What to watch after seeing Ready Player One this weekend

It's not uncommon for people to get out of the theater after seeing Ready Player One with a strong desire for more. The truth is there's not much more in that particular universe you can enjoy, but there are some great VR stores out there you can watch to keep your brain fixed in that science fiction position.

Here's a quick look at my recommendations!

Sword Art Online: Ordinal Scale

This is an animated film based in a universe where VR is a common thing many people have. This movie comes toward the end of a TV series by the same name, which dives deeper into a nightmare situation where VR headsets have taken a few people hostage for something nefarious. The movie isn't quite as aggressive, and actually dives quite a bit into the future of AR as well.

It's got a fair bit of action, but is a generally lighthearted and beautifully animated film that will keep your mind in that VR/AR future world for a little while longer.

See at iTunes

Black Mirror: San Junipero

If you've heard of Black Mirror and decided not to watch any of it because of the reputation it has earned for being dark and terrifying, don't immediately skip over this suggestion. The San Junipero episode of this show, which is the fourth episode of the third season, is actually largely upbeat and has an incredible story to tell.

This episode doesn't have VR in the traditional sense, and certainly not the same as what you'd expect to see after watching Ready Player One, but take a look for yourself and you'll see what ties these stories together.

See at Netflix

The Thirteenth Floor

Welcome to a world where someone has built tech where you can "jack in" to a totally different reality. No, this isn't The Matrix, a movie released the same weekend as this film. The Thirteenth Floor has a somewhat cult following for being a gritty action-ish film, but the way this story captures the act of diving into VR is a lot of fun to think about.

It's also not quite as dystopian and flat as The Matrix, so there's that.

See at iTunes

Lawnmower Man

It doesn't get much more old school than this. Lawnmower man is the original VR horror movie, where a seemingly simple system to increase your intelligence through VR learning turns you into a crazed lunatic.

Neither this movie nor its sequel hold up super well to current technology and our understanding of science, not to mention CG usage, but it can be fun if you're into something a little darker.

See at iTunes


This one goes deep down the rabbit hole of wondering what happens when you step into an alternate reality powered by strange future tech. There are no headsets to speak of, but the whole idea here is being able to question what is real and deciding what kind of person you want to be across realities. If you know there are no consequences, how do you behave?

Lots of deep VR nerds really enjoy eXistenZ as a mechanism for talking about the future of social VR, but it's also a decent-ish older thriller you can enjoy pretty much any time.

See at iTunes

Russell Holly

Russell is a Contributing Editor at iMore. He's a passionate futurist whose trusty iPad mini is never far from reach. You can usually find him chasing the next tech trend, much to the pain of his wallet. Reach out on Twitter!