Note: This isn’t meant to be a complete list or a top 10, but rather the ten random ones as they come to me and then sorted into alphabetical order. For this list, I’ve left out grey areas (e.g. movies like Running Man and Network, where there’s a show within a movie, but the show is “real” within the fictional world). I may include those in the next go-around. I’ve also left out movies like Home Alone where the main bit of meta-fiction is a character talking to the viewer; there needs to be something beyond that to make the list.
1. Cabin in the Woods (2012): In this instance discussing the meta-fiction would spoil key plot elements; suffice it to say that meta-fiction is part of the movie.
2. Galaxy Quest (1999): Stars of a Star Trek-like show are recruited by aliens to help them, unaware that the show was a work of fiction.
3. Hardbodies 2 (1986): This is a teen flick about people making a teen flick, with the dialogue in the movie within the movie more generically teen flick-like than the core movie.
4. Human Centipede 2 [Full Sequence] (2011): A madman is inspired by the first Human Centipede movie to duplicate the experiment, going so far as to kidnap one of the actresses from the first movie.
5. Last Action Hero (1993): An action hero and his nemesis are accidentally brought by a kid to the real world.
6. New Nightmare (1994): Freddy Krueger invades the real world, targeting people involved in making A Nightmare on Elm Street.
7. New Suit (2002): A frustrated film writer creates a buzz over a non-existent screenplay.
8. Stranger than Fiction (2006): A guy learns that he’s in a novel and that his writer plans to kill him off, so he seeks out the writer.
9. The TV Set (2006): A screenwriter sees his heartfelt slice of life sitcom gradually turned into something a lot more generic as it gets closer and closer to airing.
10. Unmasked Part 25 (1988): A Jason-like slasher is fatigued and looking for meaning in his life as he finds himself in the 25th installment of a never-ending horror series.