Sci-fi movies are some of the most loved films of all time, with their imaginative storylines and majestic universe’s to explore. The technology and science, which allow these films to become a reality, can be limitless from stunning space battles, to synthetic lifeforms and futuristic space travel, the possibilities are endless.
Some of the most iconic movies have come from science fiction with franchises such as Star Wars and Star Trek, creating films that have spanned nearly 100 years. However, the reality is that science fiction films have been around since the 1920’s with films such as A Trip to the Moon and Metropolis.
The amount of science fiction films that have been created throughout the years is almost too numerous to mention, but there are some must-watch films that should not be forgotten.
Blade Runner, released in 1982, is now seen as an iconic moment in sci-fi genre, telling the story of a thought-provoking dystopian future, where civilization is ruled by corporations, and people are judged on their ‘realness’ due to their artificial status. This film is unforgettable for its concept of futuristic technology and its hugely atmospheric visuals, a must see for anyone getting into the genre.
The Terminator, another film from 1980, starred Arnold Schwarzenegger in his prime playing a deadly robotic assassin, tasked with killing Sarah Connor. A cult classic now, this film was particularly advantageous for the pre-CG effects it achieved, as footage was sped up and reversed to create the unbelievable monster we know and love.
From the 1990’s, we have what is now seen as the greatest sci-fi film of all time, The Matrix, which has stood the test of time and is regularly listed on the IMDb top 250 films. Intelligently written by the Wachowskis, the Matrix broke new grounds with its innovative and thrilling visual effects, story and overall philosophical topics it touched upon.
The 2000’s provided us with some fantastic sci-fi moments, from brain-crunching minds-exchanges, to intergalactic co-living, and of course famous franchises like Lord of The Rings and Harry Potter. It also provided us with one of the most brilliant and underrated sci-fi films of all time Inception, starring Leonardo DiCaprio, a mind puzzle that weaves the dream worlds together to ultimately explore the boundaries of reality.
The 2010’s brought huge blockbusters such as Interstellar and Avatar, which both pushed the envelope of visual effects and featured some spectacular space vistas. It also showed the world that sequels can still be great, with Christopher Nolan’s adaptation of his Dark Knight trilogy, which was arguably one of the best film trilogies of modern times.
Sci Fi Animation
When it comes to science fiction, animation offers some of the greatest visuals and stories ever told. Films such as Akira and Ghost in the Shell, cemented the genre in a future landscape where visonery stories, and inspired visuals provided a new breed of sci-fi fan, who was looking something a little different from live action.
Studios such as Pixar, which have revolutionized animation, feature some iconic sci-fi moments, such as Wall-E and Monsters Inc., bringing the future to life through intricate story lines and characters, as they both explore the boundaries of human narrative.
Sci Fi Comedy
Whilst plenty of science fiction films are purely focused on the narrative and atmosphere, there is a slew of films that have come out in the past that offer the same tension and excitement, but of course with the added bonus of some comedy.
Films such as Back to the Future and Men In Black have become cult comedy classics, and show the world that science fiction and comedy can produce some truly laugh out loud moments. Even more modern films like Guardians of the Galaxy and Iron Man, moved away from straight action, and provided us with some of the funniest scenes of the 21st century.
Sci Fi Anime
One area of film, which has been making huge waves in the past few years, is Anime. Offering a world of endless possibilities, Anime has taken the world by storm, due to its stunning visuals, memorable characters and gripping stories.
Titles such as Attack on Titan, have helped raise global awareness on the genre, with its intensive post-apocalyptic world,, depicting a human race that’s left to survive against gigantic humanoid monsters. Anime is full of alternate realities, such as in Code Geass, where a weak nation is ruled by a powerful empire, and characters must rise to take over the world and bring justice.
Sci Fi Thrillers
Science fiction thrillers have become a staple in the genre in the past few decades, with films such as The Terminator, pushing the boundaries of mankind, as insectoid robots from the future attempt to assassinate Sarah Connor. The Matrix, a very underrated thriller, also moves away from traditional filmmaker, as a group of dragnet hacking computers penetrate the world of simulated reality.
More modern thrillers, such as Arrival, bring cinematic experience to a totally new level, which explores how a group of scientists must decode a strange alien language, in order to make contact with a species from a sophisticated and complex new world. Fast-paced, and exciting, Sci-fi thrillers are perfect for anyone looking for the full adrenaline package.
Sci Fi Westerns
The last big name in science fiction, is the Sci-Fi Western, where classic space exploration and science fiction conventions have been amplified with death-defying daredevilry, space maidens, and a lawless side of the galaxy. Movies such as Firefly, set in a far off future, chronicles the exploits of a renegade space ship, as they battle their way through multiple scenarios, to survive.
Even more classic western elements make the genre unique, such as in A Fistful Of Dollars, where Clint Eastwood stars as the mysterious man with no name, as he spins a grizzly western yarn in a far-off universe.
The timelessness of fantasy cannot be argued anywhere, and sci-fi fantasy movies are available in abundance. From the classic 2001: A Space Odyssey, to more recent entries such as The Chronicles of Narnia and Harry Potter, this type of film creates visual fantasy worlds, that appeal to a more youthful audience.
The newly released Ready Player One is a depiction of the world in a virtual universe, in which the protagonist competes for ultimate glory, as he embarks upon an epic journey. Jumanji is another classic entry into this wide-open genre, following a group of a teenagers, as they escape the world of the board game, and traverse into an exciting and dangerous land.
Science fiction horror movies such as Alien, bring a whole new meaning to the term ‘horror’, as we are taken out of our comfort zone and deep into an unknown environment, as a terrifying creature attacks its prey in an underground research facility. This is a classic example of unconventional horror, as it puts the viewer in a spaceship miles away from home.
More modern examples such as The Cloverfield Paradox, is set in space, as the team attempt to solve a catastrophic power shortage, only to find the mission become more extreme as a dangerous entity forces its way onto the ship. This type of horror often covers the aspect of fear, of what we do not know, and much of our imagination fills in the blanks, making it an unpredictable and riveting experience.