14 Sci-Fi Monsters That Still Make Us Shudder

List Rules
Vote up the sci-fi horror monsters that still send a shiver down your spine.

With all due respect to famous slashers like Jason Voorhees and Michael Myers, the scariest movie monsters in the annals of filmmaking are undoubtedly sci-fi creatures from our favorite horror flicks. There is something more lasting, more primal about these sci-fi beasts that makes them stick in your craw far longer than any typical horror antagonist. Think about the Xenomorphs and Facehuggers from the Alien franchise, Calvin from Life, or the parasites from Cloverfield, and the goosebumps just appear on your skin.

Don't deny it. We hope you're ready for the stuff nightmares are made of, as we're running through the sci-fi movie monsters that make us want to cry for our mommies.


  • Where Does It Come From: The original tagline of the film was "The ultimate in alien horror." So, you tell us where it comes from. Hint: It's from outer space.

    How It Hunts: A shape-shifting parasite, the Thing tries to absorb and assimilate every living thing around it. Since it can realistically mimic each and every life-form it comes into contact with, the Thing can hide in plain sight, which makes it an extremely dangerous foe to come in contact with.

    Creepiest Feature: Though it can mimic even the most minute detail of the being it assimilates, the process is very violent and disgusting. The special effects of this 1982 classic are a marvel of revolting imagery as a result. Have you ever seen a man's stomach grow massive teeth and chomp off the arms of another man? The Thing has you covered, if you're interested. 

    1,198 votes

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    1,170 VOTES

    Facehuggers From The 'Alien' Franchise

    Facehuggers From The 'Alien' Franchise
    Photo: Alien / 20th Century Fox

    Where Do They Come From: Though Facehuggers are technically Xenomorphs, they warrant an inclusion here because they are just so harrowing. Facehuggers hatch out of Xenomorph eggs. And, if anything, they are even more terrifying than their adult counterparts.

    How They Hunt: After hatching, they immediately seek the nearest life-form and, well, hug their face. Violently. It isn't really a "hug" so much as an "assault." They should be called "Faceassaulters," even if it doesn't quite roll off the tongue as nicely. It would be much more accurate!

    Creepiest Feature: Everything about the Facehugger is creepy, but the most bone-chilling aspect has to be the finger-like tendrils that wrap around the target's head. If they are forcibly removed before the Facehugger has done its business of implanting an embryo in its victim, acid will excrete from said tendrils, and that is never good.

    1,170 votes
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    995 VOTES

    Xenomorphs From The 'Alien' Franchise

    Xenomorphs From The 'Alien' Franchise
    Photo: Alien: Covenant / 20th Century Fox

    Where Do They Come From: This is a little bit murky, as the Alien franchise's lore is pretty undefined and always shifting. Depending on the various films, comic books, and other media, Xenomorphs could come from the planet of Xenomorph Prime (which has never been in an Alien film), they could be solely created from the Engineers' weird, black liquid substance from Prometheus, or maybe they're just the result of experiments by Michael Fassbender's android David. It really is up in the air at this point!

    How They Hunt: For creatures so large and disgusting, the Xenomorphs are experts of stealth. They may not have cloaking abilities like their pseudo-franchise counterparts the Yautja (AKA the species from the Predator series), but they are very good at keeping very quiet and sticking to the shadows while they hunt their prey.

    Creepiest Feature: Though Xenomorphs have various disgusting features, including their abnormally long skulls and massive amounts of saliva, their grossest feature absolutely has to be their second mouth. This small mouth shoots out from inside the bigger mouth, and it is very upsetting.

    995 votes
  • Where Does It Come From: It is unclear if Calvin actually originates from Mars, but the crew of the International Space Station discovers the alien species via a dormant cell aboard soil samples from a space probe returning from our planetary neighbor. What ends up being clear, though, is that Calvin wiped out all life on Mars, assuming there was ever life there in the first place.

    How It Hunts: Quietly and aggressively, Calvin hunts each and every life-form aboard the International Space Station. It completely devours a lab rat, jumps down Ryan Reynolds's mouth and eats his insides, and secretly chomps on a paraplegic's leg for a while.

    Creepiest Feature: The way it absorbs the organic tissue of other life forms. Calvin sort of acts like a cancer, devouring whatever is in its path to grow bigger and deadlier. 

    834 votes
  • Where Does It Come From: The terrifying mutant bear from 2018's Annihilation is a result of an alien being known only as "the Shimmer." Upon crash-landing on Earth, the Shimmer began to alter the DNA of everything in its immediate area. That included a bear that ended up being transformed into an utter nightmare.

    How It Hunts: The Shimmer-bear hunts mostly like a bear if it were more intelligent and stealthy. Think of an intelligent animal with the strength of a bear. Most frighteningly, it's able to emit a cry for help in the voice of one of its earlier targets to trick the people it's hunting. Just imagine a human voice coming from a monster bear and you've got the idea.

    Creepiest Feature: The smaller skull that is sticking out of its head by the left eye socket is quite unsettling. It doesn't serve any functional purpose... it's just the kind of imagery that causes you to have night terrors.

    727 votes

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  • Where Do They Come From: Like many a movie monster before them, the Death Angels come from outer space. No other explanation is needed.

    How They Hunt: As the Death Angels have no eyes, they rely entirely on sound to hunt their prey. They can unfold the various armor platings on their head to expose the massive organ that allows for incredibly sensitive hearing.

    Creepiest Feature: The way they run like alien gorillas is pretty terrifying to behold. Their front legs are longer than their back legs, causing them to strut around like skinny, alien apes. It is both memorable and hideous.

    757 votes

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