5- E.T. The Extraterrestrial
A child’s first friendship is a life changing thing and unique for every one of us. Especially if your first friend happens to be an alien who just wants to go home.
Starting the second half of this list off is 1982’s E.T. The Extraterrestrial, directed by Steven Spielberg. The story is about an alien stuck on earth, who befriends a boy. Together, they work to get E.T. off the planet before the government can have their way with the friendly extraterrestrial. This movie is a classic, and brought parents and children alike together in theatres. It’s a heartwarming film, and a great summer watch.
4- The Thing
Alien invasions are a scary thing. The idea of an extraterrestrial race descending down on us from the heavens in an attempt to wipe out humanity can make people a little anxious. The only upside to this violent end for mankind is that everyone comes together in an attempt to prevent, and beat back, the aliens with the disproportionately big guns.
But what happens when the aliens come and you’re all alone?
Such is the premise for 1982’s The Thing, directed by John Carpenter and starring Kurt Russell. Deep in the ice of the Antarctic a crew of scientists uncover an alien that, upon its discovery, begins to pick them off one by one by taking the form of its last victim. Part of what makes this movie so horrifying is the isolation the crew faces. Their deaths are inevitable, lonely, terrifying and deep in the barren Antarctic wasteland, but altml that matters is stopping the alien threat before it’s too late. A heart pounding movie with nail biting suspense, The Thing makes its way easily into the fourth spot on this list.
Coming in at number three is 1979’s Alien, directed by Ridley Scott and starring Sigourney Weaver. After receiving a distress call while deep in space, the crew of the commercial ship Nostromo are awakened from stasis in order to investigate the S.O.S. Believing they’ll discover people in need of rescuing, the crew stumble upon horrors none of them were prepared to face. Soon an alien life form is born on the ship and begins picking off the crew, hunting them down on their vessel until only one remains.
Alien is a true thriller, with suspense and action right until the very end. Much like The Thing at number three, what makes this movie so horrifying is the isolation of the crew from the rest of humanity. Alone in space, with no one but each other and the imminent threat of death, the film brings audiences (much like the crew of the Nostromo) to the edge, and then pushes them over.
A classic by all standards, Alien is worth revisiting this summer.
2- Invasion Of The Body Snatchers
Ever talk to someone you know and five minutes into the conversation you realize they don’t seem right? Something’s off about them and they’re not their usual self? They seem out of character, out of sorts, and maybe they’re hungry or it’s just a headache, but you wouldn’t have a hard time believing that they’re not really who they seem to be?
Well maybe like the characters in the 1978 film Invasion Of The Body Snatchers, directed by Philip Kaufman, they’re not.
The premise of the film is that an alien spore finds itself drifting down from our atmosphere onto San Francisco after traveling through space. Upon landing these spores begin to spread and grow into pods, from which alien duplicates are born to replace the human original. This movie is terrifying because it plays on the idea of being isolated amongst society. That the very people we look to for help, and support, are the very creatures of our destruction.
A truly original film with scares the whole way through, Invasion Of The Body Snatchers is a great film to watch again this summer.
1- District 9
Wrapping this list up in the top spot is 2009’s Distric 9, directed by Neil Blomkamp and starring Sharlto Copley. A movie about a government agent assigned to the slums of an alien refugee camp, who finds he has more in common with the extraterrestrials than he thought, District 9 is an amazing film that encompasses everything an alien movie should have.
The politics of the governments, and those of the aliens, feel real and the documentary aspect helps make the whole film feel plausible. The way Wikus (as played by Copley) transforms, both physically and mentally, feels honest (and slightly Kafkaesque). The reactions of both his family and society help contribute to how the movie feels true to the situation and the world created. District 9, unlike most alien films, pays attention to more than just the bigger details by showing audiences the inner workings, and finite details, of this alien infested Johannesburg.
Easily finding itself on the top of this list, District 9 is more than worth re-watching this summer.