30 Bizarre Alternate Movie Realities

Dark City (1998)

Reality: Human beings live out their lives as the same person, relying on their memories to inform them of who they are and what they’ve done.

The Movie Reality: A world without sunlight is controlled by a group of bald beings called The Strangers, who plant a sample of humans into their city. Every night they “tune” them with new memories and place them into new lives as an experiment to discover the role of the soul.

If We Lived In The Movies: It’d be easy to shun yourself of the guilt of watching Grown Ups 2 , as in all likelihood it probably wasn’t you that did it.

Being John Malkovich (1999)

Reality: The closest anyone gets to John Malkovich’s innermost thoughts is reading his autobiography.

The Movie Reality: In an unusual twist of fate, a tiny doorway leading to Malkovich’s brain is revealed to transport those entering directly into his soul. Before they get thrown into a ditch near New Jersey.

If We Lived In The Movies: Fans gagging for a Con Air sequel could get him to sign on the dotted line.

The Village (2004)

Reality: There ain’t no such thing as monsters living out in the woods.

The Movie Reality: A small Pennsylvania village is kept in check by mythical creatures living in the surrounding woods.

The beasties turn out to be part of an elaborate scheme by the village Elders in an attempt to keep their families sheltered from the brutality of the 20th century.

If We Lived In The Movies: The Village would become a highly sought after luxury getaway from the stresses of modern day living.

The Adjustment Bureau (2011)

Reality: Mankind is able to seek out any choice and travel down any path as a result of free will.

The Movie Reality: Due to humanity making choices deemed ridiculous by a higher power, free will was revoked following the Cold War. Afterwards, the adjustment bureau of snappy dressers were brought in to control people’s choices, thereby determining their fates.

If We Lived In The Movies: We’d realise immediately if a new partner is going to cause us a whirlwind of grief down the line, as there’d be plenty of obstacles thrown our way.

See? Not all bad.

Upside Down (2010)

Reality: Our planet functions with one force of gravity pulling everything towards the Earth.

The Movie Reality: The planet is actually one of two, situated one atop the other. A dual gravity field with a unique set of rules makes it nigh on impossible for two people from the differing worlds to meet.

Prolonged contact with matter from the other planet causes one to be engulfed in flames. Puts a new spin on the whole “I’m burning for you” thing, huh?

If We Lived In The Movies: Teenagers with foreign “wanderlust” would frequently be whisked to A&E for topical burn creams.

The Last Action Hero (1993)

Reality: When at the cinema, you can shout at the screen all you like without fear of a character reaching out to give you a clip round the ear.

The Movie Reality: Ownership of a special ticket stub enables the bearer to be transported into the world of the movie they are watching.

In this case, a teenage movie geek is zapped into the latest Jack Slater (Arnold Schwarzenegger) actioner.

If We Lived In The Movies: There’d no doubt be a Watchdog special about why people are going to the cinema and returning with bullet wounds, xenomorph goo, etc. all over them.

eXistenZ (1999)

Reality: Multi-player role playing games are operated by users in their homes through consoles hooked up to the Internet.

The Movie Reality: A virtual reality game created by game designers with caps lock issues, eXistenZ users plug into organic pods via a bioport in their spine.

Players embark on a mysterious game. In which, another game is played. And possibly another. To help win the game, they chop up frogs, eat repugnant fish and make guns out of bones.

If We Lived In The Movies: Bugger all would get done (pots being washed, trousers ironed, etc.) as everyone is constantly distracting each other by asking if they’re still in a game.

The Matrix (1999)

Reality: Computers are hands down one of the greatest inventions since those devices that slice eggs. But they’ve not taken over. Yet.

The Movie Reality: Life as we know it is a giant computer simulation called The Matrix, created by sentient machines who won a battle with the human race.

The real world is a gritty, urban habitat wherein all humans are kept in small liquid-filled capsules and plugged in to fuel the electrical needs of the machines. Unplugged however, they can manipulate the simulated universe to awesome effect.

If We Lived In The Movies: Everyone’d wanna take the red pill so they can go bendy-spine paintball-dodging with their mates on the weekend.

Watchmen (2009)

Reality: The Vietnam War ended when Saigon was captured in 1975, following President Richard Nixon’s resignation in 1974.

The Movie Reality: A band of costumed vigilantes called the Watchmen aid the U.S. in winning the Vietnam War, causing Nixon’s continued re-election and resulting in the Soviet Union threatening a nuclear war.

If We Lived In The Movies: The Avengers would be a social realist documentary.

Inception (2010)

Reality: The world exists on a single plane of consciousness. Dreams consist of nonsensical images, often involving being naked in front of big crowds.

The Movie Reality: Dreams-within-dreams-within-dreams are accessible as corporate espionage technology enables a team of conmen to infiltrate other people’s subconscious.

While stealing or planting ideas, dreams may also feature dead spouses trying to drag you into limbo.

If We Lived In The Movies: Desperate for a promotion at work, it’d be easier sneaking into the boss’s brain to plant the idea instead of trying to replicate that complicated Mary Berry meringue as a bribe.

Gem Seddon

Gem Seddon is GamesRadar+'s west coast Entertainment News Reporter, working to keep all of you updated on all of the latest and greatest movies and shows on streaming platforms like Netflix and Amazon Prime. Outside of entertainment journalism, Gem can frequently be found writing about the alternative health and wellness industry, and obsessing over all things Aliens and Terminator on Twitter.