20 Facts About Virtual Reality Movies (Because What If Reality Is, Like, Fake, Dude)

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.

Jennifer Connelly in Dark City

VIRTUAL REALITY MOVIES DARK CITY 1998 THE MOVIE STARTED A TRADITION OF JENNIFER CONNELLY STANDING ON PIERS. The pier scene is the only one not shot in interior sets, and Connelly would go on to stand on even more piers in 2000's Requiem for a Dream and 2003's House of Sand and Fog. CRACKED.COM

Dark City's Director Cut

VIRTUAL REALITY MOVIES DARK CITY 1998 THERE ARE TWO VERSIONS OF THE MOVIE. The theatrical cut's short running time and mystery- revealing voiceover were mandated by studio suits, who thought people would not get it. The 2008 director's cut keeps the mystery, and offers an extra 15 minutes of dark, trippy goodness. CRACKED.COM

Source: Wikipedia

The Thirteenth Floor

VIRTUAL REALITY MOVIES THE THIRTEENTH FLOOR 1999 THE MOVIE ADAPTS AN EARLY FICTIONAL DEPICTION OF VIRTUAL REALITY. Despite coming out at a time that made it look like a cheap Matrix knockoff, the movie has genre cred, being a loose adaptation of Daniel F. Galouye's 1964 novel Simulacron-3 (which had been previously adapted as a 1973 German movie World on a Wire). CRACKED.COM

Source: Wikipedia

Jennifer Jason Leigh in ExistenZ

VIRTUAL REALITY MOVIES EXISTENZ 1999 JENNIFER JASON LEIGH CHOSE CRONENBERG OVER KUBRICK. The reshoot schedules for Existenz and Eyes Wide Shut overlapped, and Leigh chose the former. Her role in Kubrick's movie was recast and reshot with Swedish actress Marie Richardson. CRACKED.COM

Source: IMDb

ExistenZ

VIRTUAL REALITY MOVIES EXISTENZ 1999 IT WAS DAVID CRONENBER'S FIRST FULLY ORIGINAL SCRIPT SINCE VIDEODROME. In the intervening 16 years, Cronenberg's movies were all remakes (The Fly) or adaptations (м. Butterfly, The Dead Zone, Crash, Dead Ringers, Naked Lunch). CRACKED.COM

Source: IMDb

ExistenZ and Salman Rushdie

VIRTUAL REALITY MOVIES EXISTENZ 1999 THE MOVIE WAS INSPIRED BY SALMAN RUSHDIE. Cronenberg interviewed Rushdie in 1995, while he was hiding due to a fatwa on his life due to his book The Satanic Verses. Cronenberg then thought of a similar fatwa, but against a video game designer. CRACKED.COM

Source: Wikipedia

Vanilla Sky

VIRTUAL REALITY MOVIES VANILLA SKY 2001 THE MOVIE WAS PANNED, BUT WON AWARDS. A critic called it an example of Tom Cruise's cosmic narcissism. Still, Cruise got a Saturn Award for his performance, while Cameron Diaz got two awards. CRACKED.COM

Source: Wikipedia

Sign up for the Cracked Newsletter

Get the best of Cracked sent directly to your inbox!

Forgot Password?