10 Creepiest Science Fiction Noir Movies
While most noir films are dark and mysterious, some are just down right creepy.
1. Blade Runner
In Ridley Scott’s Blade Runner, Harrison Ford plays Rick Deckard whose job is to hunt down “replicants” who instead of working in the off-world colonies decide to return to Earth where they are banned. This occupation is known as a Blade Runner. It’s only fitting that Deckard is a washed up down and out Blade Runner with demons of his own who reluctantly accepts the mission of “retiring” three renegade replicants searching for their creator. With themes of death, depression, and purpose, Blade Runner not only captures the mystery of noir films of past but sends the audience pondering it’s themes far after the credits role.
2. Dark City
If waking up in a bathtub without any memory of who you are or how you got there isn’t enough then immediately receiving a phone call that a group of men are after you can only make it worse. Running out into a world with no sun, John Murdoch finds out that those in charge operate with telekinetic powers who are in the pursuit of human souls. A film that went largely unnoticed until after it’s theatrical release, Dark City is a cult classic neo noir film with an appropriately slow pace and a huge reveal.
3. 12 Monkeys
In one of Terry Gilliam’s darkest films to date, 12 Monkeys brings so many twists and turns that it’s easy for an audience to submit themselves to the film as we search for the cause of the man made virus that killed off the majority of the human population. Traveling through time, convict James Cole (Bruce Willis) is sent on a mission to stop this deadly epidemic with a lead in that of the fanatical group, Army of the 12 Monkeys. A feature film remake of the movie La Jetée, 12 Monkeys is an eerie nior thriller with time travel and incredible performances from it’s entire cast.
4. City of Lost Children
The world ‘surreal’ doesn’t even begin to describe this bizarrely creepy film set in an ghostly environment. Ron Pearlman portrays, One, a former whaler and circus strongman who sets out to rescue his adoptive little brother Denree from an evil scientist who kidnaps children for their dreams. With the help of a little girl named Miette, the two encounter many strange characters as they infiltrate the oil rig where the scientist resides. A film that only has more to appreciate with each watch, The City of Lost Children, has a lovably dark story with insane art direction that depicts a dystopian world full of mysterious whimsy that hypnotizes it’s audience.
Jean Luc-Godard’s Alphaville is one that is set in a dystopian city in distant space and of the same name. Lemmy Caution (Eddie Constantine) is a U.S. secret agent with the duty of not only finding a missing agent, killing the dictator Professor von Braun (Howard Vernon), but also destroying Alphaville along with Alpha 60, a sentient computer. He does this while posing as a journalist named Ivan Johnson. A film that engrosses it’s audience with each passing minute, Alphaville’s style and execution as well as profound performances warrants itself as one of the most influential in it’s genre.
6. Strange Days
With a relentless pacing and interwoven plot, Ralph Fiennes plays the role of Lenny Nero who after a series of unfortunate situations lands himself in a conspiracy of corruption in 1999 Los Angeles. Strange Days is aptly titled as everything about it is indeed just that, really strange. From the cerebral recordings of the SQUID devices to the raucous New Year’s setting, this all star (albeit dated) cast runs the gamut of interlaced plot lines with a cat and mouse fervor.
7. Soylent Green
You’d never expect that an investigation into the death of a CEO who was involved in the world’s food supply would end up with with just a gruesome realization. That’s exactly is the case with Richard Fleischer’s 1973′s noir thriller set in the year 2022. With too many people and a ravaged environment one man’s death ignites a chain of events that leads to the discovery of just what soylent green really is made from. With that said, if you’re familiar with Charlton Heston quotes then you might already know.
A film that has a plot that goes from identity theft, murder mystery, and space travel, Gattact has many things to offer to those interested in a well thought out noir story. Ethan Hawke plays a deceitful man who steals the identity of a genetically superior to realize his ambition of going to space. Originally an “in-valid” cleaning offices at the Gattaca Aerospace Corporation, after Vincent genetic alteration he becomes a prime suspect after an administrator is murdered. A well thought out crime thriller, Gattaca not only keeps it’s audience guessing but pays off in the end.
Oh what peril happens in these cinematic dystopian worlds. Brazil being one of the more over the top and outlandish stories, we follow Sam Lowry (Jonathan Pryce) as he manages his dull life which leads to pursuing the “woman of his dreams” which eventually leads to charges of treason by the slapstick bureaucratic government. A film that has so many cuts of the film it begs the question “yeah, but which version have you seen”, Brazil captures the satire of a totalitarian regime coupled with the age old story line of the pursuit of love.
The most modern of all the films listed, director Brandon Cronenberg creates a world that has taken our obsession with celebrity to bizarre new heights. A world in where an committed fan can obtain the same illness their favorite celebrity has contracted and share in their disease. A employee of Lucas Clinic, Syd March (Caleb Landry Jones) exploits this practice by partaking in black market activities. Soon Syd is caught up in more than just his own deceit as we are exposed to just how far obsessed fans are willing to go to be closer to their favorite celebrities. A new take on how our society interacts with those who are the most well known, Antiviral might not be predicting the future as much as it shows how preoccupied we are with fame.