As All is Lost makes its way onto Blu-ray and DVD on 28th April, we wanted to take a look back at some of the greatest survival films we’ve watched over the past few years!
Staying alive is no easy feat for the characters in our list of ten survival movies. Natural disasters and unfortunate accidents aside, survival instincts will always kick in, pitting the weak against the strong, the tactical versus the over emotional wreck.
From James Franco’s tortured journey in 127 Hours, to the epic journey in Life of Pi these are some of the most tortured survival stories. See if you can pick up some survival skills by watching some of these!
All is Lost is out on Blu-ray and DVD on 28th April – read our review here.
127 Hours: Critically claimed as well as being based on a true story, James Franco plays the role of Aron Ralston as he heads off for a day of exploration in the dusty canyons of Utah. But as luck would have it, not only does his trip end up lasting a lot longer than a mere day after having his arm trapped under a boulder, without having told anyone of his journey, it's up to him to find a way to free himself.
Buried: Outsmarting nature, finding means to stay alive, or simply reaching one's destination are usually the challenges protagonists are faced with when they must find ways to survive, but in Buried, lead character Paul Conroy played by Ryan Reynolds is left with nothing but a torch and a phone after being buried alive. Although we get to hear the voices of several characters, Reynolds carries this film with his performance. Just make sure to stay away from this one if you're claustrophobic.
Life of Pi: Suraj Sharma stars in the role of a young Pi Patel as he struggles to survive on a life boat after escaping a sinking ship. As if this wasn't hard enough, Pi soon finds out that he is drifting through the ocean with a furry but dangerous companion with an appetite. Based on the popular novel by the same name written by Yann Martel, this film confronts viewers with more than just a fight to stay alive, but a fight for one's beliefs.
The Road: What makes a good survival film is the story of someone's struggle to overcome impossible odds just to stay alive. If the forces of nature and starvation aren't enough, try cannibals and nationwide devastation. The Road tells a story of a man, Viggo Mortensen, and his son, Kodi Smit-McPhee, as they travel through the wastelands of a post-apocalyptic America, in hopes of reaching the south. Based on the novel by Cormac McCarthy, this film tells the tale of a journey for salvation.
Frozen: While not widely celebrated as some of the other films on this list, Frozen certainly gives you something to be afraid of that you didn't know would in the first place! Think less sister princesses and more wolves and hypothermia. Shawn Ashmore, Kevin Zegers and Emma Bell play a group of friends who get stuck on a chair lift during their winter holiday, but they soon realise that getting up is a lot harder than coming down.
Into the Wild: Following the true story of Chris McCandless, played by Emile Hirsch, as he tries to escape society in pursuit of his dream to live solely off of what nature has to offer. After graduating from University Chris abandons everything he owns and travels through North America until he finally reaches Alaska where he finds an abandoned bus to live in. While his survival skills help him to survive the wild at first, nature is soon against him.
The Grey: Liam Neeson plays the role of John Ottway who, together with his band of misfits, try to battle their way through the harsh Alaskan wilderness after their plane crashes. Though they soon realise that they are not alone, as they are hunted down by a pack of wolves who don't seem to leave them alone. Dealing with deaths and loss is the theme of this movie, as Ottway and his companions struggle to stay alive.
The Impossible: Taking place during the 2004 Indian Ocean tsunami, The Impossible shows Ewan McGregor as Henry and Naomi Watts as Maria, as they fight for their lives and those of their family in this disaster film. Both visually stunning for its depiction of the waters destroying everything in sight and heart wrenching for its performances by this films leading characters, you'll be glad by the end of this movie for the life that you have.
All is Lost: It says a lot about an actor’s capability to carry a film if he is the only actor in the entire piece! All is Lost follows a man as he tries to make it back to society, after his yacht is damaged by a shipping container floating across the ocean. Using only his wits he manages to keep himself from going under, but with sharks, scarce supplies and only the currents of the sea as a means to push him forward, his will to survive is put to the test.
Rescue Dawn: Taking place in 1965 after his propeller plane is hit, German-American Dieter Dengler is faced with an epic battle for survival after the plane crashes into the jungle. After being arrested by peasants, tortured by the Vietcong and sent to a prisoner camp, the film follows the story of Dieter as he befriends Duane and hatches an escape plan from the camp, after constant struggles to escape the friends discover that the jungle is their actual prison.