There’s no question that people love Stranger Things. But what is it about the Netflix series’ mix of sci-fi, horror, and ’80s coming-of-age flicks that make it work so well? Michael Tucker from Lessons from the Screenplay delves into some of the audio and visual tricks the Duffer Brothers have used to create such a magical blend.
THE BEST Science Fiction
A man has been trapped aboard his own spaceship for years, as his robot guardian insists that not a single planet they’ve visited is habitable. But what’s the real reason he’s not allowed to disembark? Gökalp Gönen’s short film is a thought-provoking and creative work of science fiction with a fantastic style and mood.
Danil Krivoruchko and a group of talented artists around the world collaborated on this fantastic fan film inspired by Peter Watts’ science fiction novel of the same name. It tells just a sliver of the original story from the perspective of a man waking up from cryosleep, as he recalls a first-contact mission with a alien species.
Trekkies either love or hate the J.J. Abrams-produced “Kelvin Timeline” Star Trek movies. But maybe the haters would like them more if they starred the cast of The Original Series. Well, thanks to Futuring Machine, deepfake tech, and some clever editing, we no longer need to wonder what that might have been like.
Director André Øvredal (Trollhunter) presents a dark vision of the future, as a family returns from a day at the beach, only to be stuck in a painfully-long traffic jam waiting to enter a tunnel. But we gradually learn the passage serves a terrifying purpose. Based on the 1961 short story The Tunnel Ahead by Alice Glaser.
Science fiction and futuristic movies love to envision a world where projecting images into the air is commonplace. Danger Farm demonstrates how those floating holographic images may look cool, but they aren’t exactly the most practical or reliable way to look at things.
This silly animated short pokes fun at a sci-fi trope, as a floating vessel is stopped by the authorities and asked to provide their information. Its creators Karl Poyzer and Joe Roberts did a great job making us laugh with their minimal approach to movement and focus on cheeky dialogue.
Fans of Doctor Who will be happy to hear that the good doctor’s archenemies the Daleks are getting their own cartoon. The five-part CGI series will arrive on the Doctor Who YouTube channel in November 2020 as part of Time Lord Victorious, a story that intertwines between video, audio, books, comics, and more.
In an attempt to reconnect with each other, a couple decides to take a vacation from technology and turn off their devices. But it turns out that while they were disconnected from the world, aliens invaded the Earth. This indie sci-fi comedy is just the kind of lighthearted fare we could use these days. Drops 10.2020.
Kodi Smit-McPhee (Let Me In) and Ryan Kwanten (True Blood) star in this sci-fi flick about a future in which climate change has forced Earth to generate synthetic oxygen. But when the fake O2 starts killing people, a man receives a message from the future that could provide the key to humanity’s salvation. Drops 10.2.2020.
Director Denis Villeneuve takes on Frank Herbert’s sci-fi classic about a desert empire where families battle to control a substance with incredible life-giving properties. Stars Timothée Chalamet, Jason Momoa, Rebecca Ferguson, Zendaya, Josh Brolin, Dave Bautista, Oscar Isaac, Javier Bardem, and Stellan Skarsgård.
Writer/Director Brandon Cronenberg presents a dark sci-fi thriller about a corporate assassin who uses brain-implant technology to take over other people’s minds to get close to her targets. But it’s not easy for her to extract herself from every mind she occupies. Coming to select theaters and drive-ins 10.9.2020.
From award-winning director and producer Ridley Scott comes a science fiction series about a post-apocalyptic future where androids are tasked with raising human children on an unspoiled planet. But conflicts arise as religious humans arrive to “save” the children being raised as atheists. Coming to HBO Max 9.3.20.
One of life’s must-see movies has to be Paul Verhoeven’s Starship Troopers. It’s loaded with scenery-chewing, quotable quotes, thinly-veiled societal commentary, giant alien insects, and lots of goo. What’s not to like? Screen Junkies couldn’t agree more, and offers their sarcastic take on this brain-sucking classic.
After returning from a space mission, a cosmonaut returns to Earth with a mysterious creature living inside of him. But the military has plans to use its powers regardless of what it might mean for the man it inhabits. This Russian sci-fi horror looks creepy enough to deserve a look when it hits theaters and VOD on 8.14.20.
Filmmaker Robert Findlay transports us to a dystopian underground world where a network of robots and vending machines work together to deliver products and services, and tells the tale of two men who attempt to abuse the system. The sound design by Andrew Findlay really helps to build dramatic tension.
(PG-13: Language) An awkward and socially-inept woman invites a girlfriend over for a sleepover, but we quickly discover their friendship isn’t real, and things take quite an unexpected turn. Carlyn Hudson’s dark comedy short film could easily be the premise for an episode of Black Mirror.
(PG-13: Language) Future Garbage presents an excellent short film about a time traveler who visits the exact location and time at which time travel itself was discovered. But will his trip disrupt the fabric of the universe and create a paradox? Written, directed, produced by and starring David Matthew Olson.
(Gore) The guys from Cardboard Movie Co. love to do low-budget remakes of popular movies. We’re particularly impressed with their redo of Ridley Scott’s science fiction horror classic, Alien, which somehow manages to balance on the thin line between quality filmmaking and ridiculously low budget effects.
Jalil Sadool & Adam Meyer of Steamroller Studios present a concept pilot for an intriguing animated series. Spice Frontier is a lighthearted and action-packed story about a starship crew on a mission to track down and recover the last remaining Earth spices in an effort to preserve our world’s culinary history.
With fewer new movies being released in 2020, Screen Junkies is digging into the archives for classics that they’ve yet to skewer. Sit back and enjoy their take on Luc Besson’s cult sci-fi flick which gave us memes like “Leeloo Dallas MultiPass,” Ruby Rhod’s “Bzzzzzzzzz!,” and the greatest opera solo of all time.
You could bring your car to a professional tuning shop to give its engine more power, or you could upgrade it with a Dilithium warp drive, an FTL jump unit, or a 1.21 gigawatt Flux Capacitor. DarkStarLab has you covered with their series of stick-on chrome plastic car badges inspired by classic sci-fi propulsion systems.
Back in the ’80s and ’90s, NPR produced a series of broadcasts that retold the original Star Wars trilogy as a radio drama. Using original audio recordings of the series, combined with movie music and sound effects, Nigel Langes compiled all of the episodes into a playlist of three videos, running about 11 hours in total.
(PG-13) Set 100 years in the future, The Seed of Juna envisions a post-apocalyptic world where Earth has fallen to religious fanatics. After being killed on Earth, a young rebel awakens on a strange planet only to face a whole new threat. Filmmaker Álvaro García Martínez envisions his CGI science fiction epic as a multipart series.
A bitter and reclusive old man wants nothing to do with anybody, but after yelling at a bunch of no-good kids, he stumbles his way into an unexpected new relationship. Filmmaker Magali Barbé’s award winning short offers an atypically sweet and hopeful view of the connection between man and machine.
CreatorVC is producing this documentary about the science fiction films of the 1980s. The retrospective will include more than four hours of footage and interviews with the actors, directors, writers, SFX experts, and composers who brought these futuristic visions to life. The project has already blown through its Kickstarter goal.
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