Mad scientists, mutants, man-machines and mind-bending trips - these films connect with our human biology and chemistry.
Whether pushing the limits of the human body or bioengineering new futures for the species, many of these films owe much to the stomachchurning virtues of their special effects. In an age where bio-machining is well under way and the planet seemingly destined to face increasingly difficult challenges to its survival, this is sci-fi territory which feels more potent than ever. Unraveling the mysteries of the mind is another sci-fi specialty, of course, and in Altered States you’ll find films that evince the hallucinatory power of cinema, play with our memories and generally mess with our minds.
Horror197992 minsDirector: David Cronenberg
David Cronenberg’s highly disturbing horror about a woman who’s able to externalise her inner torment and manifest it into a brood of killer offspring.
Horror1982109 minsDirector: John Carpenter
Twelve men at an Antarctic research station battle a shape-shifting alien that hides in human form, in John Carpenter’s ground-breaking sci-fi horror.
Science Fiction201396 minsDirector: Shane Carruth
Shane Carruth’s startlingly original and beautifully conceived drama follows two lovers as they recover from infection by a mind-altering parasite.
Drama2004103 minsDirector: Michel Gondry
Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet play the couple who fall in love so quickly it seems they must have known each other in a past life ... only to discover they did.
Drama2013123 minsDirector: Ari Folman
Ari Folman’s follow up to Waltz with Bashir is a hallucinatory fable about an actress whose digital image is controlled by a Hollywood studio.
Horror2010104 minsDirector: Vincenzo Natali
Adrien Brody and Sarah Polley are scientists who create an animal-human hybrid that develops at an alarming rate and soon grows out of control.
Horror195869 minsDirector: Douglas Hickox
A radiation-spouting prehistoric creature emerges off the Cornish coast and begins making its way towards London, in Britain’s answer to Godzilla.
Horror195479 minsDirector: Jack Arnold
Jack Arnold’s monster classic about the discovery of a prehistoric, amphibious Gill-man that takes a shine to a female expeditionary.
Science Fiction1971131 minsDirector: Robert Wise
Veteran director Robert Wise’s adaptation of Michael Crichton’s sci-fi novel is an alien virus epic with superb special effects and a suspenseful climax.
Science Fiction197386 minsDirector: Robert Fuest
Wild adaptation of Michael Moorcock's novel about a playboy's search for the lost designs of the perfect self-replicating human.
Horror195975 minsDirector: Ray Kellogg
This low-budget addition to the creature features craze of the 1950s sees a giant lizard emerge from a Dallas ravine to terrorise teenagers.
Science Fiction197292 minsDirector: Peter Sasdy
Dr Del Shaw and the Doomwatch team investigate sinister effects of pollution on a small island in this big-screen spin-off from the cult BBC series.
Horror193270 minsDirector: Erle C. Kenton
A highly controversial adaptation of the H.G. Wells story about a mad scientist creating half human/half animal creatures on his island kingdom.
Horror1980103 minsDirector: David Cronenberg
From singularly talented Canadian director David Cronenberg comes this sci-fi/horror classic about people with powerfully violent telepathic powers.
Science Fiction195781 minsDirector: Jack Arnold
One of the classics of 50s sci-fi sees the title character in the unfortunate position of continually shrinking following exposure to radiation.
Comedy1972103 minsDirector: George Roy Hill
This adaptation of Kurt Vonnegut’s novel follows Billy Pilgrim’s journeys in time as he flits between WWII Dresden and a future on planet Tralfamadore.
Science Fiction2015112 minsDirector: Jeff Nichols
Jeff Nichols, the acclaimed chronicler of American delirium, presents an imaginative sci-fi about an otherworldly child pursued by the FBI and a shadowy cult.
Drama2011104 minsDirector: Julian Roman Pölsler
A woman holidaying at an Alpine hunting lodge discovers she’s been encircled by a mysterious, invisible force-field, in this highly original exploration of solitude and survival.
Thriller1997119 minsDirector: Alejandro Amenábar
Alejandro Amenabar’s signature science-fiction drama follows a young man who falls for his dream woman, before he is disfigured in an accident.