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There is more concern about artificial intelligence (AI) in real life than ever before. But has horror been trying to warn us about the potential dangers of AI all along? We think that the warnings have been in horror films for quite some time.

  • Alien (1979)

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    Ridley Scott's Alien has an AI character that is one of the most dangerous and most wicked of all and is frequently overlooked because of the overwhelming presence of the Xenomorphs. Ash, the crewmember and Nostromo's science officer is an android working for the company to bring back a Xenomorph. The company and Ash consider the crew's lives expendable, and Ash coldly does whatever it takes to get a Xenomorph onboard and destroy any resistance.

  • Westworld (1973)

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    Westworld was written and directed by Michael Crichton and is about an adult theme park where visitors can live out their fantasies of life in the Wild West, Medieval times, and ancient Rome. The parks are inhabited by androids who play the parts of the people from the past. The terror begins when the androids are infected with a computer virus that shorts out their programming. The robots start to refuse the guests' wishes and begin to kill the guests. The film stars Yul Brynner, Richard Benjamin, and James Brolin.

  • The Terminator (1984)

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    James Cameron's film about a future dominated by sentient cybernetic organisms bent on destroying the human race is scary. Starring Arnold Schwarzenegger, Michael Biehn, Linda Hamilton, Lance Henrikson, and Paul Winfield, the film has spawned a franchise of six films and two television series. The Terminator is an almost unkillable assassin that will never stop hunting its target. Yeah, that's really frightening.

  • Chopping Mall (1986)

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    Chopping Mall is a techno-horror film about three security guard robots going on a killing spree after a lightning storm. The robots called Protectors malfunction and kill the technicians and human security guards. Eight mall employees who have stayed in the mall after hours to party are now in danger. Bad robots! Kelli Maroney, Paul Bartel, Mary Woronov, and Barbara Crampton star in the film.

  • The Stepford Wives (1975)

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    The Stepford Wives is based on the novel by Ira Levin, directed by Bryan Forbes, and stars Katharine Ross, Paula Prentiss, Peter Masterson, and Tina Louise. The quiet suburb of Stepford seems like a great place to raise a family, and Walter and Joanna Eberhart move there from Manhattan. Joanna and her new friend Bobbie start to notice the odd and submissive behavior of the wives in the town and try to find out what happened as more and more wives change. The weird and spiritless Stepford Wives are robot replacements with which the husbands' Men's Association have replaced their wives.

  • M3GAN (2022)

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    Look no further if you are looking for the artificial intelligence doll with the scariest stare. M3GAN wins the title. Gerard Johnstone, a director from New Zealand, directed the film, and Akela Cooper wrote the screenplay. After a young girl's parents were killed in a car accident, the young girl Cady has to go live with her aunt, Gemma, a roboticist in Seattle. Gemma's attempts to help Cady with her grief culminate in Gemma activating the robot doll M3GAN, and things get really out of control.

  • Demon Seed (1977)

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    An entirely different kind of horror awaits in Demon Seed. A hyperintelligent supercomputer with artificial intelligence decides to capture the wife of the man who created it in the home run by Proteus via a voice-activated system. Proteus wants to be alive, so he convinces Susan (Julie Christie) to bear the computer's child. Her husband, the scientist Dr. Alex Harris (Fritz Weaver), realizes too late that Proteus controls their home and finds Susan and the newly born child.

  • RoboCop (1987)

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    RoboCop, directed by Paul Verhoeven and starring Peter Weller, Nancy Allen, Daniel O'Herlihy, Ronny Cox, Kurtwood Smith, and Miguel Ferrer, is called a science fiction film, but it seems like horror to me. You are a cop in a violent future in Detroit, and the company that runs the police department you work uses your body after you are dead to create a robotic police officer. Horrific. The film has a lot of very dark humor, and a scene where a criminal is dissolved by toxic waste is particularly disturbing. Robocop isn't the danger, but the company Omni Consumer Products (OCP) and the malfunctioning killer robots that it creates are the horror in the film.

  • I Am Mother (2019)

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    I Am Mother was directed by Grant Sputore and stars Clara Rugaard, Rose Byrne, and Hilary Swank. Artificial intelligence started a mass extinction event on Earth because it did not deem humanity worthy of survival. The AI keeps human embryos in an automated bunker and is called Mother. Mother has raised a human daughter to be ethical, and there is no disturbance until one day, a mortal woman breaks into the bunker, telling tales of humanity's destruction.

  • Ex Machina (2014)

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    Alex Garland wrote and directed Ex Machina, the tale of a young programmer, Caleb, who wins a contest to meet the CEO, Nathan, and spend time with him at his mansion. It stars Oscar Isaac, Alicia Vikander, and Domhnall Gleeson. Caleb starts to feel for Ava (Alicia Vikander), a humanoid robot with artificial intelligence. Nathan tells him that Ava is only using him to be able to escape. Is it true, and what will Ava do to escape the prison Nathan keeps her in?

  • Deadly Friend (1986)

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    Deadly Friend was directed by Wes Craven, and Bruce Joel Rubin wrote the screenplay. The film was originally more of a gentler science fiction movie, but after a test audience reacted negatively, more scenes of graphic horror were added. The film stars Kristy Swanson as Samantha Pringle, a young woman with an abusive father who kills her. Matthew Laborteaux plays Patrick Conway, a computer genius who implants a robot's processor in Samantha's brain to bring her back. Samantha then goes on a killer rampage.

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