With the term ‘Science Fiction’ becoming broader by the day, we thought it would be a good idea to sit down and take a look at some of the best horror films that are actually set within the endless void of outer space.
With the ambitious mind of Elon Musk and the work of ‘Space X’, some of these plots might not be so far-fetched. The isolation of the great unknown is something that has haunted horror fanatics for years, and makes for a perfect backdrop to many science fiction thrillers.
10. Moon (2009)
Moon is a psychological thrill ride that centers on astronaut Sam Bell, played remarkably by Sam Rockwell, who is coming towards the end of his three-year tenure working on the moon. Along with his computer sidekick GERTY, voiced by Kevin Spacey, Sam sends parcels back to Earth of a resource that has helped end the planet’s power issues.
I’m a little bit biased towards this film because I think Sam Rockwell is an unbelievably talented and underrated actor. The atmosphere of the ship reminded me of something out of 2001: A Space Odyssey, paired brilliantly with the monotone voice of Kevin Spacey as the closest thing to a friend that Sam has.
The only reason this film is not higher up on the list, is due to the fact that it falls more in the realm of a thriller, and not so much horror. Moon is definitely worth giving a watch, and is streaming on Netflix.
9. Apollo 18 (2011)
Decades-old found footage from NASA’s archives reveal just what happened to the abandoned Apollo 18 mission. After two American astronauts were sent on a secret expedition, strange events begin to unfold, showing us the reason why the U.S. has never returned to the moon.
In a time when many moviegoers seemed to be growing tired of the found footage style, myself included, Apollo 18 put a unique spin on it by setting the homemade video genre on the moon. Getting to see similar camera tricks and techniques like that of Paranormal Activity, but in space, resulted in a fun and often times anxious feeling throughout the film.
8. Jason X (2001)
Does this film even need to be explained? It’s Jason… in space!
Since the Earth is no longer inhabitable, groups of colonists have taken to the stars, where the cryogenically frozen body of the infamous killer has just been defrosted. No more lurking within the woods of Camp Crystal Lake to kill unsuspecting, fornicating counselors!
Many fans hated this entry to the franchise, but if you go into it expecting exactly what the synopsis describes, you’ll see that it’s actually a rather entertaining flick with some pretty gnarly kills (and Uber-Jason)! I get why some fans might not care for it, but why would you have high expectations for a film about Jason Voorhees on a spaceship?
7. Predators (2010)
Technically this is set on a planet (a hunting ground for the Predators), and not necessarily in outer space, but it becomes evident rather quickly that the planet is definitely NOT Earth. A group of strangers with unique talents find themselves in a fight for survival against three Predators.
With big names like Adrien Brody, Topher Grace, and Walton Goggins, Predators has serious acting talent to spare. Sure there are the occasional cheesy one-liners and over-the-top action sequences, but would it really be a Predator film without them?
Compared to the AVP movies, Predators is actually a breath of fresh air with unique landscapes and solid effects. Make sure you check out Predators before The Predator hits theaters this month so you can compare the two!
6. Ghosts of Mars (2001)
‘200 years in the future, a Martian police unit is dispatched to transport a dangerous prisoner from a mining outpost back to justice. But when the team arrives, they find the town deserted and some of the inhabitants possessed by the former inhabitants of the planet.’
This is one of those films whose box office numbers don’t accurately represent the final overall product. Ghosts of Mars is an action packed bloodbath directed by one of my all time favorite filmmakers, John Carpenter. If you are a fan of his off-the-wall cult hits like the Escape movies, Big Trouble in Little China, or They Live, then you will certainly have an appreciation for this supernatural, sci-fi thrill ride through Mars.
With the soundtrack created by Anthrax and of course John Carpenter himself, Ghosts of Mars is an absolute blast of a movie (despite the disappointment Ice Cube expressed towards it).
Check out our Top 5 horror films set in space on the next page!