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Aliens, extra-terrestrials and monsters from outer space Top 10 Conspiracy Web Sites Top 10 Conspiracy Web Sites Read More – regardless of the given name, creatures from far off worlds have long been used in popular culture to scare, thrill and inspire a sense of wonder.

This week’s Stuff to Watch explores some of the scariest Top 8 Scary Websites To Spook Yourself & Your Friends Top 8 Scary Websites To Spook Yourself & Your Friends Bravado says that the web is not a tunnel of horrors. But be warned my friends, there are some scary websites out there. These scary websites may not give the screaming meemies to all of... Read More and most memorable pieces of cinema that make use of extra-terrestrials to great effect. In addition to all-time classics there are a few less orthodox alien flicks on the list to keep your eye out for.

Alien

Ridley Scott’s Alien needs very little introduction, but there’s no chance it’s not going to make a list of top extra-terrestrial films. In it, the team of the Nostromo mining ship are awoken from hypersleep when a signal is detected from a nearby planet and believed to be an SOS.

After landing the crew soon make some interesting discoveries, the most important being that the signal they heard was intended as a warning and not a cry for help. The rest of the film is the perfect balance of horror, sci-fi and comedy with H. R. Giger’s iconic Alien providing the ultimate deep space 6 More Interesting Websites A Space & Astronomy Buff Should Visit 6 More Interesting Websites A Space & Astronomy Buff Should Visit Read More foe in this must-watch film.

The Thing

When it comes to top quality sci-fi, you could say John Carpenter has a knack for it. While They Live is arguably one of the best alien invasion films of all time, it doesn’t quite beat The Thing when it comes to the aliens themselves.

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Starring a single shape-shifting entity, the film takes place at an isolated Antarctic research station. The course of events leaves each character questioning the other in the quest to find out who is and who isn’t infected.

K-PAX

Probably not the first film that springs to mind when you think of alien-themed movies, K-PAX is easily the least action-packed film on the list. It’s not set in space, like Alien and nor does it deal with an invasion like The Thing. Instead, K-PAX explores a very “human” side to being an alien on planet earth.

Kevin Spacey takes on the lead role of Prot, a patient sent to a mental hospital for making some bold claims about being from another planet. Much of the film takes place in a darkened room and explores Prot’s ideas and his psychiatrist’s perceptions. While it’s by far the least orthodox film on this list, K-PAX is also probably the one that will get you thinking the most.

District 9

What if beings from another world were to settle on earth? Would they be accepted, or even well-treated? It’s an interesting proposition, and no film explores the premise better than 2009’s breakout South African hit, District 9.

In 1982 aliens land in Johannesburg, South Africa but over time the locals become hostile. Twenty years later and the creatures are living in slum-like conditions under military lockdown until the government decides it’s time for eviction. The film does a great job of reversing the roles usually seen in such movies.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d6PDlMggROA

Close Encounters of the Third Kind

Probably the greatest alien-themed family film ever made (I’m looking at you, E.T.), Close Encounters of the Third Kind has gone on to inspire games, films, parodies and even episodes of South Park in the years following its 1977 release.

Written and directed by Steven Spielberg, Close Encounters of the Third Kind documents one man’s experience with a UFO, after which he has five mysterious musical notes in his mind and a burning desire to visit an isolated area where something incredible is about to happen.

Attack The Block

And now for something a little different! Attack The Block is an offbeat British story about a group of youngsters living on a south London council estate and an invading alien force. While the aliens themselves are nothing special (though they’re certainly unique), the premise and characters really make it quite interesting.

This film might not be as serious as Alien or as iconic as Close Encounters, but writer and director Joe Cornish deserves recognition for injecting some comedy and non-orthodox elements into an alien invasion movie. If you liked Shaun of the Dead then you’ll probably love Attack the Block.

Prometheus

Brand spanking new and (at the time of writing) still packing-out cinemas, Prometheus is the Ridley Scott film that fans of the Alien series have been waiting for. If you’re expecting just another Alien then you will be disappointed, because the two are really quite different films with their own merits and atmosphere.

A ship is sent to a distant planet in search of beings believed to have designed and created man, but what is found could be man’s own undoing. There are links to Alien in both the story and Ridley Scott’s unique directorial style, though be aware that these are two completely different films.

Conclusion

What? No Predator? Is Alien overrated and dated? Should E.T. really be on this list? Am I a fool for leaving out your favourite film? Everyone has their own personal favourites, be it creatures, stories or directors so why not share yours at the bottom of this post.

  1. Wade Potter
    November 29, 2012 at 12:00 am

    Don't forget the classics like Earth Girls Are Easy, Flash Gordon and Starship Troopers

  2. Michael Dowling
    June 19, 2012 at 10:49 pm

    I know it's super dated,but my favourite sci-fi movie is Day the Earth Stood Still,the original,not the POS remake.

  3. Roger
    June 19, 2012 at 1:50 pm

    "The Time Machine" 1960 version of course :)

  4. wyrwolf
    June 19, 2012 at 9:02 am

    District 9 but no mention of Alien Nation?

  5. druv vb
    June 19, 2012 at 7:09 am

    The list is awesome. All of these are my personal favorites, and its great to watch them at night. E.T should be in for a family fun movie. While Mars Attack also would be great as a funny side of the aliens.
    Nice article.

  6. jules
    June 19, 2012 at 7:07 am

    Attack the block? seriously! I'm British, Loved Shaun of the Dead, but that film is poor.
    Aliens was better than Alien...
    How about Contact?

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