This is a mid-90s film, but it's pretty darn good. Starring Admiral Robocop himself Peter Wellers, picture a planet-wide version of a live minefield left over from a long-ended war. Both sides basically hate each other because it's just what they do, but due to low supplies and energy a stalemate has been reached. Originally one side got the advantage by filling the planet with self-replicating murder-robots that burrow underground. "Screaming," popping up and killing anything with a heartbeat, these robot creatures only halt for those who wear life sign-scrambling wristbands (spoiler alert, these bands stop working).
Eventually it's discovered that the robots have built better versions of themselves, and even humanoid models. Becoming a third faction in this war, suspicion arises when the cyborgs infiltrate both human sides. The sad part that gets to me is the female screamer falls in love with Buckaroo Banzai and defends him from another copy of herself. Think "Battlestar Galactica" if one Number Six fights another to defend Adama, but that fight is the first time we even found out that Six was a Cylon. Ouch.
5. Europa Report
Spoilers! I've mentioned this one before but worth mentioning again: this low budget indie film is both scary and scientifically accurate. Flying to the ice sea of Europa, this crew quickly finds out (through found footage) that not only is there life, but life that messes with electrical equipment. Accidents and danger occur, people freeze to death (as you do), and we learn that it's best to just stay in bed.
The sad part for me is when the remaining crew tries to leave the planet. Just like in Alien, the promise of hope and then the rug-pull of destruction is the worst. The capsule leaves, the astronauts agreeing that their greatest adventure has gone south and needs to end. Then due to whatever electromagnetic distortions that the life on Europa creates, the ship basically shuts off mid-flight. Within that moment of balance between the thrust running out and the gravity kicking in, utter devastation kicks in. "We're not going home, are we?" "We're not living through this, are we?" Picture yourself going through all the stages of grief in the few seconds between hard-fought salvation and hopeless ruin.
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