Science fiction horror movies are about more than just sinister space aliens. Of course, aliens do make for great sci-fi horror, but there’s more to the genre than creatures from outer space. There are films about scary creatures from right here on earth (often mutated, thanks to us humans), post-apocalyptic dystopian futures, mad scientists with experiments gone wrong, and alternate worlds full of evil fantastical creatures. Here are some classic sci-fi horror movie must-sees for horror fans.
The Fly (1986)
While the original 1958 movie starring Vincent Price is well worth watching (“Help me!”), David Cronenberg’s 1986 remake is in a class by itself. Jeff Goldblum plays Seth Brundle, a brilliant scientist whose teleportation experiments go tragically wrong when a fly gets in the telepod with him. Seth’s shocking transformation into Brundlefly somehow manages to be funny, repulsive, and heartbreaking all at the same time.
The Thing (1982)
We’re going with the 1980s remake for this classic sci-fi horror film, too. Based on 1951’s The Thing From Another World, John Carpenter’s version of The Thing is a cult classic, known for its tense, moody, and paranoid atmosphere…not to mention some pretty gory special effects. Scientists on an Antarctic expedition are endangered by an alien life form that just happens to take on the appearance of its victims.
Event Horizon (1997)
Event Horizon wasn’t met with much critical acclaim when it was first released, but it has gained a cult following and a positive critical reappraisal in recent years. In the year 2047, a space rescue ship is sent to investigate a distress call from another ship named Event Horizon. The rescuers soon learn that the Event Horizon’s gravity drive opens up a portal into a hellish and terrifying new dimension.
Altered States (1980)
In this famous sci-fi horror film, a professor of abnormal psychology embarks on an investigation into altered states of consciousness. He takes the hallucinogen ayahuasca and enters a sensory deprivation flotation tank. He does more than alter his mental state…the experiments cause him to actually de-evolve into a more primitive life form.
“In space, no one can hear you scream.” It doesn’t get much scarier than Ridley Scott’s groundbreaking Alien. This iconic film is dark, moody, suspenseful, and almost unbearably tense. It’s no accident that there’s a cat in this film…the ultimate cat and mouse game played out between the scruffy, vulnerable crew of the Nostromo and the terrifying, menacing creature that takes up residence in the bowels of the ship and preys on them one by one.
28 Days Later (2002)
This is a British post-apocalyptic sci-fi horror movie from noted directed Danny Boyle. Animal activists release a laboratory chimpanzee infected by a virus that causes victims to go into a murderous rage. 28 days later, a man awakens from a coma to discover that the country has been devastated by this fast-acting virus, and he joins a handful of survivors in search of a cure.