The subject of extraterrestrial life has continuously hounded and inspired many filmmakers and their equally obsessed movie audience. This is why many films have been made about aliens and other creatures not of this Earth. Nevertheless, as you can see in many of these alien films, these non-humans are infused with human-like characteristics. Hence, they become very relatable and the moviegoers can easily identify with them, despite their out of this world physical appearances and their abstract voices.
This list dishes out the 10 best films that Hollywood has produced about the creatures beyond this world. Is your favorite alien film on the list?
10. The War of the Worlds (1953)
The film is the quintessential movie about alien invasion. Adapted from the novel of H.G. Wells, the movie has as its central character a scientist who is out in the country on vacation. A meteorite lands and a number of weird things start to happen., He then realizes that the Earth has been thrown in the middle of a full-scale alien invasion and must act quickly to save himself, his loved ones, and the planet!
9. Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1956)
This may be a fictional film about alien invasion, but it remains to be one of the most intelligent films of the science fiction genre. A man goes home to his childhood town only to find that people there have been plagued with some kind of mass hysteria. He then discovers that aliens had been replacing actual people with clones that are submissive, unfeeling, and soulless. The film also functions as an allegory of the cold war.
8. The Thing (1982)
This alien invasion film is also horrific and suspenseful as it is very intelligent. A team of scientists go to a remote snow-capped location where they are hounded by an invisible – and alien – force. The guessing game is so good in this John Carpenter film that a well-made prequel was released 3 decades after.
7. E.T.: The Extraterrestrial (1982)
This film was a huge success at the box office and is one of legendary director Steven Spielberg’s early hits. The paradox is that this film about extraterrestrial life feels very human as the film unfolds. The friendship of two innocent and lovable kids and a good-hearted alien have been immortalized in Hollywood and in our own memories.
6. The Brother From Another Planet (1984)
This film was written and directed by renowned independent filmmaker John Sayles. An alien, a man that resembles that of an African-American, slowly learns that the world is cruel and unfair when he accidentally lands in New York City. The film is actually an allegory on racial discrimination.
5. Little Shop of Horrors (1986)
This movie strays into psychological horror territory. An assistant florist earns both fame and notoriety when he discovers a plant from outer space. The secret of the plant though is that it needs a daily dose of fresh blood for it to not die. The film is Lacanian in many ways and the performances of Steve Martin, Bill Murray, and the rest of the cast also impress.
4. The Iron Giant (1999)
This film aims to capture all the nostalgia of the film E.T. which was a huge box office smash 17 years back. Unfortunately, this film flopped at the box office, but has since then earned a huge cult following. The CGI and animation utilized in the film are also quite meticulous.
3. Attack The Block (2011)
This British-produced film gives its viewers the ride of a lifetime – with its strong performances, strong plot twists, and action sequences. It pays homage to many alien films of the past and is a classic on its own.
2. Pacific Rim (2013)
This film has all the cliches and formulas of alien Hollywood films past but the strong allegory on heroism and myth-making give the film a genuine edge over others in the same genre.
1. Under The Skin (2014)
This psychological film about a beautiful woman who is not quite human benefits from a very solid performance by Scarlett Johanson. It also intelligently combines feminism and science fiction.