Everybody loves a good dystopia. Crumbling architecture, an oppressive government, and if you’re lucky, some mutant freaks to keep things interesting. There’s a reason so many TV shows and movies have used the dystopian future as a plot device. Check out some of these disturbing dystopias if you’re in the mood to have your optimism shattered.
OK, just stay with me on this. The Jetsons might seem like a squeaky-clean depiction of the future, but think about it: Why are all the buildings so high up? It must be a seriously polluted wasteland down there. And that’s not the only thing that’s creepy about The Jetsons – you’ve also got technology having completely invaded the lives of humanity – meals, clothes, even art is prepared by computers instead of humans. Pretty creepy, right?
A more traditional dystopian future can be found in Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, which depicts a far-flung future Los Angeles where it’s always raining and giant billboards loom over everyone. There’s also the matter of humanlike rogue replicants running around causing mayhem, which is why the “Blade Runner” of the title (Harrison Ford) has to hunt them down and “retire” them. Would you want to live in a world where Harrison Ford is paid to kill Rutger Hauer?
Like Blade Runner, Minority Report is also based on a work by Phillip K. Dick, and the future is almost as scary – especially if you hate advertising. But even if you don’t, you might be bothered by the notion of “Precrime,” in which people are arrested and lobotomized for murders they would supposedly have committed, according to three “precogs” (who sometimes disagree on what the future holds, hence the “minority report“). When the precogs say that Tom Cruise, head of Precrime himself, is set to commit murder, he has to go on the run from his own people.