Fear is a funny thing. For the most part, it revolves around when something feels unfamiliar and threatening. With this in mind, it makes complete sense that technology itself is a frequent horror villain. Whether we’re talking about rogue AI or dystopias birthed from technological innovation gone too far, horror shows us that we ought to be careful and consider how technology might negatively affect us.
There are tons of iconic examples of evil technology throughout sci-fi horror and beyond. HAL from 2001: A Space Odyssey might be the classic example. Is there anything more terrifying than a glowing red light that watches your every move? Like many similar concepts, this one can be traced all the way back to the Gothic era with Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein.
As technology becomes more and more prevalent in our lives, this theme has evolved. New stories abandon the idea that technology and humans are separate and instead explore what happens when the two mix. Ideas like surveillance, cybernetics, and the Internet are now horror mainstays, and their relevance only ratchets up the terror.