Film Recommendations for Young Adults: Dystopian Films
In previous volumes of our Queue It Up! film recommendation posts, we’ve taken a look at Police Reform Documentaries, Musicals and LGBTQ+ films. Today, let’s focus on the tried and true genre of YA fiction – Dystopias. All of these films are adapted from novels, so click on the accompanying links to reserve anything that piques your interest.
The Hunger Games Trilogy (2012-15) are the films that started it all. The hit film series (adapted from the wildly successful YA series by Suzanne Collins) follows Katniss Everdeen as she voluntarily takes her younger sister’s place in the Hunger Games: a televised competition in which two teenagers from each of the twelve Districts of Panem are chosen at random to fight to the death. The original trilogy of books was adapted into a quadrilogy film series, with the last book being split into two films. Oh, and now there is a prequel novel that will become a film. Confused yet? See the links below for a clearer explanation.
The Maze Runner Trilogy (2014-18) charted the same path as the Hunger Games. A best selling YA novel (by James Dashner) turned into a successful film series. This story follows Thomas, who wakes up trapped in a maze with a group of other boys. He has no memory of the outside world other than dreams about an organization known as WCKD (World Catastrophe Killzone Department). The book series contains five novels and one companion novella. To date, there have only been films made from the first three novels.
The 5th Wave (2016) follows Cassie (an Ohio high school student), who is on the run, desperately trying to save her younger brother. The world has been left in ruins after the first four waves of increasingly deadly alien attacks. Now comes…you guessed it, the 5th wave. The film adapts the first novel in Rick Yancey’s trilogy. So if you enjoy the film (and the first book), you’ll have two more books to enjoy.
Z for Zachariah (2015) starts off with Ann living an isolated existence thinking that she may be the only human left on Earth. Suddenly she is met with not one, but two more human survivors and complications quickly ensue. The Robert C. O’Brein novel that the film is based on came out in 1974, but the film (and the book too) speak to timeless themes that anyone can relate to.
The Circle (2017) is a look at our dystopian, technology obsessed present. A woman lands a dream job at a powerful tech company called the Circle (think Apple or Google), only to uncover an agenda that will affect the lives of all of humanity. It’s adapted from the novel of the same name by Dave Eggers.