ReaBits Blog

VR in the movies

The idea of virtual reality became very popular amoung the moviemakers. Here are some of the most patent examples. Later we will post detailed reviews of each of these movies. Foolow us on ReaBits.

Tthe epoch-making movie “TRON” by Steven Lisberger was made in 1982. This movie virtually brought a user inside the computer. There, every program becomes a living person. The user lost his usual power over virtual reality and was forced to act as a computer program.

Another movie, “THE LAWNMOWER MAN” (directed in 1992 by Leonard Brett) dwelled on another aspcet of the VR phenomenon. It presented a conjugation of a man and a program as a way of becoming an overhuman. But everything comes with a price: after connecting to the net and stimulating mental activity with scecial devices, protagonist started to use his power over VR to control physical world (the “SkyNet syndrome”).

In 1995 one of the most popular novels by William Gibson, “JOHNNY MNEMONIC”, was adapted for big screen. It a very “typical-Gibson” distopic world of future a freedom of data access becomes crucial in a struggle of powerful TNCs.

This year can be considered a starting point of a romanticism in VR-themed moveis because of another milestone movie, the “HACKERS”. Unlike the movies above, this film was relatively easy for the audience, still advocating for the idea of free cyberspace.

“NIRVANA” (1997) is often regarded as the best movie of this style. It is a peculiar narrative of Plato’s “The Allegory of the Cave”.

And finally, “THE MATRIX” (1999), an iconic movie, which became a sub-total of VR-themed films.
An editor Gardner Dozois enunicated the main cyberpunk criteria: “High tech. Low life”. This genre explores the dangers of rapid technological advancement. It states that it is very unsafe to improve our possibilities while leaving modern social problems unsolved. At the same time these movies center on a man in the net. VR can only grant in illusion of super power – but this illusion sometimes is too tempting to remain in the real world. VR becomes a version of earthly heaven.