12 Movies That Accidentally Predicted the Future (And It's Terrifying)
It's a cocktail of fascination and fright, of how uncannily accurate these creative minds were in foreseeing our present.
Here are 12 movies that peered into the future with chilling accuracy. Beware, some spoilers ahead!
Though it seemed like a cutesy Pixar animation on the surface, WALL-E was a scathing critique of a potential future marred by obesity and environmental neglect. Fast-forward to today, and we're grappling with a growing obesity epidemic and climate change. WALL-E's vision of a future humanity doomed by its own apathy hits closer to home than we'd like to admit.
Back To The Future II (1989)
Hoverboards? Check. Self-lacing shoes? Check. Video chat? Check. We may not have flying cars (yet), but Back to The Future II's vision of 2015 held some prescient predictions. Not to mention the bizarre prediction of a business tycoon rising to significant political power. Spooky, right?
"Mad as hell" about the current state of media and politics? Network was a prophetic critique of the media's role in shaping public opinion and the politicization of news. The news anchor, Howard Beale, becoming a 'mad prophet of the airwaves' speaks volumes to the cult of personality we see in some news outlets today.
Minority Report (2002)
This Spielberg blockbuster gave us a glimpse into a future of personalized advertising, public surveillance, and predictive policing – things that are now scarily commonplace. Billboards that address you by name? Ads tailored to your tastes? Algorithms predicting crime? We're not accusing Spielberg of being a time-traveler, but we're not not accusing him either.
This movie doesn't just predict the future; it paints a terrifyingly accurate picture of our recent past. Contagion shows the worldwide panic in the face of a deadly virus, quarantine measures, conspiracy theories, and the scramble for a vaccine. It's like watching a play-by-play of the COVID-19 pandemic, except it was filmed a decade earlier. Talk about prophetic!
The Truman Show (1998)
The Truman Show hit the nail right on the 'live-streaming' head before the dawn of the new millennium. Truman Burbank's life was broadcasted to the entire world, and everyone was in on the secret except him. Remind you of anything? Reality TV, YouTube, Twitch, newest Black Mirror 's "Joan is Awful" episode, you name it. Nowadays, we're practically falling over ourselves to offer a Truman-style glimpse into our lives. The only difference? We're not getting the advertising dollars.
Next one on our list is Gattaca, a chilling tale about genetic engineering and a future where your DNA can dictate your destiny. With the advent of CRISPR and increased debate on bioethics, Gattaca's universe doesn't seem so science fiction after all. In a world teetering on the brink of designer babies, Gattaca is more relevant than ever.
The Matrix ( 1999)
The Matrix got us questioning reality way before Elon Musk proposed we're all living in a simulation. But more than that, it foresaw the immense role virtual reality and cybernetic augmentation would play in our lives. As we jack into VR games and discussions about AI and transhumanism become commonplace, it's hard not to feel a sense of déjà vu.
Enemy of the State (1998)
Enemy of the State delved into the potential for government surveillance long before Edward Snowden blew the whistle. It brought the concept of Big Brother watching to the mainstream, reflecting our contemporary fears about privacy. Now, in an age where our data is a hot commodity, and tech companies are under scrutiny for data misuse, Enemy of the State hits too close to home.
Children of Men (2006)
Children of Men paints a bleak future where humanity faces extinction due to infertility. While we're thankfully not in that dire situation, the movie does touch upon themes of xenophobia, anti-immigrant sentiments, and the environmental crisis – issues that are disturbingly relevant today.
Blade Runner (1982)
Flying cars and off-world colonies aside, Blade Runner's depiction of a future filled with synthetic humans, or "replicants," is a telling commentary on artificial intelligence and the ethical implications of creating humanoid robots. Now, as we witness the birth of social robots and AI companions, Blade Runner's dystopian future doesn't seem as distant as it once did.
A man falls in love with an AI – sounds absurd, right? Except, now we live in a world where AI can write poetry, compose music, and even hold meaningful conversations. Her tapped into our collective fascination with artificial intelligence and its potential to forge emotional connections with humans, a reality that is increasingly coming to pass.