9 Disturbing Dystopian Futures From Film and Television

Monday, March 19 by


Minority Report presents a future in which everything works perfectly, but Terry Gilliam‘s vision of the future is a lot more realistic: Nothing works, no one knows what’s going on, and crippling bureaucracy prevents anyone from doing anything about. And yes, it’s a comedy (Gilliam thought about calling the movie 1984 1/2).

The Terminator

Here’s a future so bad that they actually send people and machines back in time in order to try and prevent it from happening (good luck). Basically, what happened is that this big defense computer network called “Skynet” became self-aware and decided the whole “working to serve humanity” thing wasn’t really its thing. So it declared war on humanity instead, using as one of its weapons, an increasingly advanced series of humanoid cyborgs called “Terminators,” which roam the Earth, uh, terminating humans. Most of the movie takes place in the present day, but the brief glimpses of the future to come are really disturbing.

Escape From New York

John Carpenter‘s action classic about how in 1997 New York City was converted into a giant prison colony (what, you don’t remember that?) shows a dystopian future that’s chilling in its implications about how the United States government might completely forget about the value of human rights and freedom. Luckily there will always be guys like Snake Plissken to keep the Presidents in line (just kidding, we’re screwed).

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