, he is forced to rely on ocean currents to carry him into a shipping lane in hopes of hailing a passing vessel. But with the sun unrelenting, sharks circling and his meager supplies dwindling, the ever-resourceful sailor soon finds himself staring his mortality in the face.
We don’t need competition between people. There is competition between every person and this mountain. The last word always belongs to the mountain.
Back in 1992, New Zealand’s intrepid mountaineer, Robert “Rob” Edwin Hall, started guiding amateur climbers on Mount Everest. With his company named “Adventure Consultants”, he successfully led 19 clients to the summit without a single fatality–and his 1996 Everest expedition, which consisted of eight clients and three guides–was the perfect example about the increasing demand for expeditions to the Everest.
As a result, on 11 May 1996, Rob’s team was joined by Scott Fischer’s “Mountain Madness” company on a joint summit attempt, only to come face to face with the omnipotence of nature. In the end, when a furious blizzard struck, disaster was at hand.
Aha. Look what I’ve created. I have made FIRE.
Memphis-based FedEx operations executive Chuck Noland and grad student Kelly Frears have long dated and lived together, and despite each being the love of the other’s life, have not gotten married because of their respective busy schedules, especially Chuck’s as he is more often on business trips than he is at home.
That marital status changes when on Christmas Day 1995 as Chuck is rushing off to catch yet another FedEx plane for a business trip, he gives Kelly a ring. That flight experiences technical difficulties, and goes down somewhere in the south Pacific. In a life raft, a relatively unharmed Chuck washes up on shore what he will learn is a deserted island, he unaware what has happened to any of his fellow flight mates, or the plane.
However several of the packages on board for delivery do wash up on shore with him, those packages which he initially treats with respect. Chuck realizes that his priority is survival – which primarily means food, water, shelter and fire – and rescue. But survival is also in an emotional sense.
To fulfill that emotional need, he has an heirloom pocket watch with Kelly’s photo that she gave him as a Christmas present, and eventually opening the FedEx packages, a Wilson volleyball on which he paints a face and which he names Wilson. As time progresses, Chuck goes through a range of emotions, but if rescue is ever in the cards, he realizes that he has to find a way to get off the island, which is seemingly impossible in his circumstance due to the strong on shore surf he cannot get beyond without assistance.
What Chuck may not fully realize is the longer he is not rescued, the harder it will be for him to return to his old life in its entirety if he ever is rescued.
Although the thought of Kelly is what largely keeps him motivated to be rescued, Kelly, who probably believes him to be dead, may have moved on emotionally from him in the intervening time.
What are your top 10 survival movies? Let us hear them in the comments below.