Alien is widely regarded as a classic of cinema, and with good reason. Though the movie is undeniably a science fiction film, it also has many of the elements that would go on to dominate horror and slasher movies. That’s what makes it work so well, it’s a film that blends genres, as well as being wonderfully shot, brilliantly, paced, oh, and it has Sigourney Weaver (legend) in it too. Can you tell I like Alien just a little bit?! Well, if you’re looking for movies like Alien, you’ve come to the right place, as I’m going to list some below.
Top Movies Like Alien
When looking for movies like Alien you’re most likely going to be thinking about two distinct sorts of flicks. Sci-fi, or horror, or films that combine the two as well! You want movies that are dark, atmospheric, and leave a lot to the imagination. But, they should also have that cool science fiction vibe to them as well. These are some of the best movies you’ll like if you loved Alien, make sure you check them out.
The Terminator (1984)
Strange as it sounds, The Terminator is very much a movie like Alien. Both feature young women thrust into a situation beyond their control. Both see these women facing off against a seemingly unstoppable foe, and emerging victorious. While The Terminator lacks the claustrophobic elements of Alien, it has plenty of similar themes, and Sarah Connor and Ripley are not such different characters. In fact, I wouldn’t be shocked if James Cameron based his heroine on Ripley!
The Thing (1982)
John Carpenter’s sci-fi/horror classic pits everyone’s favorite actor, Kurt Russell, against the titular murderous alien. There are plenty of differences between The Thing and Alien, but it also shares some similarities as well. An alien creature infiltrating a research base (in this case), or a commercial starship (in the case of Alien). The creature picks off the members of the crew one by one, and paranoia and fear consuming the group. In both cases, the alien creature must also face off against a lone survivor, who bests them in the end.
Okay, bear with me here, I can see you getting skeptical. Alien and Halloween are, in many ways, wonderfully similar. See, both films are, at their core, slasher-horror movies. Think about it, Alien sees an unseen force break into a confined environment, hunt down and kill a group of friends one by one, until finally being defeated by the last woman standing. And that is the EXACT plot of Halloween as well. You’re welcome! Plus Halloween is a masterpiece. If you love Alien, you’ll dig Halloween, because they’re basically the same, just one is set in space!
Predator is much more action-oriented I’ll grant you, and it stars Arnie as opposed to Sigourney. But, this is certainly a film similar to Alien, specifically in the sense that you barely see the Predator until the end, and even then he’s hidden beneath a mask. There’s also the sense of creeping fear following the characters as they try to stay alive – something that runs throughout Alien too. There’s also the inescapable sci-fi element, and human’s battling mysterious alien creatures from a distant planet.
Some of these choices might be a little controversial, but I feel like they definitely share similarities with Alien. All of them have contained some of the great elements that I enjoyed when watching Alien, and, as such, they are movies that I can enjoy as a similar offering. Do I prefer Alien to each of these films? Yes, but that doesn’t mean they aren’t a great watch as well.