Every genre brings something different to the table, but sci-fi horrors will always intrigue people around for bringing the spotlight onto the much-needed scary element. Over the years many films have horrified yet attracted viewers from all over the globe. We will countdown to a compiled list of the top 30 best sci-fi horror movies of all time:
30. The Purge (2013)
This movie surrounds a not-too-distant future, the government has established a yearly 12-hour period in which all crime is legalized.
It is a very intriguing flick with a pretty fascinating concept, yet does have some underwhelming execution as the story primarily focuses on a single-family going through this horrifying event.
29. Plan 9 from Outer Space (1959)
An odd concept for a film, as some Aliens bring human beings back from the dead into zombies and vampires, in order to stop humanity from building a bomb that is powered by the sun. It’s definitely a very interesting film to view though.
28. Pitch Black (2000)
A space transport vessel and its crew are left stranded on a planet where there are dangerous monsters who only come out during the night to feast on their prey.
The situation seemed hopeless until the crew finds Riddick, played by Vin Diesel, to be their last hope of survival. A very intense horror sci-fi with certain action set pieces thrown here and there.
27. Life Force (1985)
A group of vampires, from space, arrive in London and start infecting the local population and transforming them into zombies.
The concept alone should pique your interest, but it is supported by the over-the-top horrific elements that are seen.
26. Predator (1987)
A team of commandos is on a rescue mission in the South American Jungle, where a helicopter crashed. However, the team finds itself under attack by a strange extra-terrestrial creature that started hunting them down and murdering them one by one.
Starring a pretty badass cast of characters played by Arnold Schwarzenegger and Carl Weathers, it includes a lot of action that is complemented by a very vigorous atmosphere.
25. The Blob (1988)
An alien jelly-like creature that keeps on growing as it consumes everything in its path. An extremely horrific experience as the mere presence of this faceless creature, which seems to have no weakness, eats everyone and everything in its way.
It’s definitely one of the scariest sci-fi movies from the 80s.
24. Bad Taste (1987)
Directed by Peter Jackson, the filmmaker who also directed The Lord of the Rings and The Hobbit trilogy, the entire population of a small village is eradicated and replaced by literally big-headed aliens who search for human flesh for their intergalactic fast-food chain.
Very goofy in terms of looks but does tend to give a vibe of something dark and sinister.
23. Night of the Creeps (1986)
Due to an alien experiment, these alien brain parasites get created that try to turn their hosts into mindless zombies and spread the infection further.
Very basic in concept but executed well in terms of expressing the horrors of the situation.
22. They Live (1988)
A construction worker comes across a pair of sunglasses that, in a manner of speaking, help him see the truth in the world.
What is the truth? Well, that is something that we feel you should watch the film to find out as it leads to very horrific events and even some mild satire of the world as we know it even now.
21. eXistenZ (1999)
A game designer Allegra Geller (played by Jennifer Jason Leigh), who is targeted by a group of assassins, is forced to test her virtual reality game with an internee Ted Pikul (played by Jude Law) to observe whether the game is damaged or not.
20. From Beyond (1986)
Some scientists develop the resonator, which is a device that can help humans witness essentially what is beyond their visible reality.
However, things take a turn for the worst as they are attacked by these unknown life forms after the experiment succeeds. You can have a lot of entertainment from a story like this and it does pull its punches when it comes to the scares.
19. The Thing (1982)
Directed by the veteran horror movie director, John Carpenter, an expedition of scientists to Antarctica promptly gets unpleasant as they find out that a shape-shifting alien that takes the appearance of the creature it kills is after them.
It’s one of the best classic sci-fi horror movies ever and takes full advantage of the snowy environment it is in, which helped build up tension in the air and an all-around sense of danger throughout.
18. Videodrome (1983)
A disreputable TV Programmer acquires a new type of programming for his station, which leads his life and the future of media to go bonkers.
Though the horror parts of the film are done well, it does end up feeling a bit stale in terms of how the characters interact with one another.
17. The Mist (2007)
An unpredictable storm hits a town and unleashes a weird species of monsters. Thus, a small group of people is held up in a supermarket to fend for their lives.
The real point of the film is to show what extremes even the most normal people will take when their lives are at stake. Despite the fact that the film features one of the most tragic endings in cinematic history, it’s still one of the most enjoyable sci-fi alien movies ever.
16. 28 Weeks Later (2007)
28 weeks after the rage virus had infested the population of Great Britain, the US Army stepped in to salvage a few survivors in a small section of London, in order to repopulate and start again.
However, things don’t exactly go according to plan. It promises to be one of the greatest horror movie sequels ever put to film.
15. Slither (2006)
A small town is infested with humans turned into mutant-like zombie creatures, due to some alien plague overtaking the place.
Filled with a very charismatic cast, including the likes of Nathan Fillion and Elizabeth Banks, it’s very well complimented by the talented Guardians of the Galaxy (2014) director, James Gunn.
14. The Brood (1979)
A psychologist uses some unorthodox therapy techniques on his patients thus violating their brains. Thereafter, the husband of one of those victims is trying to uncover the truth, and this is somehow connected to a series of murders.
A very exhilarating murder mystery psychology thriller with some deep horror elements included.
13. Tremors (1990)
Locals of a small and mostly barren town are forced to defend themselves against weird worm-like creatures that live underground.
The horror in the film really comes from the vigorous environment as the creatures could literally come out from anywhere. It’s really fun to watch a film with a great science fiction plot.
12. Cloverfield (2008)
This found footage movie is basically Godzilla, but in the form of horror, as we literally only see the human perspective of the monster’s attack on the city through the found footage.
One thing this film does well is its usage of the monster as its face is never shown until the end and is mostly never onscreen to help build up its presence. It definitely stands amongst the best-found footage movies of all time and went on to spawn two more indirect sequels, 10 Cloverfield Lane (2016) and The Cloverfield Paradox (2018).
11. Scanners (1981)
A scientist turns a scanner, a person who has unbelievable psychic powers, to his side and sends him to kill other scanners like him to put a stop to the underground movement of all the scanners.
It’s more action than horror but still well-executed for the most part.
10. Dawn of the Dead (2004)
A very run-of-the-mill survival zombie apocalypse story but with some compelling characters and Zack Snyder’s stunning visuals.
This zombie film raises itself to new heights in its specific genre and stands among the best zombie movies ever.
9. Altered States (1980)
A scientist from Harvard performs an experiment on himself with a special hallucinatory drug that causes him to possibly subside genetically.
A very well-executed depiction of how science can cause a man to take himself too far.
8. The Invisible Man (1933)
A scientist discovers a way to become invisible but in achieving this he loses his sanity and turns completely psychotic. Therefore, he tries to turn off his invisibility and will kill anyone in his way of doing so.
A very tragic story about a man who just wanted to be a pioneer in science history.
7. The Dead Zone (1983)
Based on a Stephen King novel, a man wakes up from a coma to realize that he has developed some psychic powers.
However, what he initially thought to be a gift actually turned out to make his life a living nightmare. It’s one of the finest classic sci-fi horror movies that you will ever come across.
6. The Fly (1986)
A smart but peculiar scientist starts to transform into a huge fly-man hybrid due to the earlier failure of one of his experiments.
This film is very subtle in the sense that it’s not only a horror story but also a sort of love story that develops throughout the film.
5. Re-Animator (1985)
A very committed medical student and his girlfriend get caught up in some odd experiments focused on the re-animation of dead tissue when suddenly a new student makes his way on campus.
The film seems like a comedy at first but as soon as the dead start walking, some horrifying gore ensues.
4. Frankenstein (1931)
A mad scientist named Frankenstein puts together a human body from scattered parts of different corpses and then brings it to life.
Simply a classic as the film set the standard for how horror films should be and portrayed the loneliness and fear of Frankenstein’s monster beautifully.
3. Invasion of The Body Snatchers (1978)
In the small town of Santa Mira, some people start to discover that humans are somehow being replaced one at a time by lifeless clones for some unknown reason.
The events that follow complement this compelling set-up greatly and give some really chilling and intense scenes.
2. Village of the Damned (1960)
In a small English village, called Midwich, everyone falls asleep for a long period of time and when they wake up, all the women are pregnant and quickly have children who then grow at a rapid pace and all have similar body features.
Moreover, they also have these powers that they can use to make people do what they might not want to. A very distinctive story with all of the creepy plot elements that are carefully woven together.
1. Aliens (1986)
Directed by critically acclaimed filmmaker, James Cameron, the planet from the last film is colonized by aliens.
It’s up to Ripley along with other men to rescue any survivors, but only more pain and suffering followed Ripley in her quest.
We can’t resist mentioning these sci-fi horror movies as well:
- Event Horizon (1997)
- Species (1995)
Hope you like our list of the best sci-fi horror movies of all time. Feel free to share your views in the comments below!