When it comes to memorable cinematic sequences, science fiction has got you covered. For a full century now, it's been a commanding presence on the big screen, often playing a key role in the format's forward progression.
Sci-fi has often involved moments of wonder, dazzling the viewer with futuristic worlds and conflicts. Some of the biggest franchises in cinema have been heavily tied to the genre, most notably Star Wars. We see humanity at its absolute strongest with top tier technology and countless connections across the galaxies, and it's always been a guiding focus of properties like Star Trek.
Yet many releases turn in the opposite direction, showing off some truly horrifying visions of the future. By homing in on our own flaws and tendency to make deadly mistakes, science fiction can also show humans at their most cruel and callous. In other cases, we see fates worse than death flash up in on screen with gruesome results.
These are the ten sci-fi moments that shocked viewers more than any other. Sudden attacks, deaths or momentous realisations are the name of the game here.
10. Looper - Seth's Demise
Kicking off the list, it's Rian Johnson's Looper. This underrated release from 2012 earned high praise from critics and audiences for its tale of time travelling assassination, starring Joseph Gordon-Levitt and Bruce Willis as two versions of the same character.
The protagonist is a hitman who guns down targets sent back in time by his employers. All this changes when his older self is sent back, causing Joe to go on the run after failing to make the kill.
Around halfway through, we learn just how sadistic Joe's pursuers in the mob can be. His friend Seth is played by Paul Dano and while Joe attempts to hide him from the enemy, he is quickly found and interrogated. What follows is a horrific way to die that happens piece by piece.
After carving out an address on the young Seth's arm, we witness the nasty results on his older self. The mob slowly cuts off pieces of his body bit by bit, which translate into the future. His fingers, arms and legs disappear in an incredibly brutal sequence. The old Seth stumbles towards the address, reduced to a crawl as his last bits of anatomy are removed. In a film that's heavily focused on consequences, this moment stood out to many a viewer.