Here is an extract with relevant information regarding the science fiction genre which is helpful in definining the typical and common features found in sci-fi films:
Science Fiction Films are usually scientific, visionary, comic-strip-like, and imaginative, and usually visualized through fanciful, imaginative settings, expert film production design, advanced technology gadgets (i.e., robots and spaceships), scientific developments, or by fantastic special effects. Sci-fi films are complete with heroes, distant planets, impossible quests, improbable settings, fantastic places, great dark and shadowy villains, futuristic technology and gizmos, and unknown and inexplicable forces. Many other SF films feature time travels or fantastic journeys, and are set either on Earth, into outer space, or (most often) into the future time. Quite a few examples of science-fiction cinema owe their origins to writers Jules Verne and H.G. Wells.
They often portray the dangerous and sinister nature of knowledge ('there are some things Man is not meant to know') (i.e., the classic Frankenstein (1931), The Island of Lost Souls (1933), and David Cronenberg's The Fly (1986) - an updating of the 1958 version directed by Kurt Neumann and starring Vincent Price), and vital issues about the nature of mankind and our place in the whole scheme of things, including the threatening, existential loss of personal individuality (i.e., Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956), and The Incredible Shrinking Man (1957)). Plots of space-related conspiracies (Capricorn One (1978)), supercomputers threatening impregnation (Demon Seed (1977)), the results of germ-warfare (The Omega Man (1971)) and laboratory-bred viruses or plagues (28 Days Later (2002)), black-hole exploration (Event Horizon (1997)), and futuristic genetic engineering and cloning (Gattaca (1997) and Michael Bay's The Island (2005)) show the tremendous range that science-fiction can delve into.
Strange and extraordinary microscopic organisms or giant, mutant monsters ('things or creatures from space') may be unleashed, either created by misguided mad scientists or by nuclear havoc (i.e., The Beast From 20,000 Fathoms (1953)). Sci-fi tales have a prophetic nature (they often attempt to figure out or depict the future) and are often set in a speculative future time. They may provide a grim outlook, portraying a dystopic view of the world that appears grim, decayed and un-nerving (i.e., Metropolis (1927) with its underground slave population and view of the effects of industrialization, the portrayal of 'Big Brother' society in 1984 (1956 and 1984), nuclear annihilation in a post-apocalyptic world in On the Beach (1959), Douglas Trumbull's vision of eco-disaster in Silent Running (1972), Michael Crichton's Westworld (1973) with androids malfunctioning, Soylent Green (1973) with its famous quote: "Soylent Green IS PEOPLE!", 'perfect' suburbanite wives in The Stepford Wives (1975), and the popular gladiatorial sport of the year 2018 in Rollerball (1975)). Commonly, sci-fi films express society's anxiety about technology and how to forecast and control the impact of technological and environmental change on contemporary society.
Science fiction often expresses the potential of technology to destroy humankind through Armaggedon-like events, wars between worlds, Earth-imperiling encounters or disasters (i.e., The Day The Earth Stood Still (1951), When Worlds Collide (1951), The War of the Worlds (1953), the two Hollywood blockbusters Deep Impact (1998) and Armageddon (1998), and The Day After Tomorrow (2004), etc.). In many science-fiction tales, aliens, creatures, or beings (sometimes from our deep subconscious, sometimes in space or in other dimensions) are unearthed and take the mythical fight to new metaphoric dimensions or planes, depicting an eternal struggle or battle (good vs. evil) that is played out by recognizable archetypes and warriors (i.e., Forbidden Planet (1956) with references to the 'id monster' from Shakespeare's The Tempest, the space opera Star Wars (1977) with knights and a princess with her galaxy's kingdom to save, The Fifth Element (1997), and the metaphysical Solaris (1972 and 2002)). Beginning in the 80s, science fiction began to be feverishly populated by noirish, cyberpunk films, with characters including cyber-warriors, hackers, virtual reality dreamers and druggies, and underworld low-lifers in nightmarish, un-real worlds (i.e., Blade Runner (1982), Strange Days (1995), Johnny Mnemonic (1995), and The Matrix (1999)).