Best Horror Movies: Must-Watch Horror Flicks Set In Outer Space [Opinion]

There are many subgenres of horror movies, but a setting that isn’t often used is outer space. There are plenty of horror movies with aliens, but only a small group of titles featuring the cosmos. From horror movies of yesteryear to a 2017 smash-hit, the genre has a handful of films with the creepy setting of space. Some of the movies below fall into the so-bad-they’re-good category of horror, and a few of them are horror masterpieces that are simply terrifying.

Alien Franchise

Alien was the first really good horror movie featuring an interstellar setting. Ridley Scott’s masterpiece starring Sigourney Weaver has impressed audiences for decades (now don’t we feel old). Fantastic Realism Artist H.R. Giger created the famed alien and his environment, and the creepy extraterrestrial has been a staple of our pop culture ever since.

The follow-up, Aliens, received even higher marks than the iconic predecessor, and they are often regarded as two of the best horror movies of all time. The next two additions weren’t directed by Ridley Scott, and they didn’t fare so well. But Scott’s Alien prequel, Prometheus, was a smash success. It is one of the best horror movies of 2012, and his next addition (Alien: Covenant) is projected to be one of the best in 2017. With a total of six films, and most of them receiving good reviews, the Alien franchise continues to set the standard, and dominate the sci-fi subgenre of horror.


This 2017 hit is the most recent horror flick featuring the trapped-in-space formula. ReelViews describes why this is one of the best horror movies of 2017.

“Those who have seen Alien will have a pretty good idea what’s coming, at least to a point. Once things reach that point, however, all bets are off. Just don’t expect this to be a light, escapist excursion into outer space. Even by sci-fi/horror standards, this is dark, gruesome, intense stuff. Not for the faint of heart or those who crave happy endings.”

“In general, however, Espinosa manages the seemingly impossible feat of at times echoing Stanley Kubrick and Ridley Scott.”

best horror movies
[Image by Columbia Pictures]

Ghosts of Mars

I don’t care what the majority of critics say about this film; I have never seen a bad John Carpenter movie. The special effects aren’t the greatest in this one, but that’s part of its campy charm. In addition to demon-like Martian warriors, Ghosts of Mars also features a killer cast: Ice Cube, Clea DuVall, Pam Grier, Natasha Henstridge, and Jason Statham.

best horror movies

Jason X

So this is where the real ridiculousness kicks in. There are other horror franchises (like Leprechaun and Critters) that featured movies set in space, but none hit the mark like this Friday the 13th addition. I was never a fan of this horror franchise—until Jason started becoming the man about town. When he took Manhattan and went to Hell, not to mention his one-on-one bout with Freddy, I was totally down. And the trailer for Jason takes Manhattan is priceless.

So what better way to top of the machete-wielding maniac’s Tour de Force, than a quick jaunt to space. Watching him become super-Jason and brawling with an android martial artist is worth the view alone.

I like slasher movies, but when Jason was just terrorizing kids at summer camp, it wasn’t clever enough like A Nightmare on Elm Street, or creepy-scary enough, like Halloween, for me to enjoy. But once they made Jason a caricature of himself, the horror-cheese was finally at the right level. Jason X does a great job of mocking itself; it may not be one of the best horror films ever made, but it sure is a lot of fun. Bloody-Disgusting describes one of the best horror movies for a silly good time.

“While I feel like the team behind Jason Goes To Hell were trying to make a good movie (they failed), I do not think that is the case with the team behind Jason X. These people were trying to make a comedy and they succeeded. Jason X is a ton of fun (my personal favorite scene is the virtual reality Crystal Lake bit) and definitely worth a watch as a standalone film.”


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From the intensity of Alien to the silliness of Jason X, some of the best horror movies take place in outer space.

[Featured Image by New Line Cinema & 20th Century Fox]