10 Movies and TV Shows that will prime you for Westworld
From the steamy trailer to the critics lucky enough to have already seen the pilot, the word is out. HBO’s new TV show Westworld is hot.
So if you’re on the fence about watching, or even oblivious to what it is, take a trip through past classics to see what it’s like and what it might offer you.
10. WestWorld the movie
Go watch it now. It’s on Netflix and Prime. Just avoid the sequel, FutureWorld. It’s not anywhere near as good.
If you’ve watched it already? Great, now imagine it with more character development, an even more formidable cast (Anthony Hopkins) and up-scaled for today’s desensitized audience.
This ain’t no ordinary theme park.
9. Jurassic Park
Both Jurassic Park and Westworld are Michael Crichton books. They also share a theme park setting.
In Jurassic Park, everything starts out innocently enough, and it’s only human greed that causes catastrophe. In Westworld we don’t start with innocence. Think of it like summer break’s lost inhibitions colliding with the cruel and dirty Wild West.
8. Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones isn’t relevant to Westworld in theme or genre. It’s relevant in production value, acting talent and format.
There have always been great TV shows but Game of Thrones raised the stakes. The popularity of TV shows rocketed afterward, so HBO must raise the stakes again because their throne is under threat from Marvel, AMC, Netflix and others.
7. A.I. – Artificial Intelligence
A.I. split opinion. Some embraced the modern retelling of Pinocchio, a story about a robot boy wanting to regain the love of his human mother. The rest hated Steven Spielberg’s interpretation of Stanley Kubrick’s tale.
What makes A.I relevant is the perspective delivered by the child, Haley Joel Osment’s character. This setting of a selfish and unflinching human discarding and abusing an emotive and innocent robot will come up frequently in WestWorld, and it will twist your perspective.
6. Straw Dogs
The 1971 original depicts brutal violence based on social class and a shocking irony of an English countryside lifestyle, quickly becoming a nightmare.
Straw Dogs has a major relevance to Westworld in that no one expects the escalation, events or outcome. From the arrival to the social bullying and final brutal events.
5. Welcome to Blood City
If Welcome to Blood City left its reveal until the end, this movie could have been a cult classic. Instead, it slipped under the radar amidst the 70s western sci-fi hybrid gold rush.
Welcome to Blood City is The Hunger Games meets The Running Man, in The Lawnmower Man’s shoes.
What’s relevant is that this is a virtual world where winning keeps you out of slavery — an interesting premise and relatable to the theme park that is Westworld, albeit for criminals.
4. Soylent Green
What is the secret of Soylent Green? Great trailer. Great movie. A film which asks so many social questions and portrays a horrifying vision of humankind’s future.
A film where humanity is both innocent and guilty without knowing such, and a film where trying to do the right thing and finding the truth will only lead to your own misery and suffering.
Can Westworld deliver the same desperation to find the truth and misery of its reality? We believe it will.
3. A Clockwork Orange
Clockwork Orange is often portrayed as a film of no merit amongst those who are unwilling to look at the moral of the tale.
The ultraviolent youth desensitized and automated in their pursuit of pleasure via flesh and violence. This ties perfectly to the visitors of Westworld. They are hungry for what is illegal in the real world.
Considering what we see in mainstream TV shows and recent movies, A Clockwork Orange is barely shocking in modern times, will Westworld add the same character and social depravity? We definitely think so.
2. Logan’s Run
A classic science fiction story based on the principle of lying to control society. The entire story is a ruse and it’s only when exploring the limits that hope becomes freedom.
At the time, Logan’s Run had the best of all twists but is now overused.
This is the big question being asked of Westworld. Can it deliver a season-long arc when the truth is already known to all of us?
1. High Planes Drifter
The stranger, played by Clint Eastwood was ambiguous. He represented the wild west perfectly. Ruthless, sadistic, evil and vengeful.
The strange part is, Clint Eastwood’s character was the good guy. The savior of a corrupt and cowardly town.
In TV shows and most movies you’ll know the good from bad early. High Planes Drifter, and Westworld, expects everyone to be morally questionable and the honest to die first.
It is this uncertainty and unfamiliarity that will make this HBO TV show stand out for its unflinching delivery of humanity’s darker side. Look out for Westworld as it releases in the US and UK early October.