Imagining what aliens look like is half the fun of thinking about outer space life. The only basis we have is what we have read in fiction and supposed non-fiction and what we have seen in movies and games. And though aliens from games have had some pretty badass designs, too, we thought focusing on aliens from movies would be a better way to start. From beasts who look like they were spawned in the darkest corners of space to a few cute ones, here are the coolest and creepiest alien creatures from film.
E.T from E.T
Yes, E.T is pretty ugly at first. But once you spend some time with him in the movie, your feelings towards how it looks change. It goes from being slimy and weird to being the one alien we all wish we could have had as a best friend.
Starting the list with this because making a creepy looking alien who is still somehow cute is quite an accomplishment and and not an easy one to pull off, I would assume.
Alien from Alien
Truth is, a GREAT many science fiction movies have had their aliens developed by artist H.R Giger because he is the master of the macabre. Standing upright and having quite a few phallic features (look that one up, kids), the alien from Alien is pretty much the standard, go-to, best alien design of all time.
Plus, double points for the mouth within a mouth. I thought only my ex had one of those.
The Plants from Little Shop of Horrors
Yes, may people did not see the extended cut of this movie and know these things were from space. Sure are! Looking like giant plants and sounding like soul singers. Thing is, if you watch this movie now, the special effects work is flawless, pre-CG.
That is mighty impressive. You might just see a talking plant, but I see one of the coolest practical special effects and aliens of all time. ALL TIME!
Predator from Predator
The name alone lets you know this beast is one to fear. Looking like a linebacker who was dipped in spikes and weapons, the Predator might be one of the most fearsome foes on the list.
Also, the crab mandible was such a genius selling point and took a great makeup into the beyond great realm.
The Prawn from District 9
Now we get a little more into the CG, but you have to admit, this is another movie where the effects are flawless. The prawns show emotion, and unlike most of the aliens on this list, we spend a majority of this film feeling for them and not fearing them.
Making a scary alien is easy. Making an alien humans empathize with isn’t. That is what makes the Prawns so damn impressive. Humans looked like monsters next to them just because of how humans act comparably to them. Powerful stuff.
All from Star Wars
Come on, how do you pick just one? Yoda was wise and old but still kicks ass. Jabba the Hutt was scary and intimidating even though he could not move. Even Admiral Ackbar deserves some props here. The truth is, Star Wars forever changed alien design and how aliens are featured in movies.
For that reason alone, it is king. Any sci fi film maker who tells you he or she wasn’t inspired by the cantina scene is lying to your face.
The Thing from The Thing (80’s remake)
All I have to do is show the above scene, remind people that this was all before CG, and then just walk away. The Thing was the GREATEST special effects movie of the time, and that all falls back on how utterly horrifying the ever-changing beast was.
Just don’t watch the prequel-remake. It will suck out all the fun of the first remake with shoddy effects.
Aliens from Attack the Block
I am ending this list with the aliens from Attack the Block for many reasons. One, the movie was made on an extremely tight and indie budget. Two, the creatures should, in theory, look dumb (giant black muppets with sharp glowing teeth). But for some inexplicable reason, they look cool as hell. They move cool as hell. They just feel real, even though they could easily have been laughed at.
Now that, my friends, is impressive alien design.