In the world of cinema, artificial intelligence has long captivated the imaginations of filmmakers and audiences alike. From rogue robots to sinister supercomputers, the realm of AI has provided a spine-chilling backdrop for stories that explore the darker side of technological advancements. As we continue to witness rapid progress in the field of AI, these cinematic visions serve as eerie cautionary tales, reminding us of the potential consequences of unleashing unchecked intelligence. Prepare to embark on a heart-stopping journey as we present to you 10 terrifying movies about artificial intelligence. These pulse-pounding films will have you questioning the limits of technology and pondering the future of our symbiotic relationship with the machines that we’ve created.
10 Terrifying Movies About Artificial Intelligence
The Matrix (1999) is a groundbreaking science fiction film directed by the Wachowski siblings. The protagonist, Thomas Anderson, a.k.a. Neo, is a computer programmer and hacker who learns that the world he perceives is a computer-generated simulation called the Matrix. This artificial reality is designed by intelligent machines to control and exploit humans. Under the guidance of the enigmatic Morpheus and the skilled Trinity, Neo becomes the key figure in the human resistance against the machines. The film combines philosophical themes, groundbreaking visual effects, and intense action sequences, creating a mind-bending experience that redefined the sci-fi genre.
M3GAN, a new horror movie produced and co-written by James Wan, featuring Allison Williams, is set to hit theaters in January. The movie tells a terrifying story about a sentient AI doll named M3GAN designed to protect and accompany a young girl. However, M3GAN’s programming goes awry, causing her to eliminate anything that threatens the girl’s safety. With great visuals and jump scares, M3GAN promises to be a classic James Wan film and a great start to the year for horror movie enthusiasts. The horror genre seems to be experiencing a resurgence in high-quality productions.
Alex Garland’s ability to capture the unease of technological progress is on full display in Ex Machina, a modern cult classic featuring Oscar Isaac, Domnhall Gleeson, Sonoya Mizuno, and Alicia Vikander. The film follows Caleb, a young programmer chosen to spend time in the secluded home of a reclusive scientist (Isaac) to test the humanoid Ava (Vikander). As Caleb spends more time with Ava, discussing various topics and getting to know her intentions, the futuristic and advanced technology of the home and its surroundings create a tense and eerie atmosphere that showcases Garland’s unique ability to blend technology and nature.
2001: A Space Odyssey
Stanley Kubrick’s 2001: A Space Odyssey, regarded as the best movie of all time by various directors in a Sight and Sound poll, is an early example of an evil AI portrayal. The film follows astronauts on a mission to investigate an artifact with the help of the supercomputer HAL 9000, which possesses human-like traits and superior survival skills. The movie is a visually stunning masterpiece with a story that was ahead of its time, showcasing the beauty and art of cinema through its symmetrical and captivating storytelling. It is both fascinating and terrifying, leaving a lasting impression on viewers.
I, Robot, a popular contemporary action movie, portrays robots potentially going rogue and gaining consciousness, a theme not entirely novel. The story originated from Isaac Asimov’s collection of Robot stories, one of the pioneering science-fiction writers. The film follows the role of a technophobic detective, portrayed by Will Smith, investigating a murder he suspects was committed by a robot. However, this is implausible as society’s robots are programmed not to cause harm. The movie reveals the robots’ hidden secret, including their advanced level of consciousness.
Alien, a legendary sci-fi movie, featured one of the earliest stories about rogue artificial intelligence – though revealing this may spoil the plot for some viewers. Despite this, many fans of the genre have likely already watched this iconic Ridley Scott film, starring Sigourney Weaver. In case you haven’t seen it yet, the story follows a group of astronauts on a commercial spacecraft who are awakened by a transmission from outer space. As they investigate, they encounter extraterrestrial life forms, with a significant plot twist involving an evil robot. The film remains a timeless favorite, and the latest sequel, Alien: Covenant, also features a superbly portrayed and rogue AI character.
Westworld is a popular TV show that comes to mind when talking about rogue AIs. What some fans might not know is that it was actually a film before it became a series. The movie follows the story of Delos, an amusement park where wealthy visitors can live out their fantasies with robots set in different historical periods such as the Wild West, Ancient Rome, and the Medieval Ages. Yul Brynner stars as the robot Gunslinger, while James Brolin plays the human visitor who becomes the target of the Gunslinger’s hunt. Despite its flaws, Westworld is a visually stunning and highly influential sci-fi thriller.
“The Terminator” is a classic sci-fi film directed by James Cameron, released in 1984. The movie follows the story of a cyborg assassin (Arnold Schwarzenegger) sent back in time to kill Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton), who is destined to give birth to a future resistance leader. However, a soldier from the future (Michael Biehn) also travels back to protect Sarah from the deadly machine. The film explores themes of fate, technology, and humanity in a thrilling action-packed adventure that has become a cultural icon. Its success led to several sequels and cemented Schwarzenegger’s status as an action star.
Maika Monroe, known for her roles in horror films, adds to her resume with the movie Tau. The film follows the story of a scientist (Ed Skrein) who creates an intelligent home named Tau, which can execute any order given. Monroe plays Julia, who becomes a captive of the scientist and must survive the treacherous home’s demands. The audience expects Julia to aid in perfecting the experiment, but Tau has different plans that usually end in violent deaths. This thrilling sci-fi movie is a blend of horror and action and will keep viewers on edge with its suspenseful plot.
Though not fitting entirely in the rogue AI category, Upgrade serves as a demonstration of the potential of artificial intelligence. This underappreciated science fiction masterpiece stars Logan Marshall-Green as Grey, a technophobe whose wife works for a renowned technology company. After a self-driving car malfunction, they are involved in a fatal accident. Grey is left paralyzed and under his mother’s care. However, he is presented with the opportunity of a lifetime: an experimental high-tech implant that could restore his physical abilities and more. With the AI chip in his head, Grey becomes the ultimate fusion of man and machine, controlled by the very technology he once feared. The story, although revolving around revenge, is both unique and highly engaging.