How do we, as humans, respond to change? and how do we react when confronted with the unknown? Well within a Psychological thriller the story usually emphasises the unstable psychological states of its characters -where they experience an inner struggle; dealing with the political or technological events at large.
A Psychological sci-fi often mixes with dramas, mysteries, horrors and action genres- where it can range from dark mind games and alien communication to futuristic dystopia. So today I thought I would make a video focusing on Psychological science fiction on all of these overlapping genres, and where better place to start than with
A Clockwork Orange 1971
Director Stanley Kubrick's Psychological Sci-Fi Crime Drama - In future Britain, a charismatic psychopath Alex DeLarge leads a gang that go around at night committing crimes of ultra violence. The story kicks off when Alex is arrested for his crimes. Where he learns of an experimental program called The Ludovico Technique which he volunteers for to lower his prison sentence.
The film that will permanently change "Singin' In The Rain" for you. Apart from been brilliantly directed -A clockwork Orange is a very dark movie with some pretty shocking scenes. After watching this you will find yourself utterly confused-asking the question do you love or hate Alex's character.
A clockwork Orange is definitely one of those love hate films where you will see it as either a masterpiece or a complete waste of your time.
Director James Burr Kit Burkitt's Psychological Sci-Fi Mystery Thriller - On the night of an astronomical anomaly when a comet is passing overhead. Strange things begin to happen to eight friends at a social gathering - where fear and paranoia creeps into their increasingly tension filled dinner party as they start to experience a troubling chain of reality bending events.
This low-budget sci-fi does a first-rate job in exploring the many possibilities of its intelligent premise. Where the film makes great use of a minimalist approach with a pretty unique story -that is combined with a dialogue that is mostly improvised.
My only real complaint with this film is it's camera work -where it's erratically shot and not in focus for almost half of it - So if something like that doesn't bother you, go check coherence out!
Director Vincenzo Natali's Psychological Sci-Fi Mystery Drama - Follows six complete strangers with widely varying personality types who are inexplicably imprisoned in a seemingly endless cube maze. With little to no hope and no obvious means of escape, these prisoners must navigate their way through this booby-trapped system of deadly cubes.
Cube probably has one of the most original and solid premises for a prison movie to date, with an interesting production design and cinematography the film gives its viewer this unsettling sense of isolation and feeling of being trapped.
While it doesn't have the best acting, Cube has plenty of tense scenes, a great sense of the paranoia between its characters and manages to be fully engrossing despite it been set entirely inside a cube.
Under the Skin 2013
Director Jonathan Glazer's Psychological Sci-Fi Horror Drama - A mysterious young woman arrives in Glasgow Scotland where she wanders and drives around with the intention of seducing lonely men and bringing them back to her lair in the evening hours. However from all the encounters she's had -lead her to begin a new process of self-discovery.
Legitimately weird but in a good way- Under the Skin has a very dark perspective on human selfishness and sexual desire. Beautifully shot this film feels as though it's deliberately mysterious, where it gives no exposition whatsoever. With this in mind, some of you will find the movie to be weird, and not in a good way.
For those of you that decided to watch the entire film you should hopefully be rewarded with a very stylish and haunting look at us as human beings.
Director Iain Softley Psychological Sci-Fi Mystery Drama - Follows a mysterious man named Prot who is a patient at a mental hospital who claims that he comes from a utopian planet called K-PAX. Baffled at first, his Doctor is determined to prove that Prot is simply a victim of a multiple personality disorder, But sooner or later even he finds himself doubting his own diagnosis.
K-Pax has a solid and pretty original premise and although it's pretty slow paced the performances of Kevin Spacey and Jeff Bridges easily compensates for it! If you find you must have closure at the end of a film, then this movie will be pretty frustrating.
However, if you're like me and enjoy a good mystery that keeps you thinking long after the credits, you hopefully won't be disappointed.
Director John Carpenter's Psychological Sci-Fi Romance Drama- When an alien life form crash lands in Wisconsin and decides to model itself on a young widow's husband -she is understandably confused & terrified as she is forced to drive this Starman from Wisconsin to Arizona. On the
journey the Starman learns how to be more human and slowly begins to take on the characteristics of her late husband.
Starman has a great setup where it's characters naturally develop in such a way it keeps you hooked, while a large portion of the movie is set in a car. What makes Starman so good -is that you get see the world through the eyes of an alien, where you watch him interact with humanity, observing both the good and the bad in all of us.
Director Vincenzo Natali's Mystery Thriller - Hoping for a more exciting life -a disenchanted suburban man finds himself working as an industrial spy- in the dangerous, high-stakes world of
corporate espionage. But when he meets a mysterious femme fatale at a bar -things quickly start going over-his-head, as he begins to realize that his job may not be what it seems.
For a low budget film, Cypher does a lot with very little- the cinematography is first rate, it's pacing is tight and it has a pretty original story where it's filled with enough twists and turns to keep you guessing throughout.
While the ending is good and fairly unexpected, it might be a little too cheesy for some. All in all Cypher is a stylish sci-fi thriller that should give your brain a good workout.
The Stepford Wives 1975
Director Bryan Forbes Psychological Sci-Fi Mystery Horror - Follows photographer and housewife Joanna Eberhart who moves with her family from Manhattan to the suburban community of Stepford. Along with her new friend Bobby, Joanna Slowly realises that something is amiss with
the other housewives in Stepford -where they appear to only live to please their husbands.
Every woman's worst nightmare, the Stepford Wives production, mood and underlying story are very well done and its characters are interesting. While it's become a little bit dated -this film still holds up, it's entertaining and far superior to its 2004 remake.
It's a mildly creepy horror, where the pacing of the first two thirds of the film are a little slow but it does pick up in the third act where the story should hold your attention until it's eerie ending.