The 30th anniversary of ALIENS got me thinking about Sci-Fi thrillers. Not every one is a home run, but there are so many that are! So while revisitng ALIENS, maybe check out some of these other classics, too!

GATTACA

This is one of the most beautiful and most frightening looks at a future that is right around the corner: parents given the ability to genetically manipulate a fetus so that it contains the best traits of its lineage, everyone else be damned. Uma Thurman, Ethan Hawke, and Jude Law play the pretty people and those who just miss the mark.

Buy GATTACA here!

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UNDER THE SKIN

Scarlett Johansson as an unnamed sexy alien who picks up and seduces men in a creepy black, liquid void. More something to just take in versus a straight-ahead narrative, UNDER THE SKIN will get under yours, even if you don’t understand it all!

Buy UNDER THE SKIN HERE!

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THE THING

Though it originally failed financially when it was released in the summer of 1982, THE THING has gone on to be regarded as one of the most terrifying films ever made. Kurt Russell heads a group of researchers at an Antarctic station who are hunted systematically by the titular alien creature that is cabable of inhabiting its victims, so there’s no telling who actually is The Thing. Until it’s too late, of course!

Buy THE THING here!

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THE TERMINATOR

James Cameron took the world by storm with his vision of a cyborg sent from the future to murder the woman who is to give birth to the man who will lead a rebellion against the machines. The cyborg’s indestructibility is terrifying, and while the film is a little date, it’s still surprising what they could do with effects in 1984!

Buy THE TERMINATOR here!

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DONNIE DARKO

Richard Kelly’s moody, reflective psychological thriller about a 1980s teen with visions of the apocalypse catapulted Jake Gyllenhaal to the A-list and creeped out a generation of filmgoers with James Duval’s Frank the Bunny. Whether Donnie  is crazy or actually seeing images of the future is up for interpretation. Let me know what you think in the comments!

Buy DONNIE DARKO here!

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ALIEN

A cerebral slasher movie in space, Ridley Scott’s epic changed science fiction forever. Similar to THE THING in that an alien life form can burrow into its victims, ALIEN gave us what might be the first fierce warrior heroine in Sigourney Weaver’s Ellen Ripley. You can even wear her famous shoes! (Read James Cameron’s exclusive thoughts on the sequel he helmed here.)

Buy ALIEN here!

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SUNSHINE

A group of scientists en route to reignite the sun decide to answer a distress signal and all hell breaks loose. While it loses its way a little in the third act, it’s so masterfully done leading up to the finale, you’ll feel you’re trapped in space yourself!

Buy SUNSHINE here!

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If you can’t get enough aliens in your life, check out Alien Con, where you can meet the stars of A+E’s ANCIENT ALIENS, Kevin Burns, David H. Childress, and Giorgio A. Tsoukalos; go to a cosplay costume party; and enjoy like-minded friends and lectures with leading authorities on all things alien. It runs 10/28-10/30 in Santa Clara, CA — Halloween weekend! Check it out and get tickets here!