The Future Is Terrifying, and These 15 Sci-Fi Horror Movies Prove It
You look optimistic. We can fix that.
It can be hard for us anxiety-ridden movie fans not to project the things we see on screens onto our own lives. Well, this article will certainly add fuel to the fire: if you want to tickle your nerves instead of making peace with what lies ahead, we have a bunch of sci-fi horrors from genetic experiments gone awry to interstellar nightmares for you to binge-watch nervously.
15. The Endless (2017)
Rotten Tomatoes score: 92%
Imagine an endless loop of mysterious events that defy explanation. In The Endless, two brothers return to a cult they once fled, only to uncover twisted truths. By the way, the film's directors, Justin Benson and Aaron Moorhead, also star as the two lead brothers. Talk about multitasking!
14. Life (2017)
Rotten Tomatoes score: 68%
Out in the vastness of space, where no one can hear you scream, Life introduces a group of astronauts who discover a life form on Mars more intelligent and dangerous than they could have ever imagined. The film's alien, Calvin, was inspired by real-life microscopic water bears, known for their resilience – so if you think that this is all just a made-up story and there's nothing to be afraid of… well, good for you.
13. Sunshine (2007)
Rotten Tomatoes score: 76%
Saving a dying sun becomes an epic quest in Sunshine. A team of astronauts must reignite our fading star, and the film's director, Danny Boyle, used a special lens to capture the sun's intensity on camera.
12. Event Horizon (1997)
Rotten Tomatoes score: 34%
When a spaceship returns from a dimension beyond human comprehension, Event Horizon takes us on a journey filled with nightmarish visions, gruesome transformations, and a descent into madness. Director Paul W.S. Anderson even consulted with a physicist to nail those black hole sequences.
11. Pandorum (2009)
Rotten Tomatoes score: 30%
How about waking up on a spaceship with no memory of what on Earth (or not on Earth) happened, and terrifying creatures are lurking in the shadows? For the sake of authenticity, Pandorum's cast and crew had to undergo extensive astronaut training, so the movie looks a tad more realistic than we'd like it to. Imagine "acting" and "space training" in your resume together!
10. Cube (1997)
Rotten Tomatoes score: 63%
Think of a Rubik's Cube, but with deadly traps instead of colorful sides. Cube traps a group of strangers inside a maze of deadly chambers, with each chamber color-coded to create a sense of disorientation.
9. Hardware (1990)
Rotten Tomatoes score: 46%
In a post-apocalyptic world, a scavenger unwittingly brings home a malfunctioning military robot, setting the stage for a terrifying battle of survival. By the way, what you just read had to be brought to life on a budget – director Richard Stanley used his own apartment as one of the primary sets to save money.
8. Europa Report (2013)
Rotten Tomatoes score: 80%
Europa Report offers a cool spin on the found-footage genre, blending documentary-style storytelling with sci-fi exploration. This one also made the cast and crew take up astronaut training lessons, just like Pandorum did – so the “documentary-style” part surely works very well.
7. Color Out of Space (2019)
Rotten Tomatoes score: 86$
Based on H.P. Lovecraft's story, Color Out of Space takes you on a psychedelic journey into cosmic horror, complete with a mysterious meteorite and director Richard Stanley's return to filmmaking.
6. Beyond the Black Rainbow (2010)
Rotten Tomatoes score: 62%
Beyond the Black Rainbow immerses you in a psychedelic dystopia within a mysterious research facility. Director Panos Cosmatos drew inspiration from '70s and '80s science fiction and horror films, resulting in a visually distinctive aesthetic, which is also a great nostalgia fix for non-Gen Z viewers!
5. The Last Days on Mars (2013)
Rotten Tomatoes score: 18%
In The Last Days on Mars, a crew of astronauts on Mars encounters an extraterrestrial threat that turns their mission into a desperate fight for survival. The film's sets were meticulously designed to replicate the surface of Mars.
4. Possessor (2020)
Rotten Tomatoes score: 94%
Thought Inception was mind-bending? Try watching Possessor and not go insane. This sci-fi thriller explores the disturbing world of mind control and assassination. Director Brandon Cronenberg is the son of the body horror maestro David Cronenberg, so "disturbing" may be an understatement.
3. The Mist (2007)
Rotten Tomatoes score: 73%
When a mysterious mist engulfs a small town, The Mist brings deadly creatures and the darkest aspects of human nature to the surface. Director Frank Darabont is no stranger to Stephen King adaptations, so prepare for a rather disturbing hour and a half!
2. Invasion Of The Body Snatchers (1956)
Rotten Tomatoes score: 98%
The granddaddy of all alien invasion films, Invasion of the Body Snatchers, serves as a chilling allegory for conformity and paranoia. Easter egg lovers will have fun catching director Don Siegel's cameo appearance as a gas meter reader in the film.
1. Splice (2009)
Rotten Tomatoes score: 75%
Scientists playing with the building blocks of life – what could possibly go wrong? Splice explores just that as two scientists create a hybrid creature named Dren. The mix of practical effects and CGI makes sure it looks terrifying enough to seem realistic. Don't try and create hybrid monsters if you don't want to end up in a dystopia, kids!
A pretty sobering ride, huh? The future may be a place where the line between reality and nightmare truly blurs. Let's hope we take these stories as cautionary whispers they are… instead of turning our future into a dystopian nightmare.