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The Scariest Yet Most Realistic Films About The Future Ever Made

Reddit user beefgulash asked: 'What is the scariest yet most realistic future film ever made?'

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Tomasz Frankowski on Unsplash

I've always enjoyed a good scare on film and my Mother indulged my preferences as she also loved a good horror film.

While we thoroughly enjoyed a good Disney movie together, I was also allowed to watch Jaws, The Exorcist and The Omen before I was 10 years old.

Slashers and sci-fi frights were good, but to me the most effective scares involved nightmarish scenarios that might easily happen in the not so distant future.

For me, growing up Roman Catholic meant demonic possession and the AntiChrist were on the list of plausible fears.

But what films offered possible Hellscapes for others?

Reddit user beefgulash asked:

"What is the scariest—yet most realistic—future film ever made?"


"I thought that BBC’s nuclear holocaust Threads was much more terrifying and depressing than United States TV movie The Day After."


"Threads might genuinely be the most terrifying thing I’ve ever seen."

~ ThorCoolguy


"Her. Everyone is so online that they lost the ability to make human connections, to the point where it's a business for the main character to write personal letters on behalf of others."

"So lonely, he easily falls in love with an AI and the only one who still feels real emotions, his ex wife (Rooney Mara), is treated like a crazy person."

"With everyone too online and severely lonely, we are practically living in that emotional dystopia now."

~ grandmofftalkin

Children of Men

"Children of Men. You want to know what makes it so scarily realistic?"

"Alfonso Cuaron deliberately shot scenes in East London and asked the production designers to make it 'more Mexican'—in other words, make it look even more run-down than it already was."

"Cuaron leaned in on his own experiences in growing up in Mexico and seeing everyday poverty to bring that to look and feel to a futuristic London. The future-London isn't a gleaming metropolis—it's a metropolis on the verge of collapse and giving up."

"The battle scenes weren't fantastical as so many sci-fi dystopian films often are: they're based on real, real conflicts. Cuaron was smart to include imagery from the then-current Iraq invasion and the atrocities committed in Abu Ghraib to jar the viewer's thoughts and attentions just long enough to make them feel queasy."

"The shots of illegal immigrants in cages were disturbing then—well, they should be f*cking frightening now. Cuaron and the production designers saturated that film with little visual snippets of then-current events and fictional future atrocities to make it a highly believable—and scary—world."

~ PureDeidBrilliant


"Contagion—a movie about a coronavirus outbreak, that pre-dated COVID-19."

~ glrd1

"When I saw that movie in theaters, there was someone coughing a few rows behind. Like, big, wet, juicy coughs..."

"I hated that immersive movie experience."

~ only_bubble_sort

"The fast killing virus that spreads around the world was a bit unrealistic but man was it a trip watching this during lockdowns."

"I'd never heard of 'social distancing' until the pandemic and it and other pandemic facts of life coming out in the movie hit home."

~ Dmzm

A Scanner Darkly

"A Scanner Darkly. A large amount of the population have become drug addicts, the government enacts a total police state, and the addicts slowly descend into insanity, and eventually are put into rehab once their brains are fried.

"Once they are 'rehabed' (they are basically lobotomized, or brainwashed) they are sent to work on large corporate farms."

"The same corporations that own the rehabs, also own the farms, and they are also the ones growing the illicit drugs that cause the whole problem."

~ CmTrumpet

The Road

"The Road. I remember seeing the premiere of it at a film festival and the director and cast were there and all smiles and jokes and so happy to be there…and then the movie plunged all of us into pure despair for 2 hours."

~ Other-Marketing-6167

"I read the book multiple times before the movie came out."

"The movie makes your heart break, but the book destroys your soul and will to live for like a week after reading."

~ Some-Philly-Dude


"WALL-E. The fact that Pixar showed everyone a very real future Earth if we continue down the path we're on and nobody did anything about it speaks volumes. Everyone knows sh*t's f*cked."

"I'm rooting for the roomba with solar panels who gets outside after we've annihilated ourselves, enjoy fulfilling your set purpose lil' dude."

~ Shes_dead_Jim


"Gattaca. If you ever watch it again listen to how they talk about him and his 'condition'."

"It’s all 'could” and 'might' and 'possibly' and similar caveats."

"His only 'condition' was being a natural birth and not a designer baby."

~ pocket-friends


"RoboCop. Dude dies at work. Gets resurrected to continue working."

"Also the whole bit about corporations privatizing public services."

"Feels like we're gonna be there in a few years."

~ Gentleman_Jack90


"Elysium strikes me as the most realistic, as far as the social structure."

"You have an ultra rich class, a mercenary type 'middle' class, and everyone else is fighting for the scraps."

~ Maliluma

"Sure seems like the logic extension of the widening global gap between a few ultra-wealthy and the rest of the population."

"The ultra-wealthy already are invested in space travel, colonizing Mars, island compounds and extreme longevity."

~ RichardBonham

Logan's Run

"Logan's Run, it's a bit of a cult classic."

"In the future, there are limited places for humans to live, so everyone has an 'expiration date' regardless of how healthy they are."

"Everyone has to die before a certain age. I won't spoil it in case anyone wants to see it."

"It's an old school sci-fi movie that I have loved since I was a kid."

~ macmac360

12 Monkeys

"No one mentioned 12 Monkeys yet?"

"Found it super realistic and scary."

~ mrs_anouk

Soylent Green

"Soylent Green solves both problems of overpopulation and food scarcity.... so, maybe it will happen."

"I just hope they think of 3rd Degree Burn Scorchin' Habanero Soylent Green when they do it."

~ ketchuptheclown


"Metropolis. Complete masterpiece in my opinion."

~ CaptianOfCows



~ BrilliantlyClueless

"I like to believe that somewhere in that world a pocket of smart people retreated to someplace isolated like New Zealand and persisted."

~ notapunk

Zombies! 🧟♂️🧟♀️🧟

Personally, I love zombie movies based on the concept from George A. Romero's classic Night Of The Living Dead.

Zombies existed in myths and legends before Romero's film, but not in the way they do now in popular culture.

Romero's movies also always included social commentary on economic inequality, racism and the ills of unbridled capitalism.

To me zombie films show how people would react in a viral health crisis and our recent pandemic made them all the more real.

So what movies do you think are scary because they're too real?