5. The Blob
Another alien that doesn’t look very threatening – the Blob of the 1958 film of the same name was essentially just a big gelatinous mound that was scared of the cold. But that mound had a nasty habit of swallowing people whole – starting with an old man, then a doctor’s nurse before moving onto the doctor himself. And the more he swallowed, the bigger and redder he got (thanks to the wonder of 1950s SFX – food coloring). Some commentators have speculated that the creeping red blob was meant to represent communism, and its eventual Arctic exile the Cold War, but it’s more likely that it was just a fairly silly monster movie. But scary in its own way.
4. The Shadows
A species that’s described as the “ultimate force of evil in the galaxy” is never going to be friendly and cuddly. But these ghost-like Shadows from TV series “Babylon 5” are particularly freaky. Their exoskeleton looks a bit like a spider, but with only 6 jagged legs, and inside they are incorporeal beings who keep to the shadows and use stealth as their main attack weapon. However, their arsenal also included bioengineered deadly viruses which helped them to eliminate their enemies. They were eventually expelled from the galaxy but not before they had left a great deal of death and destruction in their wake. Creepy on every level.
3. The Bodysnatchers
Now, the less intrusive an alien race is, the less scary it is. In TV shows like “The Event” where aliens have peacefully assimilated into our society and are working as pilots it’s hard to be too frightened of them. But when they start blowing up the White House, as in “Independence Day”, they’re a bit less welcome. And by the time you get into probing territory, I think we can safely say that’s most people’s idea of a nightmare. It’s also safe to say that bodysnatching is pretty intrusive. Starting life as a 1955 novel, the concept of the Bodysnatchers has made its way into four different films (1956, 1978, 1993, 2007 as “The Invasion“) and the basic idea is the same each time – the Bodysnatchers find you sleeping, turn you to dust and replace you with a perfect copy that they’ve grown themselves. Taking someone’s identity and turning them to dust as they sleep is pretty personal, isn’t it? That’s why these aliens are quite so chilling.
We humans might think we have the monopoly on hunting for sport, but Predator would beg to differ. First appearing in the 1987 film, this alien finds a planet to play on and proceeds to rip the inhabitants apart for fun. Starring Arnold Schwartzenegger, it’s not the most intelligent film but it is a whole lot of gore-packed action and it is a convincingly scary monster, albeit in an 80s kind of way. It has spawned two sequels as well as the “Alien vs Predator” franchise, none of which really flesh out the Predator at all but why mess with a winning formula?
1. The Alien
And if you were wondering who put the “Alien” into “Alien vs Predator”, look no further. The stars of Ridley Scott’s 1979 film have gone on to have a further three films of their own as well as the crossover franchise (although some fans try to forget that “Alien:Resurrection” ever happened). It’s also coined its own phrase – the “face-hugger” – describing the way that the alien latches onto his prey before bursting out through their chests. It’s scary because of its seeming invincibility – the “perfect organism” – as well as the way it quite literally gets inside you. The first film may start off slowly but there’s plenty of gore to be had along the way and this alien is not one to be meddled with, as Ripley herself would tell you. Just don’t bother watching “Alien:Resurrection”. It’s hard to be scared when you’re too busy laughing at the plot…