9 Movies That Predicted The Future

Dutch 'boffins' have discovered that a common heart medicine might help people suffering from traumatic memories by erasing them from their heads - just like from out of Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind.

Future-seeing movies aren't always accurate (T2? Judgement Day? 1997? No). But, thanks to the joy of hindsight, we can celebrate the stories where sci-fi became sci-reality...

The Film: Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind (2004)
What It Predicted: A memory-washing procedure - created by Dr Mierzwiak (Tom Wilkinson) and offered by Lacuna, Inc.
Why We Wish It Hadn't Been Right: While the psychological benefits of erasing bad memories are clear, criminal villains could use it for bad things - like making someone do a robbery and then erasing their memory so they don't know anything if they get caught.

And what happens if we miss the bad memories and accidentally erase something essential? The pangs from failed relationships would remain, but we might lose the skill of being able to put trousers on.


The Film: The Truman Show (1998)
What It Predicted:
Reality TV was in its infancy when Andrew Niccol posited the idea that we could watch someone live out the mundanities of their life on television.

Why We Wish It Hadn't Been Right:
The parade of media-trained fame-whores annually wheeled in for Big Brother and its endless imitators.

For us, Reality TV stopped becoming an intriguing social experiment the year a non-celebrity won Celebrity Big Brother and then became a celebrity - for winning Celebrity Big Brother. And it's all Andrew Niccol's stinking fault.

The Film:
Blade Runner (1982)
What It Predicted: A smog-covered, sprawling future-LA cityscape dominated by giant, animated billboards.
Why We Wish It Hadn't Been Right:
Do we really, honestly need massive, moving ads for Viagra?

And jiggly, building-sized lingerie ads might be fun, but they cause ogle-related traffic accidents...

...traffic accidents, we might add, that would have been halved if scientists could have ignored Blade Runner's video posters and focused on creating its far cooler flying cars. WE WANT OUR FLYING CARS, YOU SCIENTIFIC BASTARDS!


The Film: Videodrome (1983)

What It Predicted: A sort of merging of the corporeal world with the hyperreality of video and television - by way of user-generated material. That, we think you'll find, equals YouTube!

Why We Wish It Hadn't Been Right: Now, of course, we love the Internet and there are some very good things about YouTube - but, with four-million videos uploaded every five seconds, the quality control is a bit off. For every smart DIY instructional vid and ace conceptual mash-up , there's a hundred films of someone's cat being sick.


The Film: Soylent Green (1973)
What It Predicted: A world choked with pollution and overpopulation that's led to energy wars and meteorological chaos. Oh, and food made from people - although, er, that hasn't quite happened yet. OR HAS IT?
Why We Wish It Hadn't Been Right: Yes, we know the debate continues to rage on climate change – Al Gore might just be spewing more hot air than the factories he hates.

But here’s the thing: we are seeing the results of climate change (that David Attenborough thing about polar bears was good enough for us) and the world is definitely a more jostling and fighty place than it was when Chuck Heston was raging against the machine.

No, umm, food made from humans yet, though. Apart from that earwax soup you can apparently get in Papua New Guinea.



The Film:
Short Circuit (1986)
What It Predicted: War-bots that can think for themselves on the battlefield.

Why We Wish It Hadn't Been Right:
They may not yet be conscious enough to call anyone’s mother a snow-blower (leave the mothers out of this!), but military tech is advancing in leaps and bounds. Well, whatever leaps and bounds are in terms of tank treads.

That's all very well when the bots are dismantling unexploded bombs, but it’s a short trundle from that to gutting us all with cold, mechanical proficiency.

And, as the Transformers fiasco has proven, our military just aren't up to fighting back.

Oh, wait. That's a film... Fantasy/reality, fantasy/reality...

The Film: Forbidden Planet (1956)
What It Predicted: The crew of United Planets Cruiser C-57D all came equipped with tiny communicators and cameras on their belt buckles.

Why We Wish It Hadn't Been Right: iPhones and Blackberries are wonderful, chirruping, touchy-feely little companions. But we often get nostalgic for the days of downtime - the era before mobile communication, when you had to go into a shop and buy some chewing-gum to get change for the phone.

And remember Polaroid cameras? They were great. Like mobile/digital cameras, they had the immediacy, but you only got one shot each time - you had to take care over your pictures, which made them feel more special.

Also, this modern 'music'...


The Film: Demolition Man (1993)
What It Predicted:
President Arnold Schwarzenegger, who held office before John Spartan (Sly Stallone) was defrosted.
Why We Wish It Hadn't Been Right:
Okay, so Schwarzenegger hasn’t made it to the White House and there’s no 61st Amendment to let him do it yet, but a throwaway gag has become a real joke - he's the governor of California.

That's California - where the state’s run out of money and the local government’s locked in an endless battle over budgets - all squabbling like the girly men Movie-Arnie always defeated with such peerless monosyllabism.

It should have been Stallone taking the political route. At least his growth hormone purchases might have stimulated the economy.


The Film: The Hitch-Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy (2005)

What It Predicted: This! The Internet. A user-generated, ever-evolving font of knowledge.

Why We Wish It Hadn't Been Right: Original Hitch-Hiker's creator Douglas Adams was clearly a genius (with the 'Babel Fish', he also predicted portable language translators).

Problem: the film was complete and utter cock.


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