Howdy Ouposters. As some of you may know, the US government is holding a historic UFO/UAP hearing today (10am EST/ 3pm UK) where we will hear testimonies from whistleblowers who have alleged the Pentagon is hiding evidence of “non-human intelligence.”
True to form, the MSM are barely mentioning this and instead are focusing on the sudden wildfires in Greece, Turkey, and now Portugal that they say are caused by
climate change arson. Talk about a distraction!
Anyway, it got me thinking about the many great alien movies we have at our disposal, so I thought I would give you my top 10 alien movies and let you guys chip in too. Now, these are my personal favourites and consist of alien visitation/invasion of Earth and are not set in space or on a different planet. So films like Alien, Pitch Black, etc are not included, and I’ve also left off any superhero movies (Superman, Captain Marvel, Infinity War, etc) because we’re all sick to the teeth of those!
10. The Arrival
Not to be confused with 2016’s Arrival, this 1996 stars Charlie Sheen (pre-AIDS) as Zane Zaminsky, a radio astronomer employed by SETI, who detects an extraterrestrial radio signal from Wolf 336, a star located 14 light-years away from Earth.
After Zane reports his finding to his boss Phil (Ron Silver), he then loses his job due to “budget cuts” and he’s subsequently blacklisted, which prevents him from working at other telescopes. Like a dog with a bone, Zane isn’t letting go of his findings and takes up a job as a television satellite dish installer. He secretly creates his own telescope array with the aid of his customers’ dishes in the neighborhood and operates it covertly from his attic.
This leads Zane to a power plant in Mexico which is actually a facade for an extraterrestrial underground base. The aliens have the ability to blend in with human society by wearing an external skin, and the base emits massive amounts of greenhouse gases. The aliens are trying to raise Earth’s temperature to eliminate the human race and create a more livable environment for themselves.
This movie is ahead of its time and covers conspiracy theories about climate change, and alien infiltration of the most powerful and influential positions in world government and society. Also how an individual’s reputation is destroyed and he’s deemed a madman for not toeing the line. Sound familiar? If you’ve not seen it, check it out.
Late edit: I’ve just out they made a sequel in 1998 called The Second Arrival. I need. to go and find that now!
9. Battle: Los Angeles
This is a guilty pleasure of mine and one of those films I’ll always end up watching if I come across it on TV. The movie is from 2011 and is based on the premise that after years of reported UFO sightings around the world, which has fueled speculation about the existence of life on other worlds, mankind learns the truth the hard way when alien invaders attack.
Starting off as an ordinary day in the life of a marine, things quickly turn to shit when they are thrown into battle against an unknown enemy, the likes of which they have never seen before. This is a real rollercoaster of a film, with relentless action, noise, cliche characters, and lots of ‘Merica moments. This is not something I normally enjoy, but I love the fuck out of it.
If I’m being honest, I don’t understand the hate it gets. Considering we live in a time where we get endless sequels and spin-offs – looking at you Fast And Furious, I’m surprised this never got the chance to expand and give us other Battle movies set around other cities or even countries. Am I on my own with this, or do any of you Outposters enjoy it too?
8. Fire In The Sky
Fire In The Sky is based on the true life experience of Travis Walton who claims he was abducted by aliens In 1975.
The movie follows a group of five men who are driving home after working in a forest when they see a mysterious light. Intrigued, Travis Walton (D.B. Sweeney) leaves the truck, only to be blasted by some kind of beam of light and supposedly left for dead. The other four men panic and speed off only to come to their senses and return moments later. However, Travis’ body is gone and so is the UFO.
They report the strange event, but they are skeptically interrogated by Lt. Frank Watters (James Garner), who suspects that murder is behind Walton’s disappearance. When Walton reappears five days later, his story of alien abduction is met with disbelief.
Now, Travis Walton himself isn’t actually too happy about this movie and their interpretations of the events that he wrote about in his book, The Walton Experience. The actual alien abduction scenes bear almost no resemblance to Walton’s actual claims and it was reported that executives found Walton’s account boring, and insisted on the changes.
In the movie, the aliens and their experiments on Travis are horrifying and unsettling. However, Travis’ account of what happened was the aliens never actually harmed him, instead, he was the aggressor, and the aliens tried to calm him down. There’s a great documentary from 2015 called Travis: The True Story of Travis Walton in which Travis and his old crew go into further detail about what happened all those years agao. Both the film and the doc are worth your time.
7. Edge Of Tomorrow
What’s not to like about this? Time loops, aliens, Tom Cruise, Emily Blunt, fights, explosions, this film has it all in abundance. This bad boy is probably still fresh in people’s memory but the basics are, the Earth falls under attack from invincible aliens, no military unit in the world is able to beat them.
Major William Cage (Tom Cruise), an officer who has never seen combat, and is a bit of a dick. He’s assigned to the battlefield and within moments he’s killed. But as it’s Cruise, who has never died on screen (true fact), Cage finds himself thrown into a time loop, in which he relives the same brutal fight, and his death, over and over again.
However, Cage is a quick learner, and his fighting skills improve with each encore, eventually bringing him in contact with Rita Vrataski (Emily Blunt) who experienced the same thing herself. Together they unravel the mystery of the time loop and the key to defeat the aliens once and for all.
This was an unexpected hit and a long-gestating sequel has been in the works for a number of years but seems to be stuck in development hell. With Blunt’s recent announcement that she’s taking a break to raise her children, don’t expect to see the sequel anytime soon.
6. District 9
Wow, what more can be said about this movie that hasn’t already been said?! Back in 2009, this came nowhere and was thought of as a game changer with its director Neill Blomkamp set to take over Hollywood. What happened?
It’s set in South Africa where aliens have arrived on Earth not to conquer or give aid, but instead to find refuge from their dying planet. However, they seem far removed from being an advanced species and are not much more than a burden on society with very little interest in adapting.
Our protagonist is Wikus Van De Merwe (Sharlto Copley) who is a field agent for the Multi-National United, which is unconcerned with the aliens’ welfare but will do anything to master their advanced technology. Wikus has clear contempt and no patience for the prawns (a nickname the humans called them) until he’s exposed to a mysterious virus that begins to alter his DNA and turn him into a prawn himself. He’s now locked in a battle to find a cure, as well as being on the run from MNU who want to experiment on him.
Blomkamp said that the prawns (what humans nicknamed the aliens) are a hive species. When their leaders died, they became rudderless. In the absence of command input and realising that supplies were running short, the ship auto-navigated them to the nearest habitable planet to allow them to disembark and perform repairs.
This film is such a damn masterpiece that Blomkamp hasn’t even come close to recapturing the lighting in the bottle again. In fact, he’s about to release a movie about a kid in a racing car who played computer games. A far cry from District 9 and a long-awaited sequel is needed, not only to save us from superhero movies but to put Blomkamp back where he belongs.
Arrival is big brain energy that features a stellar cast, an awesome soundtrack, and probably the most unique-looking aliens to hit the screen in many a year. This is a movie I adore and I believe gives us probably one of the most accurate scenarios of how we, and our governments would react if this was a real-life event.
Amy Adams is a linguistics professor Louise Banks who is recruited to join an elite team of investigators in the US when gigantic spaceships touch down in 12 locations around the world. As nations teeter on the verge of global war due to their inability to work together and untrust, Banks and her crew must race against time to find a way to communicate with the extraterrestrial visitors.
This movie is based on the Nebula-winning science fiction novella “Story of Your Life” by Ted Chiang. and directed by Denis Villeneuve who never fails to deliver. It’s a tense and paranoid movie that is equally balanced out by moments of patience and trust. It’s pretty faultless, to be honest.
Contact is in a similar vein to Arrival where it’s a character study of how certain individuals and the powers that be, would react to the realisation that aliens exist. This was back in the day when Robert Zemeckis was on his A-game and hadn’t discovered CGI and motion capture. The good times.
Taken from a Carl Sagan novel, Dr. Ellie Arroway (Jodie Foster) races to interpret a possible message originating from the Vega star system. Once first contact with extraterrestrial intelligence is proven, Arroway contends with restrictive National Security Advisor Kitz (James Woods) and religious fanatics bent on containing the implications of such an event.
Once again, a fine movie that holds a mirror up to certain fractions of mankind and sadly reveals we are at the mercy of powerful psychopaths who are determined to use a discovery like this for their own selfishness and to further their own agenda rather than use the opportunity for the betterment of humankind. We are doomed.
What we have here is M. Night Shyamalan at the height of his powers, and King Mel leading the way. Like Blomkamp with District 9, it kind of all went to hell for Shyamalan after this.
Mel plays a widower and farmer Graham Hess who was once a priest but lost his faith after his wife was killed in a car crash. He’s raising his two young children with the help of his brother Merill, all living in Doylestown, Pennsylvania, which to this Englishman, looks idyllic.
One morning Mel and his kids discover crop circles in his field and assume it’s local pranksters. However, what follows is a series of events similar to his that are happening across the world. These events start to increase with each day until the point where it is apparent that an alien invasion is on the horizon.
Signs deals with personal tragedy, the importance of family, human resilience, the supernatural and religion. Now, I know quite a lot of people have no love for this movie and I genuinely don’t know why. It slowly builds up suspense and tension and delivers a great climax that will leave you fighting back tears one minute (not me, I’m an Alpha) and then leave you with a big old smile when Graham Hess (Mel Gibson) finds his faith again.
What a mixed bag of genres I’m dishing out here! Predator is an all-time classic, a movie you’ll never tire of watching. Guns, cigars, explosions, muscles, one of the most iconic aliens to ever grace the silver screen, and of course some of the most memorable one-liners in all of Hollywood history.
Predator is a perfect movie and I’m not even going to give you a breakdown because if you don’t know this movie by now, why are you even here?
1. Close Encounters Of The Third Kind
Well, what did you expect? I’ve made no secret of my love for this movie. Close Encounters Of The Third Kind is the King Daddy of alien/UFO films. This movie was groundbreaking in every way imaginable.
The aliens showed no sign of malice, they simply made their presence known with an increasing regularity of their lights in the sky or music. A simple coded message to reveal a location and time somewhere that wouldn’t cause mass hysteria was the only communication the aliens formally gave.
And when they did arrive, the event itself was filled with wonder and awe. Using music to communicate was a stroke of genius in my eyes… or ears. Many say maths (yeah, with an S) is the universal language, but it never occurred to me that it could also be music.
Even today, Close Encounters is so different from other alien visitation movies. It’s a movie about hope and optimism and how given an opportunity like this, can and should be used the right way. It’s often reported that Close Encounters was an experiment to see how the public would respond to the possibility of alien visitation and the realisation that we are not alone in the universe.
Perhaps the UAP hearing a little later today is a step in the right direction because right about now, I feel we are more likely to find out that life is more like The Arrival than Close Encounters.
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