If you have been watching the news lately, you have probably noticed the uptick in UFO sightings and subsequent retaliation. Our airspace has been compromised by more than just a Chinese weather balloon and the U.S. government has confirmed it.
But before everyone panics about UFOs, let’s shed some light on movies that addressed this phenomenon in more terrifying and fun ways. At least, then we can prepare for the invasion by taking tactics created by the creative writers who already landed in Hollywood.
Extraterrestrial – Key Art
Colin Minihan directed this underappreciated horror movie with his brother Stuart Ortiz under their Vicious Brothers (Grave Encounters) moniker.
If you haven’t heard of this film, you’re not alone, it never seems to appear on anyone’s “favorite” list. But, that’s a shame because it is actually a wildly entertaining alien movie with some pretty impressive special effects.
One of the creepiest movies in M. Night Shyamalan’s oeuvre, Signs is a must-see for people wondering if E.T.’s are friendly or ferocious.
We won’t spoil that surprise here, but it is safe to say after watching this you might want to double-feature it with another movie on this list, Nope.
Both are about a family experiencing an encounter of the second and third kinds, banding together to defeat what seem to be otherwordly visitors.
Fire in the Sky (1993)
This one is terrifying, maybe more than any other on this list except for Dark Skies. What makes this UFO story scary is not only that is it based on a true story but it’s presented in such a casual manner.
The abduction scenes are pure nightmare fuel and more than likely you will have unanswered questions as the credits roll. But that is wholly intentional.
Based on a hugely popular book of the same name written by Whitley Strieber in 1987, this movie starring Christopher Walken is based on a true story.
It’s about what Strieber believes to be his personal abduction by aliens. The author had trouble accounting for missing time but through hypnosis, he is able to recall his abduction and subsequent testing.
Dark Skies (2013)
This one is going to scare you. Let me repeat that: this one is going to scare you. It has been compared to Poltergeist in that a suburban family experiences supernatural activity, but instead of a ghost causing problems it’s visitors from another world.
Fans complain that this film is underrated, and we would have to agree. With relentless tension and unnerving atmospheric filmmaking, Dark Skies should not be missed.
It is no mystery that Nope is Jordan Peel’s love letter to Steven Spielberg. He references everything from E.T. to Jaws in this action thriller.
In fact, if you can pick out each Spielbergian easter egg through Nope’s own plotline, consider yourself a master fan of both directors.
A Quiet Place (2018)
What feels more like a reimagining of Signs with a silent twist, A Quiet Place outpaces Shyamalan’s alien film ten-fold.
The gimmick here is that the monstrous space visitors can’t see a thing but they can literally hear a pin drop. That premise alone sets up some very intense silent sequences that use the Hitchcockian rule of suspense to an nth degree.
War of the Worlds (2005)
Speaking of Spielberg, here is his version of H.G. Wells’ sci-fi classic. It’s Jurrasic Park meets Jaws meets E.T. starring Tom Cruise.
Of course, Steve is in his element with this action-packed blockbuster and there are times when the suspense makes you want to crawl out of your chair.
The Fourth Kind (2009)
A mass abduction of people by aliens in Alaska, or an example of synchronicity?
The Fourth Kind goes there and delivers an uneasy tale about many unrelated people experiencing the same terrifying thing. The movie presents itself as a “based on true events” documentary.
Did these things really happen? We aren’t going to tell you because part of the fun is how the movie tries to convince you that it is.
Fun and campy, Slither is just a really great time. Director James Gunn has been in the headlines lately for shaking up the DC Cinematic Universe. With what DC puts out there, we can see why he would want to.
That aside, Slither is a primer to what Gunn will give us almost a decade later. This pairs well with Night of the Creeps (1986) which makes sense because the director is paying homage to the creature features of the 80s.
The Thing (1982)
This cult classic has aged like a fine wine. Pre-CGI, there might be no better example of practical effects than in this film.
Not even the mastery of An American Werewolf in London can top this SFX spectacular. Rob Bottin is to be celebrated for his work on this film which has aged incredibly well and can still nauseate people.
We have a bonus addition to our list: the iconic movie ALIENS.
Even though it’s not technically an invasion flick, we couldn’t resist including it in this list. You can’t go wrong with this renowned classic!
While we can’t guarantee that Hollywood has all the answers to repel an alien invasion, watching these movies will at least teach you how to scream and run in a coordinated fashion. So, grab some popcorn, gather your friends, and get ready to face the end of the world!