DUFF ON DIGITAL: 5 indie sci-fi gems you might have missed - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

DUFF ON DIGITAL: 5 indie sci-fi gems you might have missed

Source: Sony Pictures Source: Sony Pictures

Digital distribution hasn't just revolutionized the delivery of blockbuster movies, it's also given people easy access to smart, low-budget indie films that previously could only be seen in festivals and boutique theaters.

This revolution has led to an explosion of low-budget, high-concept sci-fi - small, quiet films that use science fiction concepts to tell mature, emotional stories.

You won't see a lot of explosions or CGI spaceships in these films, but if you like a good time travel plot, or social commentary with a dose of wry humor, these films may surprise you.

These movies are not for kids, but they could spark some interesting conversation for mom and dad.

The Lobster (2015)

The darkest and funniest of the films on this list, single people are brought to an isolated resort for their literal last chance at love. They have 60 days to find a partner or they get turned into animals. The main character, played by an utterly deadpan Collin Farrell, has decided to be a lobster.

But first, he's going to give it his best shot, growing increasingly awkward and desperate as he, and the other visitors, run out of time. The movie is about that increasing sense of desperation, and the petty, foolish things people do to start and maintain a relationship, when they feel like the clock is running out.

The best bits come when our main character pretends to be a sociopath, to try and start something with a comically cruel and heartless woman.

Time Lapse (2014)

Proof that you don't need a big budget to pull off a great time travel story. What if you had a machine that could show you a photograph from 24 hours in the future? What if you could send messages to yourself and know tomorrow before it happens?

What would you do with the power, and what lines would you cross, if you knew any mistake could be erased with a brand new day?

Space Station 76 (2014)

Remember the future we were promised, back in the age before cell phones and pocket computers - a world made of gears, wires, metal and white plastic? When everybody wore nylon bodysuits and smoked indoors?

Space Station 76 takes you back to this future of switches, knobs and blinking lights, back to the future of Buck Rogers and Space 1999.

But it's not about the gadgets, and it's not about the future. This movie is about the past - about the utter self-absorption of the Me Generation, and the consequences of being so wrapped up in yourself that the larger universe passes you by.

The movie can feel like one joke that goes on too long, but there are some genuine laughs in here, mixed with some serious emotional beats you might not expect.

The Sound of My Voice (2011)

Indie It Girl Brit Marling plays Maggie, a cult leader who claims to be visiting from the year 2054. Christopher Denham and Nicole Vicius play a couple making a documentary about the cult.

The film cranks up the tension as Maggie makes her followers jump through more and more elaborate hoops, supposedly testing their fitness to survive in a world where technology has taken a step back, and people are forced to grow their own food in garage gardens.

Is Maggie really from the future? Or is she just another charismatic crazy person, glorying in her power over others? The film does a masterful job of leaving the question open, providing several plausible explanations, leaving just enough sci-fi hooks in to keep the audience guessing.

The film is carried by great performances and wonderful pacing, throwing in just enough weirdness and emotional depth to keep you engaged.

Frequently Asked Questions About Time Travel (2009)

And if all this indie stuff is too pretentious for you, try FAQ About Time Travel, described as "Doctor Who meets Shaun of the Dead."

Three friends get caught up in a silly time travel plot, that ends up bringing in, and making fun of, every major sci-fi trope.

Just a good time with some great laughs.

You can find these movies in all the usual places, iTunes, Amazon Video, Google Play, and some are on streaming services.

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