1. Coherence (2013)
While attending a dinner party, eight friends begin to experience a chain of distressing events as a result of a passing comet. The night’s proceedings ultimately become a mass frenzy. With a handful of improvisational actors, no script (but a basic outline), and a budget of only $50,000, Coherence is proof that an intricate storyline and powerful performances can bring success to a film; an immense budget and Hollywood A-listers aren’t necessary.
2. Colossus: The Forbin Project (1970)
Dr. Charles Forbin has built a supercomputer, Colossus, buried in a secret location in the Rockies, which has the assumed responsibility of ensuring the nation’s safety against any potential nuclear attack. However, when Colossus starts to communicate with a similar Russian device, Guardian, the two computers begin to devise their own strategies without human interaction. With a narrative which brings a technological pertinence to today’s world, Colossus: The Forbin Project is sure to intrigue yet educate.
3. The Andromeda Strain (1971)
In a race against time, a team of scientists in a state-of-the-art facility investigate the deadly outbreak of an alien virus in Arizona. Written by Michael Crichton, the acclaimed writer of Jurassic Park, The Andromeda Strain tackles the real-life issue of contagion of microorganisms and the containment thereof. With a story that focuses solely upon the science involved, leaving out any unnecessary Hollywood romances in the process, this is a film attempting to address a real threat to the population of today.
4. Timecrimes (2007)
Hector gets into a time machine by accident and travels back in time nearly an hour. He finds himself in a predestination loop, and discovering himself is the first in a series of calamities, much to the detriment of Hector, which have a catastrophic impact. Despite being Nacho Vigalondo’s feature-length debut, he has, with Timecrimes, weaved a web of convolution and intricacy which both stimulates and fascinates.
5. Westworld (1973)
At a futuristic, adult-only theme park where guests can pay to take part in a simulated Wild West populated by androids, a robot malfunction sends the park into a state of entropy and terror. The guests soon find themselves in a battle of their lives. Again from the creative mind of Michael Crichton, Westworld is nothing short of no-holds-barred gunslinging fun between a frivolous James Brolin and a menacing, relentless Yul Brynner.
6. Primer (2004)
Two friends/fledgling entrepreneurs, knowing that there’s something bigger and more innovative than the different error-checking devices they’ve built, wrestle over their new invention, a time machine. A film with a budget of $7,000, Primer, Shane Carruth’s directorial debut, is simply extraordinary for a first effort. Once again, this is definitive proof that budget and FX are vastly unimportant.