Ten Deep 1.23.14: Top 10 Telekinetic Movies
Posted by Mike Gorman on 01.23.2014
From X2: X-Men United and Akira to Chronicle, Carrie, Friday the 13th, Part 7 and more, 411's Mike Gorman counts down the top 10 telekinetic-themed movies!
" Top Ten Telekinetic Movies"
Who hasn't daydreamed about having telekinesis? You know, the ability to move things with your mind. I know that I do every day when I am driving home from work and frustrated by the driving skills, or lack thereof, of my fellow commuters. Turn their car off, move it out of the way, or worse? Sounds good to me! More on this when we get to the number two film this week.
These daydreams have inspired this week's Ten Deep. The following movies all prominently feature a character or characters who possess telekinesis. The first film up is one I can honestly say I never thought would end up on any sort of "best of" list.
So yes, Push is not exactly a good movie per se but it does feature several telekinetic characters, amongst other super powers. What I like about Push is how the lead character, played by a pre-Avengers Chris Evans, uses this special ability to his own benefit in situations we all have probably thought of when someone asks what we would do if we had this talent. Evans is seen early in the film fixing a game of dice to his benefit with his telekinesis. The scene is fun and worth a few minutes of your time, even if the rest of the film does not live up to its potential.
Phenomenon took a different route from your typical super power film. In this instance the super powered character, played by John Travolta, discovers that his time is limited and uses his abilities to try and make life better for everyone around him. There are no tights or real super heroics, just answers to the question of how would a man react if one day he developed an increased intelligence and telekinesis, and how would the world react to him. There is no real happy ending here but a statement about the impact of a life.
Roald Dahl's Matilda gives the gift of telekinesis to a young girl who has had to deal with more problems in her young life than anyone should have to handle, including a monstress headmistress and the most selfish parents ever seen on screen. Luckily, as usual, Dahl instills this girl with a wisdom and empathy that extends beyond her short existence. The movie is a lot of fun and has even inspired a new Broadway musical. Also, you will never look at chocolate cake the same way again!
7. The Fury
As is often the case in "real world" based sci-fi films, once the special abilities, in this case telekinesis, are discovered you can expect the government to try and step in turning these powers into a weapon. In The Fury, a father must try to save his telekinetic son from the grips of the scientists who want to use him like a bomb. The film is like many of its time, like Firestarter, but features some stand out performances and a bit of a twist in the end.
With Zapped! we see a telekinetic adventure set firmly in one of the sex crazed teen movies that were prolific in the 80's. This romp features perpetual sitcom best friends Scott Baio and Willie Aames (Charles in Charge anyone?) as high school students whose hormones fuel the film's telekinetic antics. Baio is the one with the powers but Aames certainly does his best to steer his friends actions in his own direction. There was no blouse button safe in this film, ask Heather Thomas.
5. Friday the 13th, Part 7: New Blood
Jason Voorhees finally faces an adversary who stands her ground in Friday the 13th, Part 7: New Blood. Tina is a pretty distraught telekinetic girl who blames herself and her powers on her father's death that happened a few years earlier at Camp Crystal Lake. When her therapist and her mother bring her back to the scene of the tragedy, Tina accidentally revives Jason who had been chained up at the bottom of the lake. What follows is the usual slaughter peppered with some awesome telekinetic moments between Tina and Jason. She survives the night and I would love to see her return to the Camp for a rematch some day.
Telekinesis and it's destructive potential play a pivotal role in the cyberpunk animated film, Akira. Set in the not so distant future, the film is based on the 2000+ page manga of the same name yet Akira is far from your typical comic book story. The lines between good and evil are not so clearly defined as themes of power, fear, and control are explore in this must see adventure. The film and book have an incredibly strong fan base and the video I have included here is actually one fan's attempt to capture the properties feel in a remade trailer. I think that they did succeed.
3. X 2: X-Men United
X 2: X-Men United is the best of the original three X-Men films as it felt more like one of the mutants comic book adventures with a stronger focus on the characters and their development. One of those characters featured prominently was Famke Janssen's Jean Grey. Grey's telepathic and telekinetic powers were put to the test during the film's climax leading to her ultimate sacrifice that all fans of the X-Men knew foreshadowed her return as the Phoenix. And while the next film crushed all hopes for that storyline, it was during this film that hope still remained alive.
There is no other film on this week's list that seems to divide fans of sci-fi films than Chronicle. This film tells the story, through found footage, of three teenagers who encounter some glowing rocks and develop incredibly powerful telekinetic abilities. What I enjoy most about the film is the way it strives to portray exactly how the average teenager would respond if they woke up one day and could fly, and move things with a thought. The results are not pretty, and are certainly not heroic, but they always feel authentic and this is where the film succeeds. I mentioned that this was the film that linked to my earlier mention of road rage as this is the film where one of the teens gets upset at another driver and just throws the vehicle off the road. I can't say I'd actually do this if I could, but I can say the scene is one of my favorites in the movie.
1. Carrie (1976)
The original Carrie remains the ultimate cinematic telekinetic experience thirty eight years later. Based on Stephen King's novel of the same name, Carrie tells the story of a girl who develops telekinetic powers at the same time she enters puberty. Carrie herself is no ordinary girl as she has been subject to her mother's intense religious fanaticism her entire life and this has shaped her perceptions and reactions. There are many movies that feature teen "mean girls" taking out their frustrations on a weaker target, but this time they picked a target who basically has an atomic bomb in her mind. We all know the classic prom scene that caps the film. You can relive it below, if you dare.
This past year Carrie was remade, and the film has some great moments but does not top the original. One of the very cool things that happened due to this film was a viral video marketing campaign set in a coffee shop. I leave you this week with the clip from the marketing campaign.
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