Top 10 Scary Movie Futures

Forget vampires, werewolves, and crazy guys with a saw fetish. What could be scarier than a bleak and/or twisted future?  Here’s some of my faves—in rough order of livability.

Idiocracy (2006)

The dumb inherit the Earth.

Private Joe Bauers, the definition of "average American", is selected by the Pentagon to be the guinea pig for a top-secret hibernation program. Forgotten, he awakes 500 years in the future. He discovers a society so incredibly dumbed-down that he's easily the most intelligent person alive. (Source: IMDb)

Blade Runner (1982)

Ridley Scott’s vision of Phillip K. Dick’s story is a bleak, noir-ish world.

Deckard, a blade runner, has to track down and terminate 4 replicants who hijacked a ship in space and have returned to earth seeking their maker. (Source: IMDb)

Brazil (1985)

On the other hand, Terry Gilliam’s world is delightfully bizarre but an administrative nightmare.

A bureaucrat in a retro-future world tries to correct an administrative error and himself becomes an enemy of the state. (Source: IMDb)

Dark City (1998)

The IMDb blurb describes this fantastically dark vision pretty well:

A man struggles with memories of his past, including a wife he cannot remember, in a nightmarish world with no sun and run by beings with telekinetic powers who seek the souls of humans. (Source: IMDb)

Soylent Green (1973)

It’s people.

In an overpopulated futuristic Earth, a New York police detective finds himself marked for murder by government agents when he gets too close to a bizarre state secret involving the origins of a revolutionary and needed new foodstuff. (Source: IMDb)

Children of Men (2006)

The children won’t inherit the Earth if they’re not being born.

In 2027, in a chaotic world in which humans can no longer procreate, a former activist agrees to help transport a miraculously pregnant woman to a sanctuary at sea, where her child's birth may help scientists save the future of humankind. (Source: IMDb)

Handmaid’s Tale (1990)

Right-wingers take over—and they’re having trouble procreating, too.

In a dystopicly polluted rightwing religious tyranny, a young woman is put in sexual slavery on account of her now rare fertility. (Source: IMDb)

Twelve Monkeys (1995)

We’re all living underground because of Brad Pitt. (Actually, it was the other guy, the one from St. Elsewhere.)

In a future world devastated by disease, a convict is sent back in time to gather information about the man-made virus that wiped out most of the human population on the planet. (Source: IMDb)

Matrix (1999)

We’re basically batteries with a fulfilling fantasy life.

A computer hacker learns from mysterious rebels about the true nature of his reality and his role in the war against its controllers. (Source: IMDb)

Zombieland (2009)

There’s just Woody Harrelson and bunch of zombies left. Rule 1: Cardio.

A shy student trying to reach his family in Ohio, and a gun-toting tough guy trying to find the Last Twinkie and a pair of sisters trying to get to an amusement park join forces to travel across a zombie-filled America. (Source: IMDb)

The Road (2009)

Not much of anything left.  I haven't actually seen this one, but the book painted the bleakest imaginable future--with only one faint sliver of hope at the end.

A post-apocalyptic tale of a man and his son trying to survive by any means possible. (Source: IMDb)

Also rans:
  • The Day After Tomorrow 
  • I am Legend / Omega Man
  • 1984
  • Brave New World
  • Planet of the Apes
  • Boy and His Dog
  • The Day After
  • Road Warrior
  • Minority Report
  • Metropolis
  • The Day After
What are some of your favorite movies with scary futures?


Bittersweet Fountain said...

"The Day After" is hands down one of the most traumatizing movies I ever saw as a kid. Nothing about that movie is happy. *shudders*

The world of "Gattaca" also scares me a lot. It's a world where your entire life is restricted by your biology. There is (almost) nothing you can do to overcome your biological fate.

Angie Smibert said...

How could I forget about Gattaca? Loved that movie.

Also, I totally agree about the Day After. It was easily one of the most depressing and scary made-for-tv movies ever made.