According to Isaac Asimov, writing about the future always carries the risk of getting it right. The writer uttered the cryptic phrase in an interview in which he also delved into one of the most revolutionary concepts in his novels. Psychohistory, a form of algorithmic prediction that is capable of exploring future scenarios with a high probability of occurring, is the center of his Foundation saga. But at the same time, it is a well-structured tour of a recurring topic of science fiction in movies. The worst that can happen, it could be a prophecy that begins to be fulfilled through every human error.
It is also one of the ideas that supports dystopia or in other words, the worst future that the genre can imagine. A recurring premise that feeds on fears, paranoia and collective concerns. Also, a journey through the great tragedies that culture imagines as hopelessness for what is to come becomes more twisted. In the end, the dystopian vision of tomorrow is not just a threat. It is also an announcement of the worst situations, linked and built through all the social and even moral pains of a civilization.
To meditate on such a controversial topic, we leave you five films about catastrophic futures that explore what could happen through disturbing premises. From a battle against artificial intelligence to the possibility of a battle in which the evolution of the human race comes into play. The selection extends to even sinister terrain as it analyzes its feasibility in the years to come. The most alarming point in their arguments.
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Gareth Edwards took fears about the possibility of artificial intelligence being considered a living creature to delve into a disturbing premise. That, by proposing a world in which robots are, in themselves, a species that fights for its survival. Resistance encompasses not only the greatest hopes and fears about creating autonomous life through technology. At the same time, it takes him on a journey through a world wounded by prejudice, fear and violence.
It is in the midst of this painful scenario that Joshua (John David Washington) must ask himself questions about what life is. At the same time, decide to whom his loyalty belongs, in the midst of an increasingly complicated map of situations. While half of a future world tries to eradicate the androids, the other fights to protect it. What will push an all-out war, that even threatens the existence of the human race.
This humanist epic, full of references to philosophy and pure science fiction, is a delight for lovers of the genre. But at the same time, a probable future that is chilling today. Is this what the man of the future will have to face? The film does not offer an answer to such a question, although it tries.
The price of tomorrow
In this 2011 film, filmmaker Andrew Niccol analyzes the grim possibility that life — or the time left until death — is a consumer good. Which would turn every day of existence into a currency of exchange between the rich and the poor. Therefore, the better off end up freeing themselves from the bonds of physical death, while those who cannot afford to live fight for a few more minutes of life.
In a similar reality, Will (Justin Timberlake) struggles to avoid dying or killing. However, he will end up being accused of both, while he fights, with the few weapons at his disposal, to overthrow a system of unusual cruelty. But not only will he not be able to do it. In addition, he will have to deal with the fact that his minutes are numbered.
This dystopia, which explores the dream of immortality, is dark in its relentless clarity. Gradually, what begins with the hope of surpassing the shackles of biology turns into a crime of ambition. A look at the future that is not far from current reality.
The end of the ages
Director M. Night Shyamalan seems to be obsessed with apocalyptic catastrophes. Something that he captures in a unique way in what is considered his most misunderstood and extravagant work. What begins with a kind of strange psychiatric effect that drives suicide, transforms into a violent attack. Much worse, from the enemy that humanity never really feared. The vegetation of the world turned into a destructive and poisonous wave.
Without a doubt, the premise seems crazy and in a way, the director fails to overcome the idea of meaninglessness that surrounds it. But in its best moments, the film becomes a thriller disturbing about evil and good, linked in the instinct of survival. And although the film fails to fulfill its ambitious premises, it does leave a question in its wake. Could nature ever be an enemy that takes revenge?
In 2012, Ridley Scott returned to the Alien universe with a radical premise that changed the entire meaning of the franchise. The question about where life comes from and who created it finds an answer in this film with a mysterious tone. But in addition, it raises many others around the possibility that what we believe It is the origin of all existence, it is a death trap capable of also ending it.
Despite its flaws — the film inherits many of the problems of the franchise from which it comes — the story is fascinating for its implications. Beyond the battle with the xenoforms, there is the big question about whether the origin of humanity, is not mystical, but a chilling experiment.
Much more so, as the plot adds the possibility that this is true. With artificial intelligence capable of killing and plotting, human ambition turned into a door to horror, the film is very much a gloomy story. However, what it hints at is so complex that, in and of itself, it is a novel look at dystopian scenarios. Something not easy to do.
Planet of the Apes: War
Matt Reeves transformed the premise of the classic saga Planet of the Apes, into something much more elaborate. And especially in this film, where the fight between apes and the survivors of the human race becomes fierce. However, what remains most interesting is the way the plot explores the nuances about two species fighting to become dominant on the planet.
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What began as an experiment became a territory of struggle to survive. The director explores even further: into the fact that the human race may possibly meet its end due to its mistakes. A painful perspective, which the film shows in detail.