Ah the venerable institution of the sci-fi mind screw.
Is there any other genre as perfectly suited to messing with the audience’s heads?
Only science fiction could hold host to the imaginings of Philip K. Dick and William
Gibson, and it’s the lone genre which could leave directors with track records
as bizarre as Alejandro Jodorowsky’s and David Lynch’s vying for the reins of a
major studio release like Dune.
Maybe it’s the fantastical possibility inherent in
time travel, space exploration, and faraway alien planets, maybe it’s just the increased
suspension of disbelief which the genre allows—whatever the cause, sci-fi has
been home to plenty of mind warping narratives over the decades, some genius and
some unwatchable-y pretentious.
Good, bad, or stuck in between, here are a few sci fi
movies which messed with viewer’s head, but did so for good reason, whether it
was in service of a twisted moral to their story or just a more inventive and playful
way of telling it.
Shane Carruth’s debut is infamous for its twisty, almost
impossible to unravel timeline, and the flick went on to inspire everything
from British Bermuda Triangle set chiller Triangle to Spanish thriller
Timecrimes, an equally impressive microbudget effort from a fellow emerging genre
The film follows a pair of scientists as they attempt
to understand and experiment with perfecting their accidental discovery of a time
travel method, and it leaves the process frustratingly impossible to decipher
for mainstream audiences thanks in large part to Carruth’s own real life
background in advanced mathematics and engineering.
By the time the film reaches its enigmatic close, the
audience is left certain that they can make sense of the storyline and its many
versions of the protagonists who exist across various timelines within a stable
time loop—we’ll just need a pen, some paper, and a few years to work it all