From murderous mayhem in The Purge to the grim dystopia of Soylent Green, writers have predicted very bad things for the next 12 months

It’s gotten rather tricky to calibrate the the annual relative quotient of tragedy. (For the future reference of misery-focused sociologists, that’s the ARQT.) 2021 was a year of tribulation closing out with a backslide into the same rampant viral spread that we saw in square one of the pandemic that just won’t end – but hey, at least it’s not 2020 anymore. As it becomes apparent that we will have to accept a few massive catastrophes as the new status quo, assessing the quality of life turns into a matter of degrees, weighing each fresh stretch of hardship against the last. It may prove some cold comfort to note that things have, by sheer numbers, gotten slightly better since last year. The corollary to this way of thinking, however, is the understanding that our circumstances can always get worse.

Just take a look at the films set in the year 2022, united as they are in agreement that something horrible is just waiting to happen. There’s a futuristic sheen to the number, as if a robot’s stuttering while giving a readout of two, that’s compelled a handful of film-makers to select this date as the point at which a major crisis comes to pass. Whether it’s a chance armageddon landing at an inopportune time or a boiling-over that our species has been building to for years, the movies have marked 2022 as cursed. The only hope as we approach the beginning of another year is that whatever challenges await us, they won’t have the terrible finality of the world-enders listed below. Read on for a smorgasbord of possible apocalypses imagined for the coming months, and take some solace in the small consolation that we have yet to start eating each other:

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