Immeasurably more terrifying than any fictional horror film ever produced, Threads is arguably the most emotionally shattering piece of speculative fiction ever committed to celluloid. Produced for the BBC in the wake of mounting Cold War tensions, this thoroughly detailed portrayal of the violent destruction of the delicate and fragile threads of society through nuclear devastation is unrelentingly bleak, and much like the graphic depiction of the effects of radiation and nuclear fallout, slowly eats away at its audience as it relentlessly and unflinchingly details the horrifying demise of humankind for an agonizing 13 years following World War III. As each horrifying act unfolds, viewers are jarringly reminded of the casual indifference to which people approach war as they go about their day-to-day activities - constantly taking for granted not only their loved ones, but such simple things as food, electricity, and basic human interaction. In the face of the darkest hour in human history, Threads suggests that humans must approach nature and science with reverence and a certain amount of fear lest it unexpectedly blow up in our faces after it's already too late. Definitely not for the squeamish or faint of heart (though it could be said that it should be required viewing, especially to political leaders, as a reminder of the horrors that humans could have and still can inflict upon themselves), Threads offers none of the hopeful and comforting sentiments of its popular literary counterpart (Pat Frank's Alas, Babylon) and ends on a note that will be ringing in viewers' consciences for weeks to come. Albert Einstein once said, "I know not with what weapons World War III will be fought, but World War IV will be fought with sticks and stones." Threads boldly takes that sentiment a step further, offering that if indeed there is a World War III, there may be no one left to fight another war.
by Jason Buchanan review