7 post-apocalyptic movies to watch before you play Fallout 4

If Fallout 3 and Fallout: New Vegas are any indication, Fallout 4 is not going to be a walk in the park. And if it is, it'll be a park full of mutants and radioactive puddles and giant bees who won't stop stinging me. Either way, you'll need to be in the right headspace when this game comes out November 10th. And to put you in the mood, we've compiled a list of 7 post-apocalyptic movies you should watch before you start wandering the wasteland.

The Book of Eli (2010)

Director: The Hughes Brothers (From Hell)

Stars: Denzel Washington, Mila Kunis, Gary Oldman

When it came out, more than a few gamers noticed how this film's barren vision of a post-apocalyptic America looked a lot like Fallout 3. Which isn't that surprising when you remember that its writer, Gary Whitta, is a former game journalist and editor of PC Gamer (and a boss of mine). Even the plot — which has Washington and Kunis walking across the country to a supposed safe area, with Oldman's minions just one step behind — sounds like it could be DLC for a Fallout game.

The Road (2009)

Director: John Hillcoat (Lawless)

Stars: Viggo Mortensen, Kodi Smit-McPhee

Based on Cormac McCarthy's novel, this dark sci-fi film has Mortensen trying to get his son to safety after an unmentioned cataclysm has destroyed society. When not scrounging for food and other provisions, the two have to fight off cannibals and other unsavory types using their limited supplies. Granted, it doesn't have any mutants, radioactive puddles, or annoying giant bees, but it's still pretty Fallout-esque.

Zombieland (2009)

Director: Ruben Fleischer (30 Minutes or Less)

Stars: Woody Harrelson, Jesse Eisenberg, Emma Stone

After Book of Eli and The Road, you'll probably need something a little less dour, so take a break with this fun and funny zombie apocalypse tale. In it, Eisenberg tells us how to survive when the undead screw everything up, while Harrelson teaches us how to re-kill zombies and Stone shows that you can still maintain your cool when the world is going to hell. Between all the helpful tips, though, there's some good humor (though no Twinkies) as well as characters you'd actually like to hang out with while zombies run amok. Not like those Walking Dead jerks.

12 Monkeys (1995)

Director: Terry Gilliam (Brazil)

Stars: Bruce Willis, Brad Pitt, Madeline Stowe

In the future, people like Willis live underground because the surface of the Earth has been ravaged by a plague. To try and stop it, he's sent back in time, where he runs into both Pitt and Stowe as he tries to figure out who the 12 Monkeys are, and how he can stop them from starting the plague that ruined Earth. None of which is to be confused with the crappy show on SyFy show, in which the fire guy from the X-Men movies is sent back in time to bore me to tears.

I Am Legend (2007)

Director: Francis Lawrence (The Hunger Games: Mockingjay: Part 2)

Stars: Will Smith

Very loosely based Richard Matheson's novel of the same name, this has Smith as the lone survivor of a vampire apocalypse that he helped cause. When not trying to survive or listening to Bob Marley, Smith has to do the usual hunting and gathering stuff in a plant and animal reserve that used to be mid-town Manhattan. That's when this film hits home for those of us who grew up in the shadow of the Big Apple the same way Fallout 3 did for residents of Washington D.C., Fallout: New Vegas did for people who like gambling, and Fallout 4 probably will for Boston natives.

WALL-E (2008)

Director: Andrew Stanton (Finding Nemo)

Stars: WALL-E, EVE

Time for another break from the misery. In this animated film, one of Pixar's best, we meet WALL-E, a sentient vacuum cleaner left behind on Earth after all the garbage has driven the people away. Oh, and his BFF is a cockroach! But when EVE shows up to check on his progress, WALL-E woos the beautiful 'bot, albeit in a clumsy way that almost gets him killed six or seven times.

The original "Planet of the Apes" movies (1968-1973)

Directors: Franklin J. Schaffner (Planet of the Apes), Ted Post (Beneath the Planet of the Apes), Don Taylor (Escape from the Planet of the Apes), J. Lee Thompson (Conquest of the Planet of the Apes, Battle for the Planet of the Apes)

Stars: Charlton Heston, Roddy McDowall, Kim Hunter

After going into space to get away from people, Chuckles Heston and his pals land on a planet where humans are savages and apes are talkative and live in a pre-industrial society. So where's the apocalypse? Well, , the planet is actually Earth after a nuclear holocaust. After figuring this out, Heston spends the second movie hanging out with some humans who live underground and worship a nuke, while the third movie has his ape pals leaving, only to wind up in Beverly Hills in 1971, where they have a kid who, in film four, starts an ape revolution that results in the last movie, during which humans and smart apes live together while other humans live in a nuked city. Same old story, right? 

Fallout 4 will be out for Xbox One, PlayStation 4, and PC on November 10