You must watch the best sci-fi thriller ever for free online as soon as possible

Don’t let the cyborgs get hold of a directory. If there’s one accidental message in this 1984 film, it’s that back then it was incredibly easy for deadly time-traveling pseudo-robots to find out where you live. The most important plot device in the first half of the James Cameron classic is easily the various copies of the White Pages pursued by Reese (Michael Biehn) and The Terminator (Arnold Schwarzenegger).

But why are these guys trying to find Sarah Connor? The glow of the classic Terminator can be found in the way it makes a convoluted premise shockingly simple. The flagship 1984 movie is streaming for free, so here’s why you should give it another take.

If you’ve never seen the original Terminatoror haven’t seen it for a long time – one of the strengths of the movie is that it doesn’t spoil. Terminator keeps his cards so close to his waistcoat that 45 minutes after the movie starts, you always I don’t know why Schwarzenegger executes people named “Sarah Connor”. An opening text prologue tells you that intelligent machines are at war with humans in the future and the final battle will be in the past, but beyond a few visual flashforwards, audiences aren’t. aware of either Reese or the Terminator’s true motives for almost half of the film.

Which makes The Terminator So re-watchable is that the first half of the movie is essentially just multiple chase scenes interspersed with the horror of Arnold slaughtering people. Director James Cameron tapped old-school science fiction as The outer limits but also gave Terminator the atmosphere of a slasher movie. As a result, the action is legitimately unnerving, and the Terminator’s relentlessness gives the plot a real threat.

Arnold Schwarzenegger isn’t praised enough for his acting decisions in this movie, and it would be reductive to say he just played a big, stupid bully. Because most people have an acquaintance with Arnold after 1984 in the Terminator Frankly, the very notion of the T-800 has become a sort of self-parody. In T2: Judgment Day the Terminator has joined the good guys, and in T3 he said “speak by hand”. And no matter what you feel for Genisys (2015) or Dark fate (2019), there is no way to claim that these films scared the T-800 again.

Arnold isn’t kidding in this movie.Sunset Boulevard / Historic Corbis / Getty Images

But in the 1984 original, what’s striking is how inhuman and inhuman the Terminator is. It might sound like a big “no duh”, but the idea that the Terminator is alone there to end really does appear in Schwarzenegger’s performance. When the Terminator steals a car at the start of the movie, for example, the scene is small but scary for two reasons.

  • It happens in broad daylight.
  • When the Terminator gets into the car after breaking the glass, he doesn’t flinch when part of the glass falls on his body.

The second part is chilling and subtle. In science fiction, actors who play robots / cyborgs / androids are often praised for the way they give dimension to these man-made life forms. People like to praise Rutger Hauer’s emotion in Blade runner or the childish wonder of Brent Spiner in Star Trek: The Next Generation, but what made Schwarzenegger’s performance so unique is that he really looks like a machine.

Whether or not that means he’s a great actor is up for debate, but in the context of Terminator its performance is more than efficient; it is final. There has never been a sci-fi thriller like The Terminator, and when it comes to the element of horror, even its sequels are arguably not of the same genre. Nobody ever said, “What did this movie do? The Terminator done, only better. It’s a time travel movie that hardly feels like a time travel movie, a horror movie with intelligence, and kind of a love story too.

If you’ve never seen it, you’ll be happy when you do. Like a thrilling horror in a sci-fi setting, The Terminator remains one of a kind.

The Terminator (1984) is broadcast free on Tubi.

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