6. The Incident (2014)
The Incident follows two parallel stories. In one story, two criminals try to escape from a Police Officer on what seems to be a never-ending stairwell. And in the other story, a bickering family sets off on a road trip on what appears to be a never-ending road. In both stories, tragedy suddenly strikes and so an infinite time loop begins…
The Incident, or El Incidente, follows two parallel stories. In one story, two criminals try to escape from a Police Officer on what seems to be a never-ending stairwell. And in the other story, a bickering family sets off on a road trip on what appears to be a never-ending road. In both stories, tragedy suddenly strikes and so an infinite time loop begins…
The Incident has a great and ambitious premise. It can be difficult for any film to execute a sci-fi concept such as this, but it is even more impressive given the budget restraints of this film – The Incident is a low budget, indie film and makes good use of its sets and production design.
The Incident builds up slowly, inviting audiences along for the ride and not revealing anything too easily. Eventually the story leads to a conclusion where, unlike similar films, everything is explained. The conclusion may shock you; it may delight you or you may still be trying to get your head around it as the credits roll but one thing is certain – it will lead to much discussion amongst audiences.
7. Colossal (2016)
After her boyfriend kicks her out of their apartment, out of work party girl Gloria is forced to leave New York and return to her hometown. Soon, strange news reports show that Seoul is under attack from a giant creature and Gloria realises that she is somehow connected to the creature. As events begin to escalate, Gloria must try and determine why and how her actions have become so colossal.
Colossal has a brilliantly unique concept and it is one of the most original, quirky and dark sci-fi films from the last several years. Colossal is a film that has metaphors and allegories aplenty, and so if you like your sci-fi films thought provoking and stimulating then this film is right up your street.
Anne Hathaway may be more well known to audiences for the dramatic and romantic roles that she has undertaken, so it is especially great to see her in this – playing a character that is completely different to her previous characters. Gloria is at points, thoroughly unlikeable and graceless.
The satirical swipes, the underlying messages and smart script mean that Colossal is a character driven sci-fi with a difference and one that sci-fi fans should definitely check out.
8. I, Origins (2014)
Molecular biologist Dr. Ian Grey is studying the evolution of the eye and believes it to be the key to discrediting religion. One day at a party, he meets a mysterious woman who he falls in love with and soon finds influencing his work, but she slips away from him. Years later, he and his lab partner make a breakthrough discovery and Ian decides to risk everything to prove his theory.
At the centre of I, Origins is the conflict between science and religion or faith versus fact, and that makes for a really thought-provoking watch. I, Origins is certainly a film that challenges its audience and does not make things easy for them – throwing out multiple questions and philosophies.
The film begins in one way and then evolves spectacularly into something else entirely, almost doing a complete U-turn on its audience. There are some moments in this that are gasp aloud and others that threaten to make the audience sob. I, Origins takes its audience on an emotional rollercoaster and is a film that will probably illicit a strong response from anyone who sees it – whether that reaction is good or bad.
9. The Wandering Earth (2019)
Set in the future, The Wandering Earth follows mankind’s attempt to save the planet as the sun is set to expand into a red giant and die out. The people of Earth race to build ten thousand giant thrusters in order to move the planet out of orbit and sail to a new solar system. During the treacherous journey, which is due to take over two thousand years, a group of heroes must keep Earth safe from evolving dangers and threats in order to ensure the survival of the human race.
The Wandering Earth made all sorts of waves when it was released. Not only was it one of the top grossing films in the world at the time and China’s second highest grossing film of all time, it also represented a monumental step in Chinese cinema. Firstly, The Wandering Earth was given a production budget and scale rarely seen in Chinese cinema.
Secondly, the visual effects in China for a film like this are still relatively new and thirdly, this film was considered to be China’s first massive sci-fi blockbuster. The film does not appear to have had as much exposure overseas, so it is great that it is available to stream and has been translated into over twenty-five languages by Netflix.
The visuals are stunning in this film. There are some great shots and in particular, the scenes in outer space are incredible. When the actors are on some of the purpose-built sets in their costumes, this is when the film looks at its most sci-fi. Given the newness of some of the visual effect in the Chinese market, the film does well with the CGI heavy moments.
The Wandering Earth is a massively ambitious film, with a vast plot and lots of action. It is so fantastic to see a film of this scale come of out of China and hopefully The Wandering Earth has paved the way for more sci-fi epics of this kind.
10. The Platform (2019)
In an imposing prison comprised of only vertical cells, prisoners awake each month to find themselves on different levels. Each night a platform descends through each level carrying the remains of a meal – the higher your level is, the more chance you have of being able to eat and lower levels are left to starve. When one prisoner realises that all the prisoners on all the levels would be able to eat if the prisoners on each level only took what they needed, he sets out to try and change the system.
This film may have actually had a larger than usual impact compared to similar films of its ilk, and that is for one simple but chilling reason – this film is the perfect parable for what is currently going on in the world. The Platform is a capitalist horror that packs a punch and reflects the effects of what can happen when you take more than you need, in a gory and bloody way.
The Platform is an incredibly streamlined film – the premise is simple, the set is futuristic yet sparse, and the narrative is straightforward. The first two acts build slowly, where each reveal fills the audience with more and more dread and you find yourself uncomfortably identifying with the truth of human nature. Sadly, this film does not feel too exaggerated or over the top.
The Platform is a scarily relevant, topical and apt film that will intrigue you, make you grimace, disgust you and either fill you with hope or with dread. This film is a film that may be a future cult hit – a film that audiences immediately connect with 2020.