Dean Israelite’s twisty time travel thriller Project Almanac finally hit theaters this weekend after several delays, aiming to woo ticket buyers that are willing to watch MTV Films and Platinum Dunes do found footage with teenagers. Regardless of whether or not you go out to see it—producer Michael Bay is watching you, though—we’ve pulled together a list of the best sci-fi found footage and faux documentaries out there, just in case you need a second entry for a double feature. Or just something to keep your nightmares nice and light.
Christopher Nolan’s Interstellar is finally here, and though many in the audience are finding it wanting in certain areas, there’s no denying that the portions in space are truly, utterly breathtaking. But his film is not the only movie to ever take audiences beyond the Earth’s atmosphere and into the depths of space, far from it. The journey to the stars and beyond is a well-worn, time-honored tradition in film, as you can see in this awesome supercut of cinematic space travel.
Called “Reach for the Stars,” which admittedly sounds like a motivational video or a mid-1980s Star Search knock off, this compilation comes from over at Fandango. It collects space footage from 20 movies, some you expect—it’s a bit Interstellar heavy, and the Star Trek franchise is well represented—and others that you would never guess. I had no idea that they went to space in The Nutty Professor 2.
It’s Halloween, kids. Or adults. And pantomime horses. Today is the greatest holiday of the year, and we’re willing to let you get on with your festivities as you do, but we’re just letting you know about some currently streaming below-the-radar sci-fi movies that will bring the terror almost as much as that haunted house down the block that’s actually just a garage filled with carbon monoxide. That’s why trick-or-treating never lasts that long in this neighborhood.
So without further a-boo, here are eight under-seen flicks you can find and watch right now. If you da…oh, you do dare? Okay, then.
Europa Report (Netflix Instant)
People bitch a lot about the found-footage subgenre, and for good reason, but low budgets do not always equal low intelligence. Sebastián Cordero’s Europa Report is a testament to that, sending a crew of six people out to Jupiter’s most promising-for-mankind moon to see if it can sustain life. Prepare yourself for a slow burn of a space exploration film that gets to that Upworthy point where “what happens next may shock you.” Is anything scarier than a Dan Fogler-as-a-genius cameo? Maybe, maybe not.
There are a lot of hurdles out there when it comes to making a video that will stand out among the zillions that are already available across the Internet. You need a great idea. You need to execute it well. And if you can leave the viewer wondering just how the hell you pulled it off, so much the better. The above video, a fan merging of this year’s Europa Report with imagery and footage from 2001: A Space Odyssey in order to create a faux trailer for Arthur C. Clarke’s unfilmed 2061 sequel did precisely that. It left me asking, “Is that really Keir Dullea? How the hell did they get Keir Dullea?”
With 2013 in its final hours, we decided to look back on the year that was, and remember the moments from science fiction TV and television that really stuck with us, that we’ll still be thinking of years from now. Needless to say…
Kiera Finally Tells Carlos The Truth (Continuum)
In season 2, Continuum found a more compelling and urgent narrative drive. My favorite moment was in the sixth episode, “Second Truths,” when Kiera finally tells Carlos who she is. By this point, Carlos has worked with Kiera for a season and a half, and although she’s an exceptional agent, he becomes increasingly concerned, especially given the VPD leadership’s blatant distrust of her. Carlos can’t fathom how Kiera can look at a crime scene or suspect and get scads of information immediately — more and more, she seems either unhinged, evil, or both.
Brent’s Thankful For…
Fringe may be dead and buried, but showrunner J.H. Wyman wasted no time getting back on the broadcasting horse with his new robo-buddy-cop series Almost Human. On the surface these two shows have little in common aside from their procedural nature and sci-fi leanings, but the two are similar in the way they approach the well-worn tropes of a cop drama and use speculative fiction to turn them on their head. We’re only three episodes into our relationship with Almost Human, and I don’t want to jump the gun, but guys, this could be the one. There’s a grim future, mismatched partners who push each other, sex ‘bots, mysterious criminal networks, and action. What else can you ask for? This year we’re definitely thankful that there’s good, gritty sci-fi on TV, and that we get to see Karl Urban (Dredd) on a weekly basis.