25 Best Alien Invasion Films


With the recent release of INDEPENDENCE DAY: RESURGENCE, I realized how much I love a great alien invasion-scifi film. Sure, this follow up to the 1996 blockbuster kind of fizzled, but I started thinking about all the fantastic alien invasion films that are actually out there. Here’s a list of my twenty-five favorite invasion films. You’ll notice that not all alien invasion films have to be as overt and in-your-face as the INDEPENDENCE DAY films. Some alien invasions begin with one over-achieving alien!! Enjoy the list and let me know what your favorite alien invasion flicks are in the comments section below: (this list is in no particular order)

Aliens the thing

THE THING (1982)

Perhaps the mother of all alien invasion films is John Carpenter’s remake of the classic 1951 film, THE THING FROM ANOTHER WORLD. Carpenter just about made the perfect film here with a great story with great acting and some of the best practical f/x ever put on film!! If you haven’t seen this one, what the hell are you waiting for??

Aliens puppet


Based on the 1951 novel by Robert A. Heinlein, THE PUPPET MASTERS stars Donald Sutherland as the leader of a secret organization designated to stop an alien invasion. This film is fun, a little cheesy in parts, and has some great aliens. And did I mention it has Donald Sutherland? Enough said!!

Aliens cloverfield


Many people bashed this film due to the (very) shaky camera work and the fact that we never get a clear image of the giant invading monster. All that aside, I think this film is extremely effective and shows the chaos and confusion of an alien invasion. Plus, when we do get to see the giant invader, it is pretty goddamn breathtaking!!

Aliens hidden


Kyle MacLachlan and Michael Nouri star in this scifi-horror-action film about an alien how comes to earth to hide out and hides in people. This little bastard seems to have a penchant for loud heavy metal music and fast sports cars. This film is at the top of my list for one that needs an update with a remake.

Aliens body snatchers


Two classics if there ever were classics!! I couldn’t decide which one I liked more, so I’m including both versions. The 1956 version is a metaphor for the McCarthy-era of political paranoia while the updated 1978–which also stars Donald Sutherland–is simply a kick ass scifi-horror flick. Watch these flicks back-to-back (as I have a thousand times) and see what great alien invasion films are all about!!

Aliens avengers


You bet your ass I’m including this film in this list, Sure, this isn’t a horror film at all, but when those aliens come through the portal and start attacking, they would’ve had the aliens from INDEPENDENCE DAY running away with their appendages tucked between their legs.

Aliens they live

THEY LIVE (1988)

John Carpenter makes this list again with this alien invasion movie that is also a metaphor for the excesses of the Reagan-era. In this film, the invasion has already occurred and the aliens have infiltrated all aspects of society, and all levels of government. What can bring them down? Sunglasses!! This is a hugely entertaining film that boasts one of the longest fist fights ever captured on film!!

Aliens war of worlds


You can keep your Steven Spielberg/Tom Cruise 2005 remake. That was a boring, ego-stroke of a film that fell completely flat for me. The original with Gene Barry is an incredibly tense film with great action and dialogue. I still get chills thinking about when these aliens first start to attack!!

Aliens attack block


Speaking of attacking, ATTACK THE BLOCK is a more contemporary UK invasion flick that reminds me a lot of CLOVERFIELD … but with cockney accents. This one is full of great characters and a pretty fun, imaginable alien that you’ll see in your dreams.

Aliens andromeda


Based on Michael Crichton’s 1969 novel of the same name. Instead of some huge, ugly, menacing creature, Crichton imagines what it might be like if an alien invasion came in the form of a virus from outer space. This is a techno-science thriller that explores some pretty heady ideas and has a great payoff. But be prepared, because this is a slow-burner that makes you use your head.

Aliens faculty


Remember when Robert Rodriguez kicked ass? No? Then revisit THE FACULTY!! This is a fast-paced alien invasion flick that begins, of all places, inside a high school. The creature is fantastic, the action is non-stop, and the resolution is very satisfying.

Aliens day earth still


I love ya, Keanu, but I’m gonna stick to the original film here. Robert Wise’s film is a warning to humanity to stop their violent ways, or else!! A more somber, heady film.

Aliens mars attacks


Tim Burton’s love letter to the alien invasion films of the 1950s!! Burton fills his cast with A-list celebrities as they all pay respect to Hollywood’s B-list past. What makes this one so much fun is that cast. You can see that everyone involved had a blast making this one.

Aliens arrival


Charlie Sheen is a SETI scientist who discovers an alien conspiracy to raise the temperature of earth in order to prepare to earth for an invasion. There’s a lot of fun going on here and this is a chance to see Sheen before he completely went off his nut.

Aliens lifeforce


Tobe Hooper leaves behind his chainsaws in Texas to give us this tale of space vampires who are discovered in the tail of Halley’s Comet who invade earth and suck out the life force of humans, leaving behind violent zombies. This film isn’t perfect and has a lot going on in it, but there’s also a lot to love–not least of which is Mathilda May walking around naked for most of the film!!

Aliens invaders mars


This remake of the 1953 film keeps the heart of the original alive while updating the story. This is the seminal nobody-believes-children set up. There’s also some great performances from Karen Black, Laraine Newman, and James Karen. The final act inside the alien spaceship is worth the wait.

Aliens bad taste

BAD TASTE (1987)

Peter Jackson’s debut feature film is as every bit fun and his LORD OF THE RINGS trilogy was tedious!! The invading aliens here are harvesting human beings to use as meat in their intergalactic fast food chain. Everything you used to love about Jackson is present here: Lowbrow humor, excessive gore, and just plain old zany fun!!

Aliens undead

UNDEAD (2003)

Passing by meteorites turn the locals in a small Aussie fishing village into ravenous zombies. This film, written and directed by The Spierig Brothers, combines a few different sub-genres together to give the viewer one hell of a ride!! And don’t forget that shotgun!!

Aliens evil aliens


Jake West, who went on to direct the crazy-fun zombie flick, DOGHOUSE, made this film about a film crew who investigates an alien abduction only to find out that they bit off a bigger story than they could chew.

Aliens species

SPECIES (1995)

Everyone’s favorite sexy alien debuted in this film!! Natasha Henstridge is as sexy and beautiful as she is deadly. Scientists receive a message from the stars about how to successfully combine alien and human DNA. Henstridge’s Sil is the result, but what the scientists don’t realize is that Sil was meant to be the first in an alien invasion. Action and fun are all over this one!!

Aliens honeymoon


Elements of Lovecraft within the subtlety of an alien invasion makes this 2014 film shine!! Catch this one while it is still on Netflix.

Aliens killer klowns


Let’s take some horrifying-looking clowns, make them aliens, and then set them loose on a small town as they invade. Oh yeah … and we’ll make their home planet look like some twisted, nightmarish vision of Hell!! This film is one of the best horror-comedies out there.

Aliens slither

SLITHER (2006)

Before he took on GUARDIANS OF THE GALAXY, James Gunn set his sights on a smaller-scale invasion. Part of the fun here is the alien plague, but the real fun is what the plague turns various human beings into!! Don’t miss this one.

Aliens blob

THE BLOB (1988)

I love the Steve McQueen original, but something about this late 802 remake always makes me smile!! In this update of the classic, the town hooligan (Kevin Dillon) must save his town and the world from an invading, amorphous blob that digests everything it comes in contact with. This one has a fun little twist to it as well.

Aliens deadly spawn1


In this forgotten cult classic a hive-like alien sets up shop in a suburban family’s basement and creates all kinds of havoc. There’s definitely an argument to be made here that James Gunn was influenced by this film to make his SLITHER (see above)!!

Stay Bloody!!!

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