Aliens are never far from the hive mind of pop culture. It makes sense for audiences to turn to heaven in the 21st century: a time of existential boredom that has left many screaming to escape and wondering “What else?” But where the enduring nostalgia of “ET” or the easygoing charm of “Earth Girls Are Easy” may have made emotional contact in the past, a burning need for Truly I feel that something has deteriorated.
The scariest alien movies terrify in many of the same ways that the scariest earth-bound horror movies do: by building up (and sometimes killing off) likable characters; produce otherworldly visual displays with seriously grim implications; getting jump scares, if applicable, with the right timing; and the courage to put the unimaginably terrible on the screen. The Alien films are further distinguished by the subgenre’s unrivaled ability to explore the unknown, conjuring heinous destinies for humans so radically sadistic that few other films can attempt them.
“The Fourth Kind” by director Olatunde Osunsanmi enumerates the taxonomy of human-alien interactions well: “They have different categories for this kind of thing, different levels. An encounter of the first kind is when you see a UFO. The second type is when you see evidence of it: crop circles or radiation. The third type is when you establish contact. But the fourth type – there is nothing scarier than the fourth. That’s when they kidnap you.
John Carpenter, Steven Spielberg, Peter Jackson, M. Night Shyamalan, James Gunn and Jordan Peele are among the Hollywood heavyweights who have set their twisted imaginations to actually create these encounters for the big screen. Along the way, these filmmakers have made salient points about human nature, questioning what we owe to each other in the face of a certain destiny.
From the creepily silly (“Bad Taste,” “Slither,” “Mars Attacks!”) to the menacingly bad (“Alien,” “Invasion of the Body Snatchers,” “Nope”), here are the 25 Scariest Alien Movies Ever Made . To keep things interesting, two restrictions apply: (1) only one film per franchise, and (2) it’s the remake OR original.