5. Pitch Black (2000)
Pitch Black is the first film to introduce us the dangerous escaped convict, Riddick. After a transport ship crash lands on a desert planet, the remaining 11 survivors quickly realize that there are bloodthirsty creatures who seem to only come out at night to feast. But when a month long-eclipse begins, they must turn to the aid of Riddick and his unique ability to see in the darkness to fight off the monsters.
Personally, I love all three films in this franchise, and I still think this is one of the coolest and best ass-kicking characters that Vin Diesel has ever played. While The Chronicles of Riddick disappointed me a bit with its PG-13 rating, Pitch Black still holds up as a solid sci-fi action horror that keeps you entertained throughout.
4. Pandorum (2009)
Backed by a stellar performance (pun intended) from Ben Foster as Bower, Pandorum opens on two astronauts who suddenly awake in their hyper-sleep pods, only to discover they have no memory of who they are or what their initial mission was. After deciding to search the ship for answers, Bower discovers that they are not alone and are being hunted by creatures that are not human.
This film reminded me of the movie The Descent, but on a spaceship instead of in a cave. There were many similar moments of dark claustrophobia, and even the hideous monsters look somewhat alike.
Pandorum keeps the audience in a similar state of amnesia as the central characters, and has all the elements of a gripping and terrifying mystery that you will want to get to the bottom of! You can stream it now on Netflix.
3. Life (2017)
Life was at one point rumored to be linked to the comic book world of crazed symbiote, ‘Venom’. Starring heavy hitting actors Ryan Reynolds and Jake Gyllenhaal, Life dives into the madness and terror rather quickly when ‘a team of scientists aboard the International Space Station discover a rapidly evolving life form that caused extinction on Mars and now threatens all life on Earth.’
At first, I was a little unsure of the alien life form used in the film, as it resembled something of a cross between a starfish and a jellyfish. But as the film progressed and the true carnage of the alien was unleashed, all of my reservations about the appearance of the ‘being’ were resolved.
The effects were realistic and looked polished, the acting seemed genuine and real, and the plot moved at a perfect pace that never felt like it was dragging. Life is definitely worth watching if you are a fan of unique alien creatures and our fight for survival against them.
2. Event Horizon (1997)
Event Horizon is one of my all time favorite science fiction films ever made. The story is so unique and brilliantly thought out, yet it’s still a rather simple concept. When a spaceship that was lost inside of a black hole reappears, a rescue team must board it to find out what happened, and exactly where the ship went. Is the black hole a portal to something more sinister?
The first time I saw Event Horizon, I was blown away with the special effects and elaborate sets that were used for some of the interiors of the ship. Sam Neill was excellent as Dr. William Weir, especially during the film’s climax (his character is quite a bit different from what he portrays in Jurassic Park). The tone and atmosphere throughout felt like if Blade Runner was sucked through a black hole, only to be greeted by hell on the other side. I highly recommend you check out this movie as soon as possible.
1. Alien/Aliens (1979/1986)
Are you really that surprised? I mean come on, it’s the infamous Xenomorph in the number one spot! While all of the films in this franchise are worth watching (yes, even the new ones), it’s the first two entries that really take the cake.
When Sigourney Weaver first burst onto the scene as the character of Ripley battling face huggers, chest bursters, Xenomorphs and alien queens, we fell instantly in love. The spaceship interiors and special effects seemed far ahead of their time, and the tension and anxiety built up between the crew seemed natural and organic.
Where Ridley Scott left off with his original tale of old fashioned alien terror, James Cameron picked up without missing a beat in one of the greatest sequels in cinematic history. If you have not seen either of these two films, then drop what you are doing and go watch them back to back. You will become a better person for it.
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