Below is my list of the top 8 cosmic horror movies. There were a few runner up’s like Slither that didn’t make the list so if you have any suggestions or ideas for better options I’ll happy discuss them in the comments.
Event Horizon –
When I was a kid this movie scared me. I almost didn’t want to watch it as an adult. I’m glad I did. Now it’s one of my favorites. I sometimes tell my friends “you don’t need eyes where were going” and it’s fun… for whatever reason. The movie itself makes me scared. It’s got that impeding doom feeling that comes from messing with things science can’t control. Like opening up a worm hole to hell or a dimension similar to hell. I really liked this movie and it’s slow decent into madness (okay maybe not that slow). Sam Neil does a great job in it in my opinion and his coldness really sells the character for me. One scene that always horrified me was the younger member of their team who puts himself into the airlock without a space suit and then bad things happen.
In the Mouth of Madness –
This is another movie staring Sam Neil. I saw the end of this movie before I saw the beginning. I caught it once when my father watched it, again like Event Horizon, as a child. Years later, after it sort of festered in my mind I found the movie again and loved it. It’s about a person investigating the disappearance of a writer. A publisher can’t find their author, Sutter Kane. The books turn out being real because so many people read and believe in them. All the books seem to be based on Lovecraftian stories and the ending is a bleak as you’d expect cosmic horror to be.
Pandorum had me worried when I first went to see it with friends. I was worried it would try to be Alien (I’m not a big alien fan). Instead this movie wowed me with it’s ability to surprise me in the end. At the end of an adventure through a space ship fighting off mutant enemies and struggling to survive the pain enemy *SPOILER* is a human. The movie leaves you with the feeling that the human race could have been destroyed by 1 person and very nearly was. It also shows the horrors of evolution and what humanity could become if forced into dire situations.
The Thing –
It doesn’t get much more cosmic horror than The Thing. A creature falls from space and mutates into the shape of humans to trick the members of an outpost in the ant artic and try to get to the main land. Along the way there are some pretty horrific sights and an ending that people are still debating, who is the thing?
I know a lot of people don’t like this movie. I’ve seen a lot of bad reviews of it online. Honestly I don’t know if I will ever watch it again. But that doesn’t stop it from being a great example of cosmic horror. In this story an electrical entity attacks a ship and tries to take over. This is a kind of creature humanity has never faced and it turns technology against us. What if this happened now days and got into like New York or even a small town. That would be something special. I feel like this movie is good for at least one watch and to me, is a good example of cosmic horror.
Dream Catcher –
Dream Catcher is about aliens that come to earth to kill all the humans and take over. There’s a good alien and a bad alien. They fight, but there’s a bit more to it with the characters and some worm creatures. At the end of the day this movie has been made a dozen times, but generally not as horrific. There are many scenes in this movie that shows how horrific it would be if the enemy won. If one little leach got into the water supply. It also does some cool enhanced brain power things that were a gift from an alien sent to save the earth.
Dark City –
Dark City is about aliens who don’t have souls and are trying to find them. They are to scientific to have souls….. I think. But then a human starts being able to use the same mind powers that they have to alter the city around them and all hell breaks loose. It’s a great ride with some stunning visuals. It’s the kind of cosmic movie that makes you think, if memories could be implanted how would you even know. How do we know were not just an experiment?
Phantoms was based on a book and is about people who arrive in a small town to find it completely empty. **Spoilers** essentially there is an entity beneath the town that awakes every so often to feed on the world. It’s pretty lovecraftian with many themes of comic horror and the hopelessness of fighting off such a powerful foe.
What do you think of this list? I was told by a few people that Aliens had to be on the list because it’s “friggin aliens”. But who hasn’t seen aliens? I opted for putting in Virus instead because it gave my imagination a lot more to work with in terms of a worse case scenario.