Science can already be a bit scary and not just for your granny trying to work out what a TikTok is. The mysteries of space, genetic engineering, artificial intelligence, and so much more, are enough to make anyone wonder how science could become a horror show.
Here’s a list of the Top 10 Sci-Fi Horror Movies that dare to imagine the possible nightmares of science.
10) Frankenstein (1931)
There’s no way that Frankenstein could not be included on this list. Written in 1818, it is the original sci-fi horror and the 1931 movie adaptation defined the image of the Frankenstein’s Monster. While the 1994 movie Mary Shelley’s Frankenstein, is a far closer adaptation of the original novel (and well worth watching), the 1931 version is a true cinema icon. Starring Colin Clive as Dr. Frankenstein and Boris Karloff as the most recognisable monster in movie history.
We all know the story: mad scientist makes a monster and that monster runs amok. A template that would come to be replicated in many sci-fi horror movies, for years to come. But this is the original and, arguably, still the best.
Should I watch the sequel?
In many ways, Bride of Frankenstein (1935) is just as iconic as the original or, at the very least, the Bride herself is. Worth checking out, if you enjoyed the first movie.
9) Splice (2009)
Following in the tradition of man-made monsters, Splice delves into the murky world of genetic engineering gone awry. The story follows a group of scientists, working for a genetic research company, who secretly decide to let their experiment develop into a new life form. Of course, it isn’t long until they lose control and scientific wonder turns to terror.
The nicest part of Splice, is the creature. It isn’t hidden and the audience gets to see it grow and develop, waiting for the inevitable moment when it’s cute exterior gives way to something more menacing.
8) Flatliners (1990)
With an all-star cast that includes Keither Sutherland, Julia Roberts, and Kevin Bacon, Flatliners doesn’t get enough love and recognition. Seamlessly blending together multiple themes, you could call Flatliners a kind of scientific ghost story.
The plot sees a group of medical students experimenting with near-death experiences, taking each other to the point of death and then resuscitation. But what each of them sees while clinically dead, doesn’t stay in the land of the dead and each of them become haunted by images of things and people from their past. These are no mere hallucinations, though and they come to realise that playing with life and death, comes with deadly consequences.
Should I watch the remake?
7) The Mist (2007)
From the mind of Stephen King comes The Mist. A sci-fi horror that focuses on a group of people trying to survive the fall-out of a military science experiment gone horribly wrong.
A rolling mist envelops a small town, bringing with it a unfathomable creatures, lurking beyond sight. Trapped in a small supermarket, with no idea of what is going on, the townsfolk have to fend for themselves, fighting to survive the onslaught of the things in the mist, as well as the paranoia and fear of everyone inside the store. Should they stay put and wait for help? Try to escape? Or is it judgement day and they’re all being judged?
6) Get Out (2017)
The sci-fi element of Get Out is less pronounced than others on this list. It takes a back seat to more important elements of the film, such as the palpable air of menace and unease, as well as the tones of racial dynamics in America.
Written by Jordan Peele, who is building quite a notable body of work in the sci-fi horror genre, the story is about a young African American man who embarks on a weekend trip to visit the rich parents of his white girlfriend. Though her parents project a welcoming demeanour, something seems off. As he interacts with the serving staff and the rich socialite friends of the parents, his feelings of unease continue to grow, until he finally learns their dark secret. But by then, it may be too late to get out.
This movie won a lot of awards, including an Oscar, so it’s no surprise that it made it into our Top 10 Sci-Fi Horror Movies.
5) Event Horizon (1997)
The spaceship Event Horizon reappears after having disappeared years ago. It is sending out a distress call, though that call is little more than screams and howls. A team is dispatched to the ship, but what they find onboard, is hell.
The theatrical release of Event Horizon is good, with some great visuals. Though director Paul W. S. Anderson was unhappy with the final editing forced upon him by the studio. Unfortunately, a considerable amount of the additional footage was accidentally lost or destroyed, putting the kibosh on all hopes for a true director’s cut. But we can at least enjoy this disturbing slice of horror, as it is.
4) The Fly (1986)
Starring Jeff Goldblum and Geena Davies, this Cronenberg movie is a great piece of body horror. Watch as Jeff Goldblum gradually morphs and disfigures into something more and more inhuman.
Dr. Seth Brundle has invented a device that will revolutionise the whole the world: matter-energy transporter. It works, but the final test is the transportation of living matter. Of course, being an unsupervised, unregulated, scientific genius, he decides that the best thing to do is to test it on himself. Needless to say, things don’t go according to plan and he ends up transforming himself into a hideous monstrosity.
3) Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1978)
Strange spores drift down to Earth from outer space, spelling disaster for the entire planet. They seem like ordinary plants, but as they come into contact with humans, they replace them with emotionless copies.
Originally made in 1956 and remade many times since, the 1978 movie is the peak version. Starring Donald Sutherland, the draw of the film is the creepy sense of paranoia that it creates. The idea that something is going on that you don’t know about, that people are conspiring, and that it’s against you.
2) The Thing (1982)
In the untouched, frozen wastes of Antarctica, the monotonous daily routine of Outpost 31 is disturbed by gun fire. A helicopter chases a dog across the snowy plains, taking pot-shots at the poor animal. The crazed pilot dies, leaving the research team to wonder what in the hell is going on. Traveling to the Norwegian ice station that the pilot came from, they discover a twisted body and some unbelievable footage. But that is nothing compared to the horrors to come.
Directed by John Carpenter, based on the 1951 science fiction movie The Thing From Another Planet, this is a superb movie. The practical effects are so well done that they absolutely stand up against anything that could be done using CGI today.
If you’ve not seen it, you should definitely watch it.
Should I watch the prequel?
The prequel came out in 2011, also with the slightly confusing title of The Thing. As it is a prequel, you can watch them back to back, with this one first, making the whole thing like one long story in two chapters. The prequel is a great watch, too.
1) Alien (1979)
Alien is the definitive sci-fi horror movie, perfectly blending the two genres together. So, it has to be number 1 on our Top 10 Sci-Fi Horror Movies list.
Sigourney Weaver as Lt. Ellen Ripley, is one of the greatest female characters of all time. Not to mention, an absolute bad ass. Plus, it has one of the most jaw-dropping scenes in movie history (no spoilers).
The crew of the space tug Nostromo are awakened from hyper sleep, when the ships receives a transmission from a nearby moon. Required to investigate all distress calls, the crew descend to the surface, where they discover remnants of an alien spacecraft. The alien crew appear to be long dead, yet there is evidence that some form of life may be present. Unaware of the danger they face, the crew unwittingly brings that life form aboard their own vessel, where they soon become its prey.
Should I watch the sequels?
The Blob (1958 & 1988)
Brought to Earth on a meteor, a ravenous blob consumes its way through a small town.
Leech-like alien parasites infect and take-over the locals, in the small town of Wheelsy.
Scientists receive a transmission telling them how to splice alien and human DNA. For some reason, they think this is a good idea.
What do you think of this list? Let us know your favorite sci-fi horror movies!
Want more horror? Check out our Top 10 Witch Movies To Put a Spell On You.