I am a movie buff. And it is fair to say I digest more science fiction through the visual medium than the written form. Here are 4 life changing sci-fi films that you may have missed. Not all these movies were considered commercial successes, far from it, but rather garnered a cult following long after their release. Here we go…
This epic film delivers a knock out ending. If you watched Interstellar and didn’t understand it, here is the answer in a nutshell. In one of those weird time/loop paradox things, the audience learns that the “aliens” or “They” who are giving Matthew McConaughey guidance throughout the story are in fact us from the future – yes we are guiding and sending messages to ourselves. (disclaimer: not everyone subscribes to this interpretation of the ending)
So what does that mean? Could spacetime be altered? Could time travel be possible? Whatever the truth, this movie uses some very clever special effects to convey how the fabric of time can be warped – probably the best I have ever seen in a movie to date. The imagery of a “bookcase” constructed for futuristic beings that can communicate through time, is stunning. Dust falling in Morse code is a simple and beautiful touch as well. A life changing sci-fi film.
Prometheus, by Ridley Scott, asks the question most mortals never dare to contemplate – what if your gods hate you?
This life changing paradigm shift forces you to ponder our purpose and our existence. In Prometheus, an advanced race known as the Engineers are credited with the creation of life on Earth. Though it becomes quickly obvious Humanity was perhaps just an experiment; a petri dish in the galactic engineering of worlds. In the plot, the Engineers aim to wipe out humanity with their biological weapon – the Xenomorphs (Yes, I believe that is the story even though Ridley Scott seems to dance around the topic).
Your gods hate you – it is a terrifying prospect for world religions, and also atheists, who perhaps believe in a free-will universe or karma. In the case of the latter, the idea of duality is just as scary a prospect, as I will discuss in Event Horizon…
I know this movie got trashed by the critics and lost millions at the box office, but hey, I think it was a good story and now it has become a cult classic. The Event Horizon is a ship. The ship goes missing then spontaneously reappears orbiting Neptune just as a search party is sent to find it. We learn the ship has been testing an experimental engine that opened a rift in spacetime. This has somehow allowed an evil entity to come forth from another part of the universe or dimension.
Why is Event Horizon in my top 4 life changing sci-fi films?
We realise that a fundamental aspect of the universe is duality. Where there is good, there is evil. That is true of any aspect of life. The worlds beyond our own are not all peaches and sunshine. All we can do as humanity is stay ‘good’ in the face of pure evil.
We also see that faster than the speed of light travel is a possibility. The Event Horizon used a gravity drive (similar to a Torsion Drive). A common thread in many sci-fi films is that spacetime can be manipulated. Superluminal travel has been purported by some great physicists.
There is no denying this is a controversial pick. Lucy was another film absolutely slain by critics. Unfairly I think. Critics cited plot holes and cheesy thrills as the reason why the movie did not deliver a knockout punch. But I think they missed the point. Lucy was just a fun action movie on the surface. It was also a movie about human potential – and human potential is not always logical. In a brief summary: Lucy, an average woman, transforms into a being of immense physical and mental power by ingesting a large dose of CPh4.
Why was this movie life changing?
This story was grounded in part truths. Not the CPh4 part, but hear me out! The movie explores what human potential could be if aided by chemicals and technology. Now I certainly am not condoning the use of either of the aforementioned, but many studies have shown some amazing abilities of the brain. This includes the mental effects on particles at an atomic level and the power of thought patterns on objects and people. If amplified, what could that potential be? No doubt the effects could be greater. The trick is, how could this be done safely and for the betterment of mankind?
YOUR FEEDBACK: which movies would make your top 4 life changing sci-fi films? Some honourable mentions: Star Wars, 2001 a space odyssey, Star Trek. Comment below..