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  • Writer's pictureAbby Brenker

The Best Artificial Intelligence Horror Films

Currently we are exploring the history of Artificial Intelligence represented in horror and science fiction films. Here are a few that we at the Lunatics Project specifically love. But we know there are a lot of excellent films in this category that deserve love. Here are the best Artificial Intelligence horror films.

A robot looks at her reflection

Ex Machina (2014) From writer/director Alex Garland, Ex Machina tells the story of a developer who is flown to a remote island to administer a Turing test to his boss’s new invention. Because this film is so contained, and to the point, it makes room for the characters to shine. It’s a slow burn, haunting, surprising and horrifying examination of A.I. Plus, it has a dance scene. 

A man sits on his motorcycle

The Terminator 2: Judgment Day (1991) If you’ve listened to episode 135 of the Lunatics Radio Hour podcast, you know that this is not only Alan’s favorite A.I. film but one of his favorite films of all time. Alan has a profound love for the James Cameron director’s cut, which he refers to as “magnum opus material.”

Women stand in a grocery store

The Stepford Wives (1975) A classic film based on the novel by Ira Levin (who also wrote the novel Rosemary’s Baby.) The Stepford Wives stands out because it is not a dystopian world where robots have taken over, it represents a current day approach, which in turn creates a film ripe with reflection of society. 

A robot doll

M3GAN (2022) Hilarious, fun, and scary. M3GAN stars Allison Williams and tells the story of a brilliant inventor who creates a life size doll who can play with and babysit children. Until, of course, things go horribly wrong. 

A man in a space suit

2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) Based on the novels by Arthur C. Clarke, but was directed by Stanley Kubrick. It plays on one of human’s biggest fears when it comes to A.I., what happens when the computers stop obeying orders?

A man on a space station

Moon (2009)  Similar in some ways to 2001, Moon stars Sam Rockwell. Moon is as much about isolation as it is about artificial intelligence. 

A man sits at a table

Blade Runner (1982) One of the pinnacle science fiction films of a generation, and one that went on to inspire great innovation with horror and A.I. based films that followed. Blade Runner was directed by Ridley Scott and stars Harrison Ford. 

A robot cop gets out of a car

RoboCop (1987) Though it was poorly received at the time of its release, RoboCop has been reevaluated as a masterpiece. Peter Weller stars as the RoboCop. A film that takes us into a dystopian future in Detroit, and explores the themes of having robot, artificially intelligent cops, a truly terrifying premise. 

And of course, there are major films, franchises and series that explore this theme: Alien, The Matrix, I, Robot, Star Trek, Transformers, Westworld, just to name a few. Shoutout to lesser known films I Am Mother and Tau. 

Alan would also like me to mention Demon Seed. I would not. 

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