The modern world of cinema is dominated by special effects. Gone are the days when directors had to rely on the talents of set designers and make up artists to bring the worlds of their movies to life. Now special effects can be used to create just about anything.

Whilst this results in some impressive viewing, it means that the sets themselves are a lot barer than what they would have been in the past because so much is created digitally. In fact, many movies are unrecognizable before special effects are added.

Here’s 16 movies which show the awe-inspiring power of special effects…

1. Deadpool (2016)

Thanks to special effects, the makers of Deadpool have been able to artificially create Stefan Kapičić entire face, clothing and muscles to transform him into Colossus. They’ve also changed the background a lot too.

2. Guardians of the Galaxy (2014)

Humans can be made to look monstrous, but they can also be made to look adorable. There’s no denying that the make up on the Dave Bautista is impressive – although it’s not as impressive as his ability to pretend that special effects have already been added to Rocket!

3. Sweeney Todd: The Demon Barber of Fleet Street (2007)

Admittedly, Tim Burton’s sets for Sweeney Todd are a lot more akin to the ones which would have been used for movies 30 or 40 years ago, but special effects have still been used to bring the scale of Victorian London’s sprawling tenements to life.

4. Harry Potter (2001 – 2011)

It’s a given that a movie about wizards and witches would require a lot of special effects. At least us Potterheads can take comfort in the knowledge that Harry’s broom is real, even if the the Quidditch pitch is entirely made from special effects.

Special effects might be most commonly used in modern movies, but they’ve been around for a long time. The earliest known special effect was used way back in 1895 by director Alfred Clark when filming a reenactment of the beheading of Mary, Queen of Scots.

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