There really aren't many movies that take place around Labor Day when it comes to the sci-fi and horror genre. The closest thing we can do to find theme-oriented entertainment for a holiday meant to "celebrate the American labor movement and the contributions that workers have made to the strength, prosperity, laws, and well-being of the country" is dig a little deeper and possibly discover some movies that feature men and women climbing the corporate ladder of a dystopian future or literally hellish work environment.
I've come up with some films (listed in no particular order) which would be appropriate to watch on a holiday such as Labor Day that I think genre fans would enjoy to either watch for the first time or revisit. There's a lot of exciting and dangerous jobs out there in the dark recesses of the future and even the hardest career of all, motherhood, can become a horrific burden to bear.
I think the synopsis of each film is enough to help you understand the career each character has taken and needs a break from this first Monday in Septemeber. However, I've highlighted the character's trade to help as well. Check out my list below and let me know in the comments of other ones you can think of.
A single mother, plagued by the violent death of her husband, battles with her son's fear of a monster lurking in the house, but soon discovers a sinister presence all around her.
Rick Deckard (Harrison Ford) is forced by the police Boss (M. Emmet Walsh) to continue his old job as Replicant Hunter. His assignment: eliminate four escaped Replicants from the colonies who have returned to Earth. Before starting the job, Deckard goes to the Tyrell Corporation and he meets Rachel (Sean Young), a Replicant girl he falls in love with.
In a violent, near-apocalyptic Detroit, evil corporation Omni Consumer Products wins a contract from the city government to privatize the police force. To test their crime-eradicating cyborgs, the company leads street cop Alex Murphy (Peter Weller) into an armed confrontation with crime lord Boddicker (Kurtwood Smith) so they can use his body to support their untested RoboCop prototype. But when RoboCop learns of the company's nefarious plans, he turns on his masters.
An honest marshal (Sean Connery) in a corrupt mining colony on Io, Jupiter's sunless third moon, is determined to confront a violent drug ring even though it may cost him his life. After his wife (Kika Markham) angrily deserts him, he waits alone for the arrival of killers hired by the company to eliminate him.
The Belko Experiment
An ordinary day at the office becomes a horrific quest for survival when 80 employees (John Gallagher Jr., Tony Goldwyn, Adria Arjona) at the Belko Corp. in Bogotá, Colombia, learn that they are pawns in a deadly game. Trapped inside their building, a voice over an intercom tells the frightened staffers that two workers must be killed within 30 minutes. When another ultimatum follows, friends become enemies and new alliances take shape, as only the strongest will remain alive at the end.
When young Regan (Linda Blair) starts acting odd -- levitating, speaking in tongues -- her worried mother (Ellen Burstyn) seeks medical help, only to hit a dead end. A local priest (Jason Miller), however, thinks the girl may be seized by the devil. The priest makes a request to perform an exorcism, and the church sends in an expert (Max von Sydow) to help with the difficult job.
30 Days of Night
In the far Northern Hemisphere, the small town of Barrow, Alaska, experiences a solid month of darkness every year. Though most of the residents head south for the winter, some townspeople remain behind. However, those that stay regret their decision when, one year, hungry vampires descend on Barrow to feed. Sheriff Eben (Josh Hartnett), his wife (Melissa George) and a dwindling band of survivors must try to last until dawn breaks over Barrow's monthlong twilight.
When a young woman is killed by a shark while skinny-dipping near the New England tourist town of Amity Island, police chief Martin Brody (Roy Scheider) wants to close the beaches, but mayor Larry Vaughn (Murray Hamilton) overrules him, fearing that the loss of tourist revenue will cripple the town. Ichthyologist Matt Hooper (Richard Dreyfuss) and grizzled ship captain Quint (Robert Shaw) offer to help Brody capture the killer beast, and the trio engage in an epic battle of man vs. nature.
A young wife comes to believe that her offspring is not of this world. Waifish Rosemary Woodhouse (Mia Farrow) and her struggling actor husband Guy (John Cassavetes) move to a New York City apartment building with an ominous reputation and odd neighbors Roman and Minnie Castavet (Sidney Blackmer, Ruth Gordon). When Rosemary becomes pregnant she becomes increasingly isolated, and the diabolical truth is revealed only after Rosemary gives birth.
John Hall (David Andrews) is a drifter who wanders into a small town in Maine. He needs a job and decides to seek employment at the community's top business: a large textile mill. He is hired to work the "graveyard shift" -- from around midnight to dawn -- and, along with a few others, he is charged with cleaning out the basement. This task strikes the workers as simple enough, but then, as they proceed deeper underground, they encounter an unspeakable monstrosity intent on devouring them all.
All of the movies above should be available to stream through iTunes, Amazon Prime, VUDU, or some other digital platform. Pick a couple and enjoy your day off from extensive labor. All work and no play makes Jack a dull boy.