Graveyard Shift

The Best Alien Horror Movies Ever Made  

Ranker Film
16.4k votes 2.1k voters 67.3k views 43 items

An abandoned spaceship. An isolated Antarctic lab. A city apartment building. Whether they take place in outer space or here on earth, alien horror movies are downright terrifying. The best alien horror movies feature brave humans fighting for their lives while trying to save the planet from an extraterrestrial invasion. This is a list of the scariest movies about aliens featuring everything from District 9 to The Faculty to Body Snatchers.

What films will you find on this list of the top horror movies about aliens? Ridley Scott's Alien – starring Sigourney Weaver as the tough-as-nails Ellen Ripley – gained instant cult status upon its 1979 release. Following multiple sequels, the director returned to the same universe with his 2012 film Prometheus. The latest iteration of War of the Worlds, featuring Tom Cruise, is another classic alien horror movie. John Carpenter's version of The Thing is one of the most terrifying and thrilling movie-watching experiences in the history of cinema. Other great films featured on this best alien horror movies list include The Arrival, Starship Troopers, and Invasion.

Which scary alien movie deserves the top spot on this list? That's up to you to decide. Give your favorite frightful flicks a thumbs up and get in on the conversation in the comments section.

list ordered by
1
Alien is listed (or ranked) 1 on the list The Best Alien Horror Movies Ever Made
Sigourney Weaver, John Hurt, Ian Holm
Alien is a 1979 science fiction horror film directed by Ridley Scott. The crew of the commercial space tug Nostromo encounter the eponymous Alien, a deadly and aggressive extraterrestrial set ...more
2
The Thing is listed (or ranked) 2 on the list The Best Alien Horror Movies Ever Made
Kurt Russell, Keith David, John Carpenter
The Thing is a 1982 American science fiction horror film directed by John Carpenter, written by Bill Lancaster, and starring Kurt Russell. The film's title refers to its primary antagonist: a ...more
3
Aliens is listed (or ranked) 3 on the list The Best Alien Horror Movies Ever Made
Sigourney Weaver, Bill Paxton, Michael Biehn
Aliens is a 1986 American science-fiction action horror film written and directed by James Cameron, produced by his then-wife Gale Anne Hurd, and starring Sigourney Weaver, Carrie Henn, Michael ...more
4
Predator is listed (or ranked) 4 on the list The Best Alien Horror Movies Ever Made
Arnold Schwarzenegger, Jesse Ventura, Carl Weathers
Predator is a 1987 American science fiction action film directed by John McTiernan and was distributed by 20th Century Fox. It stars Arnold Schwarzenegger, Carl Weathers, Elpidia Carrillo, Bill ...more
5
The Thing is listed (or ranked) 5 on the list The Best Alien Horror Movies Ever Made
Mary Elizabeth Winstead, Eric Christian Olsen, Joel Edgerton
The Thing is a 2011 science fiction horror film directed by Matthijs van Heijningen Jr. and written by Eric Heisserer based on the novella Who Goes There? by John W. Campbell. It is a prequel to ...more
6
Pitch Black is listed (or ranked) 6 on the list The Best Alien Horror Movies Ever Made
Vin Diesel, Radha Mitchell, Keith David
Pitch Black is a 2000 science fiction horror film co-written and directed by David Twohy. The film stars Vin Diesel, Radha Mitchell, Cole Hauser, and Keith David. Dangerous man Richard B. ...more
7
Invasion of the Body Snatchers is listed (or ranked) 7 on the list The Best Alien Horror Movies Ever Made
Robert Duvall, Jeff Goldblum, Leonard Nimoy
Invasion of the Body Snatchers is a 1978 science fiction thriller directed by Philip Kaufman, and starring Donald Sutherland, Brooke Adams, Veronica Cartwright, Jeff Goldblum and Leonard Nimoy. ...more
8
The Faculty is listed (or ranked) 8 on the list The Best Alien Horror Movies Ever Made
Salma Hayek, Usher, Famke Janssen
The Faculty is a 1998 science fiction horror film written by Kevin Williamson and directed by Robert Rodriguez. The film stars Josh Hartnett, Elijah Wood, Shawn Hatosy, Jordana Brewster, Clea ...more
9
Life is listed (or ranked) 9 on the list The Best Alien Horror Movies Ever Made
Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, Olga Dihovichnaya
Life is a 2017 science fiction horror thriller film directed by Daniel Espinosa. The film stars Jake Gyllenhaal, Rebecca Ferguson, Olga Dihovichnaya, Ariyon Bakare, Hiroyuki Sanada and Ryan ...more
10
Slither is listed (or ranked) 10 on the list The Best Alien Horror Movies Ever Made
Elizabeth Banks, Jenna Fischer, Rob Zombie
Slither is a 2006 American science fiction-comedy horror film written and directed by James Gunn in his directorial debut, and starring Nathan Fillion, Elizabeth Banks, Gregg Henry, and Michael ...more
11
Starship Troopers is listed (or ranked) 11 on the list The Best Alien Horror Movies Ever Made
Neil Patrick Harris, Denise Richards, Amy Smart
Starship Troopers is a 1997 American military science fiction action film directed by Paul Verhoeven and written by Edward Neumeier. The story follows a young soldier named Johnny Rico and his ...more
12
The Abyss is listed (or ranked) 12 on the list The Best Alien Horror Movies Ever Made
Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Chris Elliott
The Abyss is a 1989 American science fiction-adventure film written and directed by James Cameron, starring Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, and Michael Biehn. When an American submarine ...more
13
Cloverfield is listed (or ranked) 13 on the list The Best Alien Horror Movies Ever Made
Odette Annable, Lizzy Caplan, Jessica Lucas
Cloverfield is a 2008 American science fiction found footage monster film directed by Matt Reeves, produced by J. J. Abrams & Bryan Burk, and written by Drew Goddard. Before settling on an ...more
14
Prometheus is listed (or ranked) 14 on the list The Best Alien Horror Movies Ever Made
Charlize Theron, Michael Fassbender, Idris Elba
Prometheus is a 2012 science fiction film directed by Ridley Scott, written by Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof, and starring Noomi Rapace, Michael Fassbender, Guy Pearce, Idris Elba, Logan ...more
15
Species is listed (or ranked) 15 on the list The Best Alien Horror Movies Ever Made
Michelle Williams, Ben Kingsley, Natasha Henstridge
Species is a 1995 American science fiction horror film directed by Roger Donaldson, and starring Natasha Henstridge, Ben Kingsley, Michael Madsen, Alfred Molina, Forest Whitaker and Marg ...more
16
District 9 is listed (or ranked) 16 on the list The Best Alien Horror Movies Ever Made
Sharlto Copley, Jed Brophy, Vanessa Haywood
District 9 is a 2009 science fiction film directed by Neill Blomkamp, released August 13, 2009. It takes place in Johannesburg, South Africa. District 9 is based on Alive in Joburg, a short film ...more
17
Alien 3 is listed (or ranked) 17 on the list The Best Alien Horror Movies Ever Made
Sigourney Weaver, Charles Dance, Paul McGann
Alien 3 is a 1992 American science-fiction horror film and the debut feature film of director David Fincher. The film is the third installment of the Alien film series. The film takes place ...more
18
Brightburn is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Alien Horror Movies Ever Made
Jason Cadogan added Elizabeth Banks, David Denman, Jackson A. Dunn
Brightburn is a 2019 American superhero horror film directed by David Yarovesky. After adopting a baby that crash-landed on Earth, a couple (Elizabeth Banks and David Denman) attempt to raise ...more
19
Predators is listed (or ranked) 19 on the list The Best Alien Horror Movies Ever Made
Topher Grace, Laurence Fishburne, Adrien Brody
Predators is a 2010 American science fiction action film directed by Nimród Antal and starring Adrien Brody, Topher Grace, Alice Braga, Walton Goggins, Laurence Fishburne, Danny Trejo, ...more
20
War of the Worlds is listed (or ranked) 20 on the list The Best Alien Horror Movies Ever Made
Tom Cruise, Morgan Freeman, Channing Tatum
War of the Worlds is a 2005 American epic science fiction disaster film and a loose adaptation of H. G. Wells's novel The War of the Worlds, directed by Steven Spielberg and written by Josh ...more
21
Dreamcatcher is listed (or ranked) 21 on the list The Best Alien Horror Movies Ever Made
Morgan Freeman, Timothy Olyphant, Damian Lewis
Dreamcatcher is a 2003 science fiction horror film adaptation of Stephen King's novel of the same name. It was directed by Lawrence Kasdan, and co-written by Kasdan and screenwriter William ...more
22
Edge of Tomorrow is listed (or ranked) 22 on the list The Best Alien Horror Movies Ever Made
Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, Bill Paxton
Edge of Tomorrow is a 2014 American military science fiction thriller film starring Tom Cruise and Emily Blunt. Doug Liman directed the film. The film takes place in a future where Earth is ...more
23
Critters is listed (or ranked) 23 on the list The Best Alien Horror Movies Ever Made
Billy Zane, Dee Wallace, M. Emmet Walsh
Critters is a 1986 cult comedy horror science fiction film starring Dee Wallace-Stone, M. Emmet Walsh, Billy Green Bush and Scott Grimes. It was the directorial debut of Stephen Herek who ...more
24
Alien: Covenant is listed (or ranked) 24 on the list The Best Alien Horror Movies Ever Made
Michael Fassbender, Katherine Waterston, Billy Crudup
Alien: Covenant is a 2017 science fiction horror film directed by Ridley Scott, and the sixth film in the Alien film series. The crew of a colony ship, bound for a remote planet, discover an ...more
25
Riddick is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Alien Horror Movies Ever Made
Vin Diesel, Dave Bautista, Karl Urban
Riddick is a 2013 British-American science fiction thriller film, the third installment in the The Chronicles of Riddick film series. Produced by and starring Vin Diesel as the title character, ...more