With the possible exception of Mike Judge’s Idiocracy, just about any post-apocalyptic movie worth its salt will bum you out. In fact, it’s part of the genre’s perverse appeal: the bleaker a film’s vision of a future dystopia, the more rousing and life-affirming it seems. (There’s nothing like slipping into the cinematic hellscapes of The Road Warrior or Children of Men to get the blood pumping.)

Maybe that’s why Snowpiercer is both oddly comforting and joltingly strange. The English-language debut of acclaimed Korean director Bong Joon-ho (The Host, Mother), it chronicles the plight of Earth’s few remaining survivors, who are all huddled on a train that’s been traversing the planet for the last 17 years. Significantly dark, this sci-fi film is also lyrical, funny, and occasionally self-indulgent. It’s a bumpy ride, but one well worth taking.