Latifa Madesko, contributor
What is the worst movie you have ever seen? Now that I have you thinking specifically about bad movies, notice how you did not think of a science-fiction (sci-fi) or dystopian movie?
Dystopian films have been around for some time now, with the first one ever created dating back to 1932. Up until the 1980s and 1990s, when dystopia was first offered as a young adult genre, the dystopian genre remained an adult, darkly themed genre that was heavily influenced by Russian sci-fi author Yevgeny Zamyatin’s writings. Before 1993, when Lois Lowry’s “The Giver” was published, dystopias were uncommon in young-adult literature. However, growing up in such a prime era of science-fiction and fantasy movies including “The Hunger Games,” “The Maze Runner,” “Harry Potter,” and “Divergent” changed the narrative surrounding these types of films.
Often, it is found that individuals watch sci-fi, fantasy, or dystopian films and television series for an escape from their real, everyday world. This genre has an emotional impact on viewers perceptions of the world and the many problems they encounter. The main goal of dystopian fiction is to get readers to consider how the society in these books connects to our own. Additionally, it is intriguing to observe the buildup of each individual film. Every movie in these specific genres tends to have a hero and or villain storyline that never fails to leave viewers on the edge of their seats. Each film is unique in the execution of the plot, climax and setting which makes the genre so appealing and always leaves you wanting more.
A masterpiece is defined as, “a film that [captures] a moment in time and emotion that sticks in the hearts and minds of the culture, and where any alteration would make the movie ‘less.’” Very few films are ever considered a “masterpiece,” but I believe that there are several cinematic masterpieces in the science fiction genre itself. For example, “The Hunger Games” trilogy proved to take the world by surprise after bringing in more than $400 million dollars in the United States alone. Its influence on society is indisputable, as evidenced by the fact that phrases and images from the movie are still employed in current social media movements. The movie, “The Hunger Games” didn’t solve society’s issues, but it did contribute to a climate where young adults, particularly young women, felt empowered to advocate for change. These three films introduced the new wave and culture of science fiction movies, providing entertainment and love for the genre.
Another cinematic masterpiece that was first released in 2014 is “The Maze Runner” trilogy. These three films brought just as much if not more heads turned to the big screen. The films not only entertained audiences, but also offered a vision of the future. Many people were fascinated by the idea surrounding the government controlling different communities and leaving groups constantly running to their own freedom. The general concept and plot of the film is genius. Storylines and plots like these are what hook audiences to this specific genre of filmmaking. The trilogy takes the audience out of their reality and leaves them in a false reality that can make a huge difference and impact on any individuals’ life.
One factor to consider is the ability of the media, especially visual media, to serve as a mirror, reflecting current events taking place in our own society and projecting them onto a large screen in order to reach a broader audience. By using parallel universes, dystopian movies may remark on social and political issues that are important to our own society without explicitly addressing the situation of the world now. These worlds frequently have issues similar to those in our own civilization, but at a greater extreme, and this enhanced intensity is frequently alluring to the typical moviegoer seeking a dramatic performance.