Underrated Science Fiction Films
Science fiction is a tantalizing genre that pushes your imagination to the limit. The ability of great films and stories to hint at what the future may possibly hold immerses you in the world created within. Although science fiction began to rise in popularity during the mid-to-late 1960s due to the rise in fame of authors like Ray Bradbury and Isaac Asimov, it took a few decades before science fiction on television and the big screen was accepted and widely watched.
Within the past decade film series like the massive Marvel Cinematic Universe and The Hunger Games have brought amazing science fiction and fantasy ideas to the general public. Like any film genre, there are always classic movies that don’t perform so well at the box office or just don’t manage to attain the popularity and word of mouth that other films do. Here’s a curated list of 5 amazing recent science fiction movies that will tease you with possibilities and make you think about the future.
This movie is an amazing sci-fi thriller that combines a suspenseful alien abduction story with superhuman powers and reality-bending occurrences that leave you on the edge of your seat for the entire film. The Signal follows three college students who encounter an alien as they attempt to find a mysterious hacker who has been taunting them. Post-encounter, the students find themselves in a strange government facility for observation. The story takes many twists and turns from this point, with an unexpected and mind-blowing ending. The special effects are astounding for the low budget, and the acting is superb. Though The Signal did not turn a profit in theaters, it was critically acclaimed at Sundance Film Festival.
From its first moments with the main character Sam Bell on a lonely lunar mining outpost on the far side of the moon, you’ll be instantly thrown into his cold and minimal world. Sam is almost finished with his 3-year stint working by himself on the mining outpost, where he oversees the automated mining of Helium-3 to ship down to Earth. But conversations with GERTY, Moon’s version of 2001’s HAL, seem to be hinting at something ominous — and Sam is getting sick. This film is stunning in both Sam Rockwell’s (the actor playing the part of Sam Bell) performance and in how the world is constructed.
Aleksei German’s last film before his death, Hard to Be A God follows one of thirty scientists as they travel to a brutal version of Earth during the Dark Ages. The scientists’ goal is to push the alternate world toward a more technologically advanced society, although it proves extremely difficult due to the world’s suppression and disdain of a potential renaissance movement. Though the film is Russian, the main character’s journey through this reimagining of a new Earth is utterly fascinating.
The most criticized movie on this list, Pandorum is a science fiction-horror hybrid in the vein of Event Horizon. The movie follows the early awakening of two people on a generation ship sent from Earth with the aim of colonizing a new planet. Things take a turn for the horrific as the two find out they aren’t the only people awake on the ship. Though critics despised this movie, the grandiose concept of a horror film playing out on a giant spaceship that transports people to a totally new world has gained the film a cult following. The twists and turns of the plot keep you guessing on what’s going to happen next throughout the film.
Probably the most unique film on this list is Metropia. It’s a dark science fiction film in which all of the scenes are created by stylizing and animating still photographs. The concepts of the film harken back to the silent 1927 science fiction film Metropolis, but does so using ideas and real-world problems we’re worried about today. A disturbing underground network created to keep the world from fully running out of oil and giant media conglomerates controlling the public’s collective mind are just some of the themes that this movie explores.
Finding a great science fiction film while wading through the many not-so-good movies can be difficult. When you find the one movie that inspires you and makes you think outside the box, it’s all worth it. Hopefully, this list helped you find some more interesting and eccentric sci-fi films that you may never have heard about prior to this list.
Author: Reilly Cooper