Top 10 Favourite Alien Movies

Top 10 Favourite Alien Movies

If you know much about my writing you're probably aware that most of my published work has been contemporary YA, very realistic stuff similar to things that might well have happened to you or someone you know. I've also written two sci-fi eco-thrillers, a novel about a twenty-year-old who goes into a state of collapse after the love-of-her-life boyfriend dies, and a book about a ghost girl tethered to a grieving teenage boy.

What you might not guess from all this is that I'm a sucker for a good alien story—a huge fan of Star Trek: The Next Generation, The X-Files, Stargate Atlantis, Falling Skies, V (both the 1984 series and 09 remake), Invasion (such an amazing show—can't believe it was cancelled after only a single season!), Doctor Who (more on that here) and Torchwood. Likewise, when a cool alien flick rolls up at the Cineplex, I'm there. Below are some of my personal favourites from over the years.

* Monsters (2010)
Directed and written by Gareth Edwards
Anything but your typical alien invasion picture or boiler plate aliens. "Six years after Earth has suffered an alien invasion a cynical journalist agrees to escort a shaken American tourist through an infected zone in Mexico to the safety of the US border."

* The Abyss (1989)
Directed and written by James Cameron
When a diving team search for a lost nuclear submarine they encounter something more. A terrific cast (Ed Harris, Mary Elizabeth Mastrantonio, Michael Biehn) and highly original—-almost whimsical—-alien species make this underwater drama one of a kind.
The Abyss
The Abyss

* Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)
Directed and written by Steven Spielberg
A group of strangers are inexorably drawn toward an encounter with intelligent alien life in Spielberg's iconic follow-up film to Jaws.

* Starship Troopers (1997)
Directed by Paul Verhoeven; screenplay by Edward Neumeier, based on a book by Robert A. Heinlein
Bug-squishing fun. In the near future humanity battles giant alien insects. One of the noteworthy aspects of the film is the comprehensive gender quality we observe in the military.

* Alien | Aliens (1979/1986)
Alien directed by Ridley Scott; written by Dan O'Bannon and Ronald Shusett Aliens directed and written by James Cameron
The alien(s) of the title are horrific to look at, all endless sets of teeth and seething acid. If possible, they seem even more single-minded than Daleks. Exterminate!

* District 9 (2009)
Directd by Neill Blomkamp; written by Neill Blomkamp and Terri Tatchell
That rarity amongst modern action films, one that's as intelligent as it is gripping. Alien refugees are housed in South Africa's District 9, a makeshift ghetto. But when a human government operative begins to mutate into an alien creature, the fragile relationship between the refugees and their hosts explodes.

District 9
District 9

* Signs (2002)
Directed and written by M. Night Shyamalan
The crop circles that appear in the fields of a family farm are just the sinister beginning. In Roger Ebert's review of the film he writes, "M. Night Shyamalan's 'Signs' is the work of a born filmmaker, able to summon apprehension out of thin air."

* Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
Director by Philip Kaufman; screenplay by W.D. Richter, based on a book by Jack Finney
Humans are systematically replaced by aliens who stealthily duplicate them. If you've seen this particular adaptation no doubt Donald Sutherland's other worldly howl is etched in your memory forever like it is in mine.

* Prometheus (2012)
Directed by Ridley Scott; written by Jon Spaihts and Damon Lindelof
I didn't group this with the other Alien movies above because Prometheus is a very different sort of film. For me the creation of the alien wasn't the most interesting element about this one—the glimpses at humanity's creators were.

* War of the Worlds (2005)
Directed by Steven Spielberg; screenplay by Josh Friedman and David Koepp, based on a book by H.G. Wells
Relentless, terrifying and realistic—humanity struggles to survive an alien onslaught.

War of the Worlds
War of the Worlds

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