Graveyard Shift

The Best Alien Horror Movies Ever Made  

Ranker Film
27.7k votes 3.3k voters 91.4k 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

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#77 of 630 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Moviesfeaturing Making ‘Alien’ Was Even More Horrific Than The Final Productlisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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

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#116 of 257 The Best Psychological Thrillers of All Time #7 of 769 The Best Horror Movies of All Time #928 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

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

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#173 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #33 of 769 The Best Horror Movies of All Timelisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

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

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#140 of 630 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #68 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetimefeaturing Somehow, Making Predator Was WAY More Insane Than The Actual Movie

5
Pitch Black is listed (or ranked) 5 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

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#209 of 630 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #421 of 769 The Best Horror Movies of All Time #565 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

6
Invasion of the Body Sna... is listed (or ranked) 6 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

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#84 of 769 The Best Horror Movies of All Time #3 of 15 Pretty Good Horror Movies That Make Everyday Activities Terrifying #60 of 591 The Best '70s Movies

7
The Faculty is listed (or ranked) 7 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

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#187 of 304 The Greatest Soundtracks of All Time #153 of 769 The Best Horror Movies of All Time #1,113 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

8
The Thing is listed (or ranked) 8 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

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#459 of 769 The Best Horror Movies of All Time #86 of 193 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made #19 of 33 Horror Movie Reboots No One Ever Asked For

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
Starship Troopers is listed (or ranked) 10 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

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#10 of 630 The Greatest Guilty Pleasure Movies #144 of 382 The Best War Movies Ever #217 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies

11
The Abyss is listed (or ranked) 11 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

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#197 of 336 'Old' Movies Every Young Person Needs To Watch In Their Lifetime #888 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movieslisted on Every Oscar Winning Film Ever

12
Prometheus is listed (or ranked) 12 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

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#238 of 769 The Best Horror Movies of All Time #1,456 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Moviesfeaturing The Best Characters in the Whole Alien Franchise, Ranked

13
Slither is listed (or ranked) 13 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

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#236 of 769 The Best Horror Movies of All Time #4 of 20 Plot Holes That Will Ruin Your Favorite Action Moviesfeaturing The Best Quotes From 'Slither' Are So Funny It's Scary

14
Species is listed (or ranked) 14 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

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#227 of 769 The Best Horror Movies of All Time #43 of 116 The Scariest Giant Monster Movies #62 of 193 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made

15
Dreamcatcher is listed (or ranked) 15 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

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#12 of 14 14 Pretty Good Adaptations Of Stephen King Novels You Should Watch Right Now #56 of 193 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made #9 of 14 Pretty Good Horror Movies That Make You Fear Going To The Bathroom

16
Cloverfield is listed (or ranked) 16 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

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#188 of 769 The Best Horror Movies of All Time #1,323 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Moviesfeaturing All The 'Cloverfield' Easter Eggs You Definitely Missed

17
District 9 is listed (or ranked) 17 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

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#423 of 571 Things That Are Not As Cool As People Think They Are #64 of 157 The Best Movies You Never Want to Watch Again #31 of 156 The Best Science Fiction Action Movies

18
Alien: Covenant is listed (or ranked) 18 on the list The Best Alien Horror Movies Ever Made
Alien: Covenant 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

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#370 of 769 The Best Horror Movies of All Time #1,286 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #37 of 102 The Best Movies of 2017, Ranked

19
Alien 3 is listed (or ranked) 19 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

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#182 of 769 The Best Horror Movies of All Time #105 of 156 The Best Science Fiction Action Movies #50 of 93 The Best Third Films In A Movie Series

20
Brightburn is listed (or ranked) 20 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

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#9 of 21 The Best Intelligent Horror Movies Of 2019 #13 of 36 The Best, Most Haunting Horror Movie Trailers of 2019 #192 of 193 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made

21
Riddick is listed (or ranked) 21 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

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#332 of 601 The Greatest Epic Movies Ever Made #65 of 116 The Scariest Giant Monster Movies #45 of 53 The Best Superhero Movie Sequels

22
Critters is listed (or ranked) 22 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

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#189 of 440 The Funniest '80s Movies #244 of 769 The Best Horror Movies of All Time #141 of 193 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made

23
Edge of Tomorrow is listed (or ranked) 23 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

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#169 of 382 The Best War Movies Ever #503 of 1,699 The Most Rewatchable Movies #18 of 156 The Best Science Fiction Action Movies

24
Predators is listed (or ranked) 24 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

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#267 of 769 The Best Horror Movies of All Time #28 of 93 The Best Third Films In A Movie Series #80 of 193 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made

25
Alien vs. Predator is listed (or ranked) 25 on the list The Best Alien Horror Movies Ever Made
Sanaa Lathan, Lance Henriksen, Tommy Flanagan
Alien vs. Predator is a 2004 American science fiction action film directed by Paul W. S. Anderson and starring Sanaa Lathan and Lance Henriksen. It is the first installment of the Alien vs. ...more

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#263 of 769 The Best Horror Movies of All Time #39 of 193 The Best Alien Movies Ever Made #49 of 128 The Best Horror Movie Franchises