There is arguably nothing in cinema more strikingly appealing and terrifying in equal measure than the sight of a major city completely devoid of life. 28 Days Later, I Am Legend, and even Pixar’s family animation WAll·E have unsettled and intrigued audiences with shots of desolate cityscapes. And the same is set to happen with survival thriller The Road. Here’s the trailer…

Adapted from Cormac McCarthy’s award-winning novel of the same name, The Road follows an unnamed father (Viggo Mortensen) and his son (Kodi Smit-McPhee) as they journey across a post-apocalyptic wasteland, some years after a cataclysmic event has destroyed civilisation and darkened the sky.

Haunted by memories of his wife (Charlize Theron), who took her own life some time before the journey, the father is determined to get his son safely to a better place – if such a place exists – as they encounter bands of cannibals and desperate gangs.

Opening with scenes reminiscent of a Roland Emmerich-style apocalyptic adventure, the trailer soon takes on a harrowing feel and bleak look (cinematographer Javier Aguirresarobe worked on 2001 chiller The Others as well as this year’s Twilight Saga: New Moon).

The Road is set to be sobering viewing in the New Year, but will it also prove a worthy adaptation of McCarthy’s much-praised novel?

The Road is released on 8 January 2010.