Be it comedy, action, thriller, or documentaries, we have all seen our share of alien movies. We have an idea in our mind on how they would look like. The most popular option is “the E.T.” type, with long limbs, green-ish skin, big eyes, and exceptional intelligence, possibly even superhuman abilities. In pop-culture, though, aliens arrive in many shapes and sizes. They’re not always frightening or exactly what we think.
However, one thing is for certain. Most of them do not get along with humans, and their main goal is to take over our planet or destroy it altogether. Luckily, there has always been someone to save us, a series of heroes and people willing to go through the risk. Some were even unwilling participants.
Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)
Named as one of the best remakes in history, this reawakening of the 1956 movie became an instant classic. It’s the pinnacle of aliens among us, even though it has been considered to have political undertones and an allegory of communism. The directors said that all those symbols were unintentional and that their purpose was to create a thrilling alien invasion movie. It’s not big on explosions, but it’s a subtle infiltration, which makes it all the scarier. Aliens taking over humans and becoming emotionless creatures? Don’t look too hard into it.
Another classic movie that has gone far in the minds of the audience. In fact, there’s a sequel coming up, though it remains to be seen if it will stand up to the original. Unlikely, but we’ll give it a fair chance. Unlike Invasion of the Body Snatchers, this particular alien invasion has no subtlety about it. It’s done through brute force, compelling the nation to stand together against their attacker. It also has one of the most iconic scenes of the White House’s destruction in history.
Sure, the aliens don’t look like much if you’re watching this movie today. However, Mars Attacks! is an iconic depiction of an alien invasion movie. It’s the peek example, riddle with creepy-looking aliens, dark humor, and a star-studded cast that were at the beginning of their careers. It’s a movie you will certainly never forget. You do get to see Sarah Jessica Parker’s head on the body of a Chihuahua. Try to take that image out of your head.
We don’t need no education. If you’ve seen this movie, it’s unlikely that you cannot associate it with Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in The Wall (Part II)”. The combination has brought both the movie and the hit song amazing popularity. The Faculty is another iconic depiction of an alien invasion done more subtly, as high schoolers battle the takeover of their school. These are truly kids who should be scared of their teachers.
Men in Black
A different kind of movie that does count as an alien invasion. And who hasn’t heard of Men in Black? Or their trademark futuristic gadgets? The difference is that many aliens in this particular movie already live among us. Some do it peacefully while others have ill intentions. It almost sounds like actual humans, doesn’t it? And who will be there to protect us? The men in black.
Alien Vs. Predator
Humans should’ve really, really stayed out of it. Two of the most iconic aliens in pop-culture battle it out against each other. The premise isn’t the actual alien invasion as they reign down on us from the skies. It’s that aliens had already invaded us a long, long time ago. It depicts the powerful Predator as an almighty species, where Scott Ridley’s aliens are a major trial in their lives, a test they have to pass. It does explain how the Predators became such an exquisite example of peak… well, predators.
Aliens versus robots? Bring it on. Pacific Rim was arguably one of the best alien invasion movies in recent times. It was highly praised by critics and remarkably received by the public. It’s fun, loud, destruction, and actually had a very interesting storyline that kept the audience wanting more. And it’s certainly coming. The sequel, Pacific Rim 2, is currently in the works.
Out of the movies on this list, this is definitely the one that earned the most, shattering box office records. And, funnily enough, it’s not the first movie that comes to people’s minds when they think of an ‘alien invasion movie’. But that’s exactly what it is. It is indeed a superhero movie, a pretty important one that bands most of Marvel’s most famous heroes together, but they are battling aliens seeking to destroy our world. So, it definitely counts.
The franchise became wildly popular in spite of the fact that it was viciously criticized by virtually everyone. It’s making money, and everyone knows about it. No one said a movie had to be good to be popular. The Transformers franchise took off with a blast, coming out with big sales, and enough prequels to make a pretty long marathon if you’re planning a movie night. And it’s not stopping. Transformers 5 will be coming out next year.
Man of Steel
Yes, this certainly counts as an alien invasion movie, in spite of the fact that we have a superhero alien fighting on our side. Man of the Steel was the first installment of the rebooted Superman that established Henry Cavill as our kryptonian hero. He fought off his kind, the aliens guided by General Zod, laying waste to Metropolis. And that, basically, was one of the catalysts of the recent Batman Vs. Superman.