20 Facts About Virtual Reality Movies (Because What If Reality Is, Like, Fake, Dude)
Quick, name some virtual reality movies. Now. Okay, if you said Strange Days and Serenity, then, erm, that’s creepy. We mean, yeah, that 1995 gem and that 2019 turd were the exact movies we were thinking about, but damn, jinx and stuff. Anyway, starting with Tron, films dealing with virtual reality have existed for a long time (think trash like The Lawnmower Man, Arcade, Johnny Mnemonic, or Virtuosity), and they continue to be pumped out (think later trash like Gamer, Ready Player One, or Bliss). The one game-changing landmark, however, is The Matrix. That flick contributed a lot to the trope, but it also made mainstream one possible narrative twist it can also have: the philosophical idea of questioning the boundaries between virtual reality and non-virtual reality. Yes, that idea was also in Videodrome, we know, but our point is that a great film like Strange Days, for example, did not feature it. As far as we remember. Okay, we think, whatever.
The Matrix changed everything. Yet at the same time, it came out at a time many similar sci-fi films were also being released, so its uniqueness is also highly overstated. In this Pictofact, then, we focus on a few of these movies: the ones that came out around The Matrix, in what was a small trend of films dealing with similar issues. To repeat the concept, it is not merely VR movies like 2000’s The Cell, but movies putting our very reality into question with the excuse of VR. And if this sounds obscure, let us note Christopher Nolan also saw the trend very clearly. As he said, his post-The Matrix contribution to the sub-genre, Inception, was a spiritual successor to “that era of movies where you had The Matrix, you had Dark City, you had The Thirteenth Floor and, to a certain extent, you had Memento, too. They were based on the principles that the world around you might not be real.” Hell yeah, Nolan gets it. In such classy company, then, let’s jump right in.