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If you’re looking to get your sci-fi fix, but don’t have the time to settle down for to watch a full-length sci-fi movie, these amazing sci-fi short films should scratch that itch.
In this article we list the best sci-fi short films to watch online. From early 1900 imaginings of what we might find on the Moon and the future of VR, to modern takes on alien invasions and human teleportation. It’s all here for your viewing pleasure…
A Trip to the Moon (1902)
Considered one of the first science fiction films ever made, this Georges Méliès silent movie is both enjoyable from beginning to end. This is your chance to see what the imagination conjured up about the Moon long before we ever set foot on it. From rockets constructed with sledgehammers, to alien civilizations, this short has it all.
Best Friend (2018)
This beautifully animated short offers a despondent look at social interaction in the near-future. In this fictional world, loneliness is tackled with an electronic chip that offers characters the chance to “never be alone”.
Digital friends accompany the protagonist through a world where technology has all but eradicated personal relationships. Yet what was promised as a solution soon leads to addiction, violence, and, ultimately, a bleak look at what the world could become.
Liminal, by Collin Davis and Matt Litwiller, is a one-scene short that is utterly engaging. This is the story of a lead scientist who has just conducted the first interplanetary teleportation of a human being. If successful, this experiment will have massive implications for space travel. But things aren’t so simple, with the experiment not going quite as planned.
World Builder (2007)
This short, dialog-free film from Bruce Branit gives us an exciting glimpse into what the future of VR could hold. It’s like Second Life, but for medical purposes, with convincing worlds being conjured up through the pinching of fingers and twisting of wrists. If this turns out to be close to reality, VR 2.0 looks seriously mesmerising.
The Answers (2016)
This is an award-winning (loosely sci-fi) short film with an interesting concept. What if when you die, you get to search through your past life as if you’re using a search engine. Discover how many times you’ve smiled, the happiest or bravest you’ve ever been, and even the biggest mistakes you’ve made.
This moving, creative short is a reminder to make the most of what you have, while you still have it.
Strange Beasts (2017)
Initially looking like an infomercial for a new augmented reality game where users create and raise digital pets, this short film quickly twists into something far more creepy and worrying. This is a movie that is sure to make you think about how far augmented reality can go, and how far we should actually allow it to go.
Final Offer (2018)
Mark Slutsky’s dark comedy, “Final Offer,” follows Henry, a lawyer who has been chosen to represent the human species in an trade negotiation with a seductive woman he met at a bar the night before. Unfortunately for him, she turns out to be a ghastly alien, here to expropriate what she can of Earth’s natural resources.
A Date in 2025 (2018)
This award-winning short written by Matthew Hart and directed by Ryan Turner is a stunning tale of a relatable young man who is over-reliant on technology. So much so that he desperately needs human connection to prevent a further spiral into depression.
This is written as a rom-com, twinned with a Black Mirror-esque view of where technology will take us. However, the story is realistic enough to be taken seriously.
The Adept (2018)
In just eight minutes, The Adept, by Adam Stern, pulls you in to a captivating scenario of what could happen if the human mind were able to access a higher plane.
What would be possible if we could reach this kind of academic enlightenment? And what undesired consequences would it hold? Here’s to hoping this sci-fi short film is expanded into a full-length feature.
This superbly animated short by Katy Wang is a simple, moving story of a stranded astronaut sending out a distress signal in the hope of finding human contact, and perhaps a way to return to Earth. The ending is equally emotional, hopeful, and helpless. The perfect combination.
Kaleb Lechowski created this entire short movie on his own at the age of 22. The special effects are incredible, and the back-story is riveting. In this world, an extraterrestrial species is at war with its own self-created army of machines, and it isn’t going well. This short was so well received, it’s now being turned into a full-length feature film.
The Lie Game
From the back story, through the twist in the middle, and the satisfying ending, The Lie Game, from Jyothi Kalyan Sura, is a complete sci-fi short film in all ways. This gives us an important insight into the world of tech funding, the compromises that are made, and the twisting of beneficial ideas into commercial objectives.
Shot over just six days with zero budget, Alternate is a short movie to behold. Earth is undergoing an alien invasion, not dissimilar to War of The Worlds. The problems that humans now face render all of our previous squabbles meaningless.
The only complaint would be that the film doesn’t offer much closure, but for a short 13-minute story of this kind, that may be asking too much.
What Are Your Favorite Sci-Fi Short Films?
These creative sci-fi short films cover a huge range of topics, and each one is well worth your time. However, there are plenty more out there worth watching, so feel free to let us know about them in the comments below.
And if you find yourself craving yet still more geeky science fiction, be sure to check out our list of the best science fiction books for geeks and the best cyberpunk films to watch online. We also recommend adding some of these gift ideas for science fiction fans to your wish list.