6. The Signal (2007)
In the world of sci-fi films, there have been a plethora of movies who have tried to break away and present a clever and unique way of storytelling. Though the Fury Road may be littered with the wreckage of films who failed in that mission, The Signal (2007) is one that actually went Beyond the Thunderdome. The film guides you through the story of a few people who lives have been destroyed after an unknown signal being broadcast on devices turns the entire city into crazed killers.
What’s brilliant about this film is the way they blend different elements into this sci-fi movie that are unexpected. There’s comedy, there’s gore, there’s even a dramatic element that really draws you into the story. Thirteen years later, there still hasn’t been a sci-fi flick quite like this one and it certainly earns a spot on this list.
7. Attack the Block (2011)
Take Stranger Things, pour it over a nice blend of Guy Ritchie movies and Shaun of the Dead, then garnish with The Predator (2018) and it’ll get you close to satisfying delight that this movie is. This is one of those types of films where if somebody explained the plot, you would find it hard to believe that the movie was really that good.
Simplified, the plot is this: A bunch of street-wise teenager in London is forced to defend their neighborhood from murderous aliens. Sounds kinda silly, doesn’t it? Watch it though and you will find this is a very solid movie. Funny, great action, nice story, but most of all very entertaining. Unexpected awesomeness is what a viewer can expect from the 88 minutes they invest in this film. Afterwards, it’s all but guaranteed that you’ll find yourself mimicking the British slang you’ve heard for quite a long time.
8. The Host (2006)
There have been so, so many monsters that have rampaged through the sci-fi genre. Godzilla, King Kong, Kaiju from the sea, Cloverfield monsters from space, all have left their titan sized imprint in the cinema world. No matter how big a crater any of these monsters left in the wake of their destruction they could still never measure up to how gigantic this movie stacks up in the genre.
This is a great movie, not only in sci-fi but in the film industry in general. This Korean monster flick centers on a family who decide to attempt a rescue after a mysterious rampaging creature abducts one of their own. Now everyone knows that a person’s family dynamic is a complicated and unique thing. Family can make you laugh, make you cry, uplift you, hell even scare you at times. Those are the exact feelings watching this movie brings out in the audience. You’ll find yourself laughing at some parts, then a bit later you’ll find yourself wanting to cry.
As a whole though, you’ll find yourself immersed into a wonderful film with heart that truly captures a complete cinematic journey of sci-fi excellence. In the end, you’ll come to realize that this film is a classic that will always be remembered in your science fiction life, just like family.
9. Altered (2006)
Right off the bat, this could be one of the best sci-fi movies that never got a lot of praise, hype, or even attention since it’s release back in 2006. To best understand the coolness of this film, one would first need to ponder and ask themselves a very important question: what would you do with your life if you and a group of your closest friends were victims of an alien abduction as teenagers in which one of you never returned? Now just think on how whatever well-thought or well-intentioned idea you just pondered has to get thrown away when two of your childhood friends come beating on your door telling you they caught one of those aliens who abducted you.
This is the set-up for a film that is easily in the upper echelon of sci-fi movies. This may not be a big budget extravaganza with A-list actors, but its hard to tell the difference when a low budget film is at the top of its game like this one is. Good story, good acting, good effects, good pacing, good all across the board. Most importantly however is that while watching, you won’t be thinking of any of those things because you’ll be too caught up in a very entertaining movie.
There is even a very deep psychological aspect to this story that even many of the reviewers don’t quite grasp that adds to the greatness which is Altered. This one is unique, one of those elite few that actually has a story that you just don’t see everyday. This is sci-fi storytelling at its best and it didn’t need a 100 million dollar budget to do so.
10. The Fourth Kind (2009)
Every once in awhile, a film is released that entirely changes or creates an entirely new branch of films within a certain genre. In 1973, The Exorcist shocked audiences with detailed depictions of the catholic rite of exorcism and the taboo belief of demon possession. This led to a whole heap of horror films over the years that attempt to tap into that same formula for frights in the genre. Twenty plus years later in 1999, The Blair Witch Project siphoned some of that energy and manifested it into another audience shocking experience which sparked the “found footage” branch of horror films.
Well in 2009, Screenwriter and Director Olatunde Osunsanmi channeled the spirits of both those films and opened the portal into the sci-fi genre to create this terrifying tale of alien abduction in the state of Alaska. Milla Jovovich gives the performance of her career playing a psychologist who begins to uncover hidden evidence of extra-terrestrial kidnappings through controlled sessions with her patients. What makes this movie so effective though is the brilliant blend of the two styles of storytelling that can be seen in the previous films.
The Fourth Kind blends the standard dramatic storytelling that made The Exorcist so scary with the “found footage” style of The Blair Witch to present the audience with a very cerebral and visceral horrifying flick. Add to that, the makers of the film totally Blair Witch’s the viewer, which is marketing and presenting a fictional story in a manner that suggests the story is based on true events. This all converges into a story that expertly blurs the line between purported truth and straight fiction, creating a film that is without a doubt, downright disturbing.
During this film, it is inevitable that you will do all of the following: yell out loud in shock (usually something profane), look out into the adjacent room to make sure you’re alone, curiously focus on a lone odd sound you thought you heard in your place, and verbalize to yourself how you wouldn’t do the actions the person on the screen is doing at the time. It’s because of all these things that make this movie a juggernaut classic in the science fiction genre, guaranteed to make you forever look up at the night skies with a side-eye of distrust whether you believe in aliens or not.