Road to Halloween: Top 5 Alien Invasion Films

Written by Alex Bowman October 24, 2012

‘Two possibilities exist: Either we are alone in the Universe or we are not. Both are equally terrifying.’ This quote by Arthur C. Clarke is the perfect explanation for why we find aliens scary. Being the arrogant monkeys that we are, we get a little chill down our spine when we begin to imagine that there are other creatures out there beyond the stars. Certain movies do a really great job exploiting that fear by making us crap ourselves at the idea that if there is intelligent life out there, then it just wants to blow us up. This list is dedicated to the best movies concerning aliens who want nothing better to do then to cause mass destruction and pure annihilation on Planet Earth. They don’t come in peace!

5. “Mars Attacks” (Tim Burton, 1996)

I admit that I am not the world’s biggest Tim Burton fan which is why I put this film at the bottom of the list. However, I have to give credit where credit is due; Mars Attacks has a really imposing alien invasion. The scene with Earth being descended upon by a bajillion Martian spacecrafts is enough to make you cringe in fear. The Martian technology does a really great job of overshadowing our own technology and their snarky attitudes towards our attempts to stop them makes this invasion feel all the more intense.

4. “Independence Day” (Roland Emmerich, 1996)

They are not here to negotiate, they are not here to reason and they are not here for our Earth-women; they have come to blow us up. The one scene that everybody remembers about this film is the scene with the White House being annihilated by a giant alien death-ray. That scene alone cements the power and dominance these invaders hold over us puny earthlings. Despite the power of Goldblum, Smith and President Pullman, the presence of these invaders is still felt by the people of Earth as they scrambled to find a way to shut down their plans for total annihilation.

3. “The War of the Worlds” (Byron Haskin, 1953)

Not even the best of the best can save us from these invaders from the red planet. This alien invasion is made all the more extreme as scenes with mass rioting and chaos are juxtaposed with soldiers screaming in fear and running for the hills. This alien invasion is particularly imposing because of how patient the aliens seem to be; they take their time as they sweep the land and attack anyone who gets in their way. Our weapons are useless against them and therefore it becomes clear that in order to beat their machines, we have to beat them.

2. “Transformers: Dark of the Moon” (Michael Bay, 2011)/ “The Avengers” (Joss Whedon, 2012)

This is an obvious tie because the climatic alien invasions in both films are almost identical. Despite obvious similarities, both invasions are equally terrifying because of the massive levels of destruction that these aliens seem to cause. As soon as they show up they start blowing up our buildings and stepping on our civilians. Whether you place your faith in giant transforming robots or snarky super-heroes you are still left wondering if either group has what it takes to stop the swarm of invaders.

1. “The Adventures of Buckaroo Banzai Across the 8th Dimension” (W.D. Richter, 1984)

This alien invasion is by far the most intense and nerve racking one of all simply because it was caused by the actions of the protagonist. This alien invasion is all the more imposing because unlike other invasions that start from the outside, this invasion starts from the inside. With a war mongering species that is able to take human form and manipulate Earthlings into joining their cause, this invasion is the ultimate test for Earth’s greatest defense: Robocop and Goldblum in a cowboy outfit.

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