Sci-Fi Fantasy Flips The Whole World Upside Down, Stream Without Netflix

By Jason Collins | Published

There are but a few cinematography genres that blend the imaginative with the metaphorical in a way science fiction does, and in the past, those blends held the potential to shake our beliefs. We already mentioned this once before, but if you don’t know what we mean, search for Nichelle Nichols and William Shatner’s kiss to get a better picture. Enter the Upside Down movie, a release that not only pushed the boundaries of sci-fi but did that by turning the world on its head.

Upside Down Is About Opposing Worlds

Released in 2012, the Upside Down movie was directed by Juan Solanas, and it brings a romantic tale paired with socio-political allegory, dressed in a visionary spectacle about binary worlds with opposing gravities. Of course, the upper world, called Up Top, houses the rich and prosperous, while the lower world, called Down Below, is poor.

The Up Tops buy oil from Down Below and sell the electricity back to Down Below at inflated prices, and the contact between the two worlds is strictly forbidden unless facilitated and moderated by the Trans-world company.

An Adam And Eden Romance

At the heart of the Upside Down movie is the romance between Adam (Jim Sturgess) and Eden (Kirsten Dunst), who, despite being from different worlds, end up falling in love with each other. They initially meet as children at the opposing worlds’ mountaintops that are nearest to each other, making them close enough to talk but also worlds apart in more ways than one.

As mentioned, their childhood connection grows into a complex relationship that’s illegal according to the authoritarian laws that are designed to keep the two worlds and their respective classes apart.

Mirrors Real-World Issues

The Upside Down movie is everything we love in sci-fi movies that seek to be more than just eye candy; Solanas’ direction combined a great visual experience with a simple love story set in the universe in which one’s upside down is the other’s right side up—thus mirroring the real-world issues, like the social and economic disparities that continue to divide us. Unfortunately, that wasn’t enough to impress the critics and the audiences, and Upside Down had a mixed reception at best, with many praising the film’s visual effects and otherworldly aesthetics.

A Thought-Provoking Flop

However, many felt that the movie fell short of its narrative potential, thus failing to match its innovative premise. Some critics even pointed out certain gaps in the plot and lack of depth. The Upside Down movie flopped, and it flopped hard, managing to earn just over 50 percent of its production budget, putting Onyx Films, Studio 37, and Warner Bros. Pictures at a loss.

Yet despite its flaws, the Upside Down movie remains a notable entry in the sci-fi genre, especially for those who like thought-provoking subjects about how our society is structured and what beliefs we cling to.

How To Watch Upside Down

Unfortunately for Netflix subscribers who might feel enticed to watch the Upside Down movie after reading this, the movie is no longer available on the platform. However, you can still stream it on Prime, Peacock, The Roku Channel, and Tubi, among others.