The 15 scariest movies about computers, ranked (pictures)

Hollywood loves to make boogeymen out of computers. Sometimes it even succeeds.

Gina Scanlon
Gina Scanlon is a freelance writer and producer for CBS Interactive and BBC America. She has a film degree from UCF, and a masters in scriptwriting from The University of London. She just recently moved to Encino from NYC, and finally made it a point to watch Encino Man.
Gina Scanlon
1 of 15 Lakeshore Entertainment Group

15. Untraceable

When it comes to Hollywood boogeymen, there are zombies, there are vampires, and there are...computers. We've always had an uneasy relationship with technology, and these movies sum up those feelings better than most.

For example: Do you have a piece of duct tape covering your computer's webcam? You may after watching "Untraceable" (2008). FBI agent Jennifer Marsh (Diane Lane) investigates a mysterious website that films a string of seemingly unconnected murders. As more people find out about the site, more people start to die. But as she gets close to solving the case, her own life and loved ones are thrown into the line of fire.

2 of 15 Walt Disney Studios

14. Tron

This 1982 Jeff Bridges classic is about a computer engineer who tries to break into a computer’s mainframe after having his work stolen by a co-worker. Instead he gets sucked inside the computer and has to find his way back to reality through a series of simulations. The sequel ("Tron: Legacy," 2010) was scary for a totally different reason -- lines like, "Biotechnical jazz, man!"

3 of 15 Twentieth Century Fox

13. Ghost in the Machine

This 1993 flick follows creepy computer store employee Karl, who is secretly a serial killer. Karl gets his victims from a scanned list on a co-worker's computer. After nearly being killed in a collision, Karl is sent to the hospital, where an evil MRI machine transfers his soul into a computer. His new superpower makes him horrifically unstoppable.

4 of 15 Shout! Factory

12. Evilspeak

This 1981 cult horror film is a harbinger of the cyberbully age. When a social outcast finds a way to summon demons and cast spells through his computer, his tormentors feel the wrath...of technology! This is the ultimate nerd-revenge tale gone wrong.

5 of 15 Summit Entertainment

11. ​Transcendence

The 2014 Johnny Depp film brings artificial intelligence to a whole new level. Scientist Will and his wife find a way to upload his consciousness into a quantum computer after he finds out he only has a month to live. But apparently, once a human goes full computer, he can take down entire governments and stuff. So...maybe not the best plan.

6 of 15 Twentieth Century Fox

10. I, Robot

The film adaptation of the Isaac Asimov tale stars Will Smith as Del Spooner, who is very leery of AI V.I.K.I.’s intentions. The suspicions are warranted once we find out V.I.K.I. is secretly plotting to overthrow the human population with an army of robots. Because, of course.

7 of 15 Lionsgate

9. Hard Candy

This 2005 psychological thriller focuses on an online sex predator caught in the act by a 14-year-old vigilante (Ellen Page). This story makes "Catfish" look like "The Little Mermaid."

8 of 15 Spyglass Entertainment

8. Stay Alive

This 2006 flick follows a group of youngsters who discover they’ve been trapped into playing a game where a ghost controls their every move. (You know: Because a joystick controlling their every move would be ridiculous.) In order to, well, stay alive, they must get to the end of the game.

9 of 15 Columbia Pictures

7. The Net

The year 1995 was scary for all kinds of reasons. For one, people had to work on computers that looked like cardboard boxes. Also: Those computers could do a world of damage, as Sandra Bullock’s character, computer programmer Angela Bennett, discovers. When Bennett stumbles upon a conspiracy, she gets mega-hacked, and ends up in a race to save her identity.

10 of 15 Dimension Film

6. Pulse

Pulse is a 2006 remake of the 2001 Japanese film "Kairo," which is basically about Skyping with the dead. Chances are, you'll want to take a break from FaceTime after it’s over.

11 of 15 Warner Brothers

5. Demon Seed

Based on the novel by Dean Koontz, this classic 1977 film stars Julie Christie and follows a woman who falls victim to a computer stalker. We don't mean a stalker on the computer: We mean an actual computer stalker. She is imprisoned and impregnated by home-security system "Proteus IV," which was created by her scientist husband. After watching this horror show, you may think twice about taking your work home with you.

12 of 15 Columbia Tristar

4. Brainscan

Another gamer thriller, this campy 1994 film, starring Edward Furlong, follows a teen who kills innocent victims in a video game. But the simulation becomes reality. You may never play Call of Duty again.

13 of 15 Praxis Films

3. Citizenfour

If you're wondering why this movie made the list, you haven't seen it. The 2014 Edward Snowden documentary, directed by Laura Poitras, brings our fear of Big Brother to the forefront, highlighting Snowden’s strategic whistleblower moves on the NSA, and how much the government really knows about each and every one of us.

14 of 15 MDP Worldwide

2. Feardotcom

Stephen Dorff stars in this 2002 thriller about a website that murder victims are visiting 48 hours before their demise. The only way Detective Mike Reilly can solve the case is to enter the site itself ... at his own risk.

15 of 15 Sony Pictures

1. Resident Evil

People tend to focus on the zombies in this flick. But the creepy little-girl AI is the real villain. Telltale sign: She's red. And also: She's trapped people in a giant subterranean hole. With zombies.

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