Film and television allow viewers to transport themselves into an imagined reality full of new and exciting possibilities. They offer audiences a chance to escape their own lives in favor of the condensed, action-packed life that we witness on-screen. Because movies have this escapism quality, many of us can shrug off whatever film or television show were watching as soon as we finish it, by reminding ourselves that, “it’s just a movie.” However, sometimes movies, whether meaning to or not, imitate life. I’m not talking about movies that are based on true stories; instead, I’m talking about movies that seem to predict the coming of major events. Whether it be the prediction of a new trend, a major tragedy, or an unexpected death, the movies listed below have all predicted the future in one way or another. So for your enjoyment, below is a list of ten movies that eerily predicted the future.
10. The Truman Show (1998)
The Truman Show is a movie about an insurance salesman who learns that his entire life is actually a reality TV show. Although nothing this drastic has happened to anyone, and hopefully never will, The Truman Show managed to predict the upcoming popularity of reality television. The movie was made in 1998, when there were only a handful of reality TV shows on air. If you compare the amount of reality shows before The Truman Show and the amount after the movie premiered, the numbers are staggering. In today’s society, we are constantly being bombarded with reality shows like: Jersey Shore, Real Housewives and of course, the never-ending Kardashian franchise. The Truman Show was the first big clue as to how wildly popular reality TV could become.
9. The Lone Gunmen
The Lone Gunmen is a spin-off of The X-Files, that features three computer hackers known as ‘The Lone Gunmen’, who devote their lives to uncovering government secrets. In the pilot episode, which aired in March 2001, a government faction pretending to be terrorists, take over a plane, and plan to fly it into the twin towers. To top it all off, the US government is plotting to use the attack as justification for starting a war on terror. In the show, the disaster is averted thanks to The Lone Gunmen, but the episode’s plot is still eerily similar the actual events of 9/11.
8. Poltergeist (1982)
Poltergeist tells the story of a family who is dealing with a massive ghost problem. When it was released, the film frightened audiences everywhere, but the scariest part of the film came later. One of the props in the movie is a super bowl poster from 1988. This is a particularly odd prop choice, considering that the movie was released in 1982. What makes this even odder is that six years later on Super Bowl XXII, Heather O’Rourke, an actress in the movie, became violently ill. The next day, O’Rourke passed away, she was just twelve years old. This creepy coincidence makes Poltergeist one of the scariest movies out there.
7. Game of Death (1978)
Game of Death is a movie starring Bruce Lee, that follows a martial arts movie star who is forced to fake his own death in order to find out who is trying to kill him. A crucial scene in the movie shows a stunt that goes wrong when a prop gun is loaded with a real bullet and shoots Lee’s character. What makes this scene so disturbing is the event that it seemed to predict. In 1993, Brandon Lee, Bruce Lee’s son was filming The Crow, when a prop gun that had a bullet fragment jammed in it shot off and killed Brandon Lee. In other words, Brandon Lee died in the exact same way as Bruce Lee’s character did in Game of Death.
6. Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind (2004)
In the film Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind, Joel and Clementine undergo a procedure in order to erase the memories of their relationship after a painful break-up. Although nothing this drastic has been invented yet, Dutch scientists have discovered a way to erase traumatic memories using common heart medicine. However, reports suggest that the memory-erasing drug won’t be used for break-ups. Instead, it will be used to erase traumatic experiences like rape or mugging from the mind.
5. 2001: A Space Odyssey
Many inventions have been predicted by science fiction films, but 2001: A Space Odyssey takes the cake in predicting future inventions. Just some of the inventions that the movie predicted include glass cockpit displays, the iPad, personal televisions on a plane, the moon landing, robotics in space and the videophone (Skype). 2001: A Space Odyssey set events in motion that would forever change the way we think about technology.
4. Americathon (1979)
Americathon is a cult comedy that is set nearly 20 years in the future (1998), when the US goes bankrupt and into a debt crisis. Predicting that the US would be in financial trouble someday isn’t the most difficult thing to do, but there are some other more shocking events that the movie seems to have predicted. For example, it predicts China becoming a global economic mega power, the fall of the USSR, continually rising prices on everyday items, and a relative of the US President taking office. Americathon seems to be dead on in predicting the future crises of the United States.
3. Chinatown (1974)
Chinatown is a critically acclaimed film that tells the story of a private detective who gets caught up in a fog of treachery, corruption and murder. One of the biggest plot twists in the movie is when viewers learn that Dunaway’s character bore a child after she was raped by her father and that child was being raised as her sister. After the successful release of Chinatown, Time magazine wanted to do a story about Jack Nicholson, so they started digging into his past. What they found out was shocking. It turns out, Nicholson’s sister is actually his mother. The young girl became pregnant at the age of 16, in 1937. Instead of going through a major scandal, the girl’s mother and father decided to raise Nicholson as their own son. Nicholson only found out about his real mother after Time magazine gave him a call to let him know that his entire life was pretty much a lie.
2. Enemy of the State (1998)
Enemy of the State is a thriller that follows a lawyer, after he receives evidence to a politically motivated crime. In the film, the US government follows the moves of every one of its citizens by keeping tabs on them through their cell phones, e-mails, cameras and personal data. Today, people are all too aware that the government is always watching, but back in 1998, this notion sounded a little far-fetched. At the time, the government didn’t have the tools (or so we think) necessary to watch our every move. Even so, Enemy of the State made a spot on prediction about how little privacy we would have in the future.
1. Demolition Man (1993)
Demolition Man is a thriller set in 2032 that follows a police officer who pursues his nemesis in a non-violent future. In the film, there is a scene in which the police pull up a list of prisoners on death row in Los Angeles. On the list is the name Scott Peterson. In 2004, Scott Peterson was sentenced to death after killing his wife and unborn child in California. Peterson still maintains his innocence on death row but according to Demolition Man, he will still be locked up there in 2032.