'Terminator 2: Judgment Day'

Freddy Krueger has been remade -- or rebooted, or reinvented, or whatever you want to call the new version of A Nightmare on Elm Street, which opens wide on Friday. The important thing is that a brand new batch of cinematic bad dreams will be unleashed upon the world, which gives us an excuse to explore nightmares from a science fiction perspective.

One dictionary defines "nightmare" as "a situation resembling a terrifying dream," and that's the definition I've used in compiling my list of The Top Ten Sci-Fi Nightmares. Naturally, I'm wary of spoiling some of the movies on this list simply by including them, so let me instead describe all of these movies as having nightmare scenarios, rather than restrict the selections solely to films featuring characters having nightmares. That broadens the scope a bit, I think, without damaging the integrity of the word.

1. Terminator 2: Judgment Day
Eloquent and chilling, the opening scene of James Cameron's sequel immediately establishes the film as a more ambitious project than its predecessor. The nightmare scenario to end all nightmare scenarios -- psst! note the title -- is the fuel that burns within Sarah Connor (Linda Hamilton), driving her forward, making her single-minded to protect her son, John (Edward Furlong). The kid has only experienced the nightmare second-hand, but begins to believe when he encounters the fabled Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger) at a mall in Reseda, California [insert your own joke about shopping malls being the worst nightmare of all].
categories Sci-Fi