This is the year of the sci-fi and bizarre. I’m just going to forget my categories since I can’t place these movies in them. All these films are highly popular cult movies with fantastical elements. And there are even plenty of great sci-fi movies that got left over from my list, including Contact, Men In Black and Starship Troopers.
I would have had a somewhat obscure and great title for this year, with some matching elements even, but that would be Perfect Blue, which I just reviewed a while ago, and don’t really see a reason to do it again.
On to the weirdness!
The Fifth Element
Luc Besson’s wonderful sci-fi adventure is pretty much a perfect movie. There’s no need to nitpick, one should just embrace the crazy world and enjoy the ride. There’s your regular Joe who’s a bit down on life, but then he gets a chance to help a girl, and suddenly he’s in the middle of an ancient mystery and larger-than-life adventure. Just all the wonderful characters and places in this movie make it worth watching.
Genres: Sci-Fi, Action, Comedy
I’m a sucker for these high-tech dystopias, much more than the post-apocalyptic ones. Gattaca is actually categorized as biopunk, a branch of cyberpunk that focuses on eugenics driven societies. Upper class consists of the genetically engineered and close to flawless humans while naturally born people with “defects” don’t have much to aspire to.
When a defective human tries to pass as an engineered one, we have a thriller. Despite the futuristic setting, Gattaca takes a lot of its style from a few decades back. The subject of eugenics rouse many philosophical questions (like sci-fi often does). And while this movie clearly shows us that the utopia built by some people is a dystopia to others, the viewers themselves are of course free to process the ideas even further.
Genres: Sci-Fi, Drama, Thriller, Noir
This movie is an interesting one. In it a rescue crew enters the ship ‘Event Horizon’ which was the first ship designed to travel faster than light by actually creating wormholes itself. The ship disappeared years ago but now it’s back. What horrors did the ship and its crew experience on the other side?
The movie is somewhat disturbing and nightmarish, and once in a while very over the top. It feels a bit like a B movie with some rather corny stuff in it, but then again it’s incredibly enjoyable and scary at the same time, making it one of the must see sci-fi horror movies out there.
Genres: Sci-Fi, Horror, Dark
Cube was an odd one when it came out. A bunch of people wake up in a room without any knowledge how or why they were there. The room is shaped like a cube and each side has a hatch – to another cubical room. Some of the rooms are trapped with deadly constructions. The people start a dangerous journey trying to find a way out without being killed on the way.
Cube is definitely a forefather for later death game type of horror movies like Saw. But unlike Saw its sequels are actually decent, and they only made a couple that had some original ideas instead of milking a dead cow (not that I ever even bothered with the latest sequels, sorry if I’m being prejudiced here). But the first Cube is definitely a cult horror movie that everyone should see. It even has McKay from Stargate Atlantis in it!
Genres: Sci-Fi, Horror, Dark
Lost Highway is not exactly sci-fi but it’s so weird and good that I can’t leave it out even when I have a bunch of good sci-fi movies I could use here. This is probably the best of David Lynch’s mindfuck movies. It’s a surreal noir thriller, a mystery that will not be solved. With excellent cast and brilliant soundtrack.
The movie has imagery of violence and pornography. It’s very ominous and disturbing – and this reminds me that I should watch it again. Lost Highway is one of those movies everyone should experience at least once.
Genres: Mystery, Thriller, Noir, Dark