Science fiction concerns the future, and the future is often far more terrifying than it is enticing. That explains why science fiction and horror so often go hand in hand. Filmmakers use unknown lands and unknown technologies to conjure up creatures or forces that are so terrifying in part because they are so far beyond the realm of understanding. Sci-fi horror has provided plenty of fertile territory for great directors to scare the crap out of viewers, and we’re here to celebrate some of the best of the best.
1. The Thing (1982)
The alien monster unfrozen in John Carpenter’s 1982 remake of The Thing from Another World doesn’t have any motivation beyond pure instinct to survive and expand. The group of surly Antarctic outpost workers led by Kurt Russell’s not-so-heroic R.J. MacReady find themselves up against a creature so efficient and unfeeling that it will almost certainly take over Earth if allowed to escape their snowy hideaway. An escape wouldn’t be difficult, seeing as the monster can consume and create a perfect imitation of any living creature.
Carpenter uses the chilling setup to turn the men against one another, as they devolve into paranoid finger-pointing. The paranoia is only outmatched by the unbearable tension and occasional surprise from the film, as well as a sickening feeling of inevitability — that these simple men will never be able to stop this thing.