After writing up this list, I’ve come to the conclusion that there seems to be a formula for making a good space horror movie. The good ones have good plots, good directing, good acting, and, you know, good normal movie stuff. The bad ones have people go “space crazy.” Meaning, people just go crazy because they’re in space and start killing people.
Directed by Ridley Scott, who reprised his directorial role in Prometheus, the prequel. This isn’t the first sci-fi space horror, but it’s certainly the first good one. REALLY good. The “birthing” scene is so iconic friends I’ve shared this movie with know about the chest burster, but didn’t know it was from Alien. Sigourney Weaver kicks a lot of alien ass. This is a classic and it always will be. If you haven’t seen it lately, pick up a copy and watch it again. If you like this one, obviously check out the entire Alien Quadrilogy, yes, that’s a word, and now it’s a Quintology.
It started out kinda interesting. Spaceship on a secret mission goes off and disappears, comes back years later, crew missing, tons of blood everywhere. Good start right? But, then everyone goes crazy and starts pulling their eyes out and setting people on fire. This movie scared the shit out of me. I seriously slept with the light on for a month after seeing this...in high school. Shut up.. If you are squeamish about extremely violent gore, complete with hooks and disembowelment...then you should probably stay away from this movie. Let me ruin the ending for you. All that mystery about what happened to the crew and why everyone is going crazy? The ship went to hell. Like, the dimension of hell and came back and the ship went nuts and made people go crazy and kill each other. Seriously, THAT’S the mystery. Take my advice, don’t see it.
I saw this one in the theater...and hated it. Then I thought about it some more...and kinda liked it. It’s actually pretty interesting and honestly, has one of the coolest twist endings in the space horror genre. If you’re a fan of the genre, then you should definitely check it out. Don’t buy it, but rent it at some point. It’s not perfect, but a fun watch. I actually think I might watch it again with some friends. And there is plenty of people going space crazy.
I’ve always liked James Spader. This is a classic space...horror? It’s not super scary like Alien or Event Horizon, but there are some intense moments. There is a zero g sex scene, so, keep that one in mind. There’s also a dude doing upside down, one armed pushups. Yep. Some cool stuff in this one. Oh yeah, more space crazy.
Directed John Carpenter, master of horror, this isn’t one of his best, but not his worst. Starring Natasha Henstridge and Ice Cube, it’s a about a missing colony on Mars and some mysterious things killing off people. Like I said, not his best, but a fun watch. Things kinda like revers (Firefly) in this one.
Starring Peter Weller (Robocop), this is about a war that’s been going on for years on multiple planets. The “screamers” are little hamster things under the sand that automatically hunt down any nearby enemy. They were designed as a robotic weapon to help the war effort. But...things get out of hand when they start evolving and everything gets a little weird. It’s not a perfect movie, but a fun one.
Directed by Danny Boyle (28 Days Later) and starring Cillian Murphy (28 Days Later, Batman Begins). The sun is apparently dying WAY sooner than scientists thought. A spaceship with a crap ton of nuclear explosives is being flown to the sun in an effort to blow it up some more and make so it...doesn’t blow up...? Sure, ok, I guess that’ll work. Oh, also there’s another ship they haven’t heard from that tried to do the same thing. So they rendezvous (spelled that right on the first try!) with it and of course someone gets “space crazy” and starts killing people. It’s...ok. Frankly, I just wish I was watching 28 Days later, same director, same star, way more fun movie.
Directed by Andrzej Bartkowiak (who also directed Speed, Devil’s Advocate and Falling down) and Starring The Rock and Karl Urban (you know, Eomer from Two Towers). This COULD have been a good movie. Now, I know what you’re saying. “There wasn’t ever a good movie based on a video game.” And...well yeah, you’d be right. Resident Evil was the best...and it wasn’t that great. (Though I liked it). If you’re a fan of Doom or Doom II, you would know how freekin’ cool it was. Cyber Demons with rocket launchers for an arm walking around, the BFG (big...gun), demons coming from Hell because of some gate you have to blow up. I mean, if they JUST would have based the damn movie on THAT, it would have been GREAT! But...no, they didn’t even base it on the Doom 3 much. Just another movie where people go space crazy, start turning into space monster mutant zombies and kill or eat people.
This isn’t a horror movie, but it IS a sci-fi flick, and...not exactly a happy fun space adventure like Star Wars...so, I guess it fits in with this list better. Moon is directed by Duncan Jones, who also directed Source Code (he apparently likes sci-fi concepts that mess with your mind). Starring Sam Rockwell and Kevin Spacey as the voice of the robot, this movie harkens back to 2001 A Space Odyssey. It’s incredibly well done, if you haven’t seen it, you really must.
Here’s another one based on a video game. It’s animated, gory, gross, pretty pointless. It’s very violent (makes sense if you’ve played the game), tells the story of what happens before Dead Space 2 (apparently, I never played the games). Animation and voice acting are pretty good, but it doesn’t add much to the space horror genre. If you’re not a fan of animated, sci-fi horror, you can skip this one.
Warning: Spoiler Alert!
(I discuss the endings of the older movies in this series, just FYI)
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