THX 1138 (1971)
The Bleakness: Humanity has become little more than a bunch of emotionless drones, with every feeling suppressed by drug cocktails and endless electronic monitoring. And there's definitely no sexy parties allowed.
Reasons To Be Cheerful: Wouldn't we all be happier (not that we'd know what happiness was) without the mess of emotion. Plus the cops all look like Debenhams mannequins sprayed silver, which is good for a laugh.
If we laughed, that is. Laughter's banned too.
Children Of Men (2006)
The Bleakness: It's 2027 and not a single person has been born for 18 years. Our world is slowly sliding into chaos with governments keeling over and seething immigrant hatred spilling over - Britain has essentially become the national equivalent of the UKIP. Shudder.
Reasons To Be Cheerful: No kids? No screaming, whining, sobbing, demanding little short bastards around to ruin our day with their grubby-faced nonsense? Where do we sign up!
V For Vendetta (2005)
The Bleakness: A tar-black future as originally imagined by Alan Moore and illustrator David Lloyd, we find 2034 Britain and totalitarian place ruled by the Fascist Norsefire regime. Anything less than absolute loyalty to the state is punished by imprisonment and "re-education" (pain).
Reasons To Be Cheerful: Britain runs the world! We're best! Better than America! Okay, so we torture and slaughter dissidents, but the fact that we're no longer a political joke in the world counts for something, right? Answer us!
And if you don't like it, why don't you dress up in a halloween mask and a silly cloak and go blow up some buildings or something, you pinko commie?
The Bleakness: World stupidity reaches its peak in 2505 and we're reduced to a mass of drooling, over-eating, careless slobs who watch awful movies and reality TV all day. Food and water (except for junk grub and the ever-present drink Brawndo) are in short supply and no one can remember how to run important services like hospitals. In short, it's next week.
Reasons To Be Cheerful: The top TV show, Ow, My Balls, is hilarious and the president (Dwayne Elizondo Mountain Dew Herbert) is one cool dude. Oh, and Starbucks gives out sexual favours! Score!
Plus, we like money.
The Bleakness: Red tape has essentially strangled the human spirit and the planet is ruled by one huge bureaucracy.
Ordinary folk are chewed up and spat out by simple accounting errors and if you're imprisoned by the government, you have to pay your torture bills. And anarchy is definitely not approved.
Reasons To Be Cheerful: If you love, wheezing, groaning, steam-gushing machinery everywhere, prepare to get happy! This place is loaded with them.
Escape From New York (1981)
The Bleakness: Raging world war has taken its toll on the US and the rest of the world, and much of the Earth is contaminated. New York, meanwhile, has become so crime-ridden that it's been cordoned off as a maximum-security prison, where gangs roam wild.
Good luck surviving that place…
Reasons To Be Cheerful: Life with one of the gangs is a riot of violence and the freedom to do whatever you want within the walls of Manhattan. It could be worse - you could have micro-explosives injected into your body and be blackmailed into rescuing the president, whose plane has crashed in the city.
The Matrix (1999)
The Bleakness: We thought we were so clever when we invented thinking machines - but of course the robots turned against us and now we're fuel cells for the artificial intelligence we once treated as a slave race.
Those who have been freed live a dangerous live in the sewers and only one human city - Zion - survives beneath the rubble. We're a dying breed, but we're fighting back…
Reasons To Be Cheerful: Is the Matrix really so bad? As Cypher (Joe Pantoliano) says, it might all be a fake cooked up by the computers, but you get to enjoy juicy steak, sexy red-dressed ladies and all the comforts of home.
And if you escape and break back in, you become a leather-clad warrior. It's all good.
Logan's Run (1976)
The Bleakness: The 23rd century seems like a decent place - we all live in a dome sealed off from the apparently harsh world outside, sex is for fun and our every need is taken care of by servo mechanisms.
There's just one catch - when you reach the age of 30, you have to die and if you refuse, you're hunted down by a Sandman - a death enforcer.
Reasons To Be Cheerful: No old people. Who needs 'em, with their complaining ways, their slow driving and their endless adverts for stairlifts?
And they'd only disapprove of the endless casual sex. Can it, granddad!
The Bleakness: After the reaper virus struck Scotland, the British government did the only sensible thing and walled the place off to stop the spread. A few decades later - when a team enters to find a possible cure for the freshly-spreading bug - they discover a ravaged land of medieval gangs, crazed psychopaths and Malcolm McDowell in a castle, putting people to death for fun.
Reasons To Be Cheerful: Having Malcolm McDowell as a brutal ruler doesn't sound all bad - at least he'd deliver death sentences with that cut-glass accent.
And it's a place where people can let their freak flags fly and truly have a blast.
I Am Legend (2007)
The Bleakness: Disease again, this time a man-made infection mutated from something created to cure cancer. New York is deserted save for Robert Neville (Will Smith), who must avoid night-roaming zombie/vampire-like creatures who scour the city looking for someone to eat.
Reasons To Be Cheerful: Do you know what the average rent is in New York? It's extortionate! Clearing everyone out except for blood/flesh-craving monstoids would give you the pick of living spaces, provided it's easily defendable.
The Terminator (1984)
The Bleakness: One of these days, we really need to learn to stop trusting robots and other devices. Because those electronic a******s, on the evidence of this, are just waiting to turn around and transform our planet into a barren, radioactive wasteland and hunt us all down to crush us beneath their mighty metal treads.
Reasons To Be Cheerful: Time travel exists, so you can really go places. And if you have rage issues that you need to work out, what better way than to join the resistance and take out your frustrations on a cyborg killer?
The Bleakness: Al Gore was right - we really have ruined the planet. Wall-E opens with a wind-whipped desert piled high with trash and disused vehicles. Humans have gone to wander the stars, waiting to return once Earth is cleaned up, but that's been forgotten as we turn into blob-like consumers.
Reasons To Be Cheerful: True, it's dusty, dirty and lonely, but Earth is also now quiet. Aside from one jaunty robot and his cockroach companion, the place is the perfect getaway if you're sick of the likes of Jordan and Susan Boyle.
Mad Max (1979)
The Bleakness: No law & order and leather-clad biker gangs randomly attacking people. You know the drill, though George Miller's action thriller largely launched them, so we can't blame him for using them. Australia "a few years from now" is not the place anyone would want to live unless they know how to drive and carry a shotgun.
Dick Cheney would love it. Everyone else? Not so much.
Reasons To Be Cheerful: Sick of people telling you how fast you can drive or who you can off with a rusty knife? Come to beautiful Australia Of The Future, where the rules no longer apply!
And if you live long enough, chances are you'll get to enter the Thunderdome, which looks fun.
Soylent Green (1976)
The Bleakness: Overcrowded, swelteringly hot and underfed, the residents of New York in 2022 are not happy. Severe rationing means everyone is starving and desperate and most people have to live in the streets or in hallways.
The law is kept by the likes of Robert Thorn (Charlton Heston), who discovers that something is up with the most famous food supply - Soylent Green wafers.
Reasons To Be Cheerful: Have you tasted that Soylent Green? It's delicious! It's so… so… filling. That's about all we got. Otherwise, the place is a tip.
Nineteen Eighty Four (1984)
The Bleakness: Crushed under the heel of a totally oppressive government, the populace of Airstrip One (formerly Britain) is lost in a mist of enforced thinking, state lies and strictly monitored life.
Big Brother is everywhere and dissent is strictly punished.
Reasons To Be Cheerful: But thankfully, Big Brother the show doesn't seem to exist in this world, so there's still some hope.
And independent thought is overrated anyway - it just leads to bad movies and worse pop songs.
They Live (1988)
The Bleakness: The society you think you're living in is a lie - the ruling elite are actually thin-skinned aliens who keep you quiet - and make you go on buying useless crap - thanks to a crafty signal running over the TV airwaves.
The only way you can perceive the truth is with special shades - at least, until the signal is destroyed and the extraterrestrial intruders among us are revealed.
Reasons To Be Cheerful: Since it's set in LA, it's not really a culture shock when people discover that aliens are wandering around.
Plus, all the creatures want to do is keep us buying stuff while they use up the world's resources. We've met the government, right?
District 13 (2004)
The Bleakness: Paris, France and the poorer suburbs of the city of lights are overrun with crime, drugs and gang wars. So the authorities do what they usually do in this situation - build a bloody great wall and walk away whistling from the situation, hoping no one notices.
Reasons To Be Cheerful: Everyone, it seems gets to do cool parkour stunts and run, jump and leap around/over/across obstacles. It looks really cool and keeps you healthy.
Well, except for the drugs and the gang war.
Planet Of The Apes (1968)
The Bleakness: It's the year 3978 and the Earth is ruled by Apes and monkeys after war leveled human society and breeding experiments resulted in intelligent simians ripe to take over the joint.
Humans are slaves or hunted for sport by our furry overlords, who like getting their paws on us.
Reasons To Be Cheerful: Who doesn't love monkeys? Monkeys are awesome.
Here's a chimp washing a cat .
The Bleakness: Detroit, sometime in the near future. It's a terrible place to live as crime is everywhere, corporations run the government (and care about nothing but profit) and the consumer society has, as usual, gone nuts.
Oh, and the police are always threatening to go on strike, because they keep being killed/underpaid.
Reasons To Be Cheerful: Waa waa waa… What a bunch of crybabies! The world of RoboCop is brilliant! The board games let you nuke people! The 6000 SUX is a sweet ride and you can get a proper robotic replacement heart, provided you've got the money.
And have you heard OCP is coming out with this cool-looking robot police officer? ED-209, they call it. Bet it works really well.
A Clockwork Orange (1971)
The Bleakness: In a shocking vision of a future Britain, nasty thugs wander the streets looking for people to beat up and houses to invade just for the fun of it…. Sorry, this is supposed to be the future, isn't it?
Reasons To Be Cheerful: Great stuff like Beethoven is still around and still appreciated. And even Singin' In The Rain gets some love.
Also, who doesn't enjoy a little of the old ultra-violence?