First and foremost we must acknowledge Alien, the 1979 sci-fi horror film directed by Ridley Scott. Dan O'Bannon was ready to throw in the towel after a grueling preproduction on a proposed Dune movie went nowhere. As a last ditch effort, he came up with a story called Star Beast, together with Ronald Shusett, who later returned for 2004's Alien vs. Predator. Alien, as Fox retitled the picture, set the tone for most of the movies we're going to talk about here. A creature terrorizes a ship. That's the simplest description of what's actually a brilliant and nuanced terror tale.
Dan O'Bannon was actually one of the writers who adapted the 1976 novel The Space Vampires into the dreadful critically panned disaster Lifeforce, which should have been better considering it was directed by Tobe Hooper, the man behind The Texas Chainsaw Massacre and Poltergeist, which earned three Oscar nominations. The sexy space vampires of this Cannon Films production was naturally the subject of an episode of the popular film podcast, How Did This Get Made?, in 2015.
Critters 4 (1992)
We've got to respect the Critters series for knowing what it does best. These little guys give us lots of laughs along with the blood, gore, and sci-fi origin story. The alien krites of the first movie, which even worked a bit of the Western genre into its multifaceted tone, helped earn the original Critters two thumbs up from the late Siskel and Ebert. The fourth and seemingly final installment is set in space, more than 50 years in the future, but still stars Don Keith Opper from the previous films.
Event Horizon (1997)
In the film world, there is of course renowned auteur Paul T. Anderson, the man responsible for esteemed dramas There Will Be Blood, The Master, Boogie Nights, and Magnolia. And there's Paul W.S. Anderson, who gave us Mortal Kombat, the Resident Evil franchise, and back in 1997, Event Horizon. Laurence Fishburne, Sam Neill, Joely Richardson, and Jason Isaacs give it their best, but the only good thing that came out of this dreary box-office bomb was the popularization of the phrase "Liberate te ex Inferis," which the band Zao used as an album title.
Jason X (2001)
Jason "X," Jason "Ten," whatever you want to call it, the tenth installment of the Friday the 13th franchise went the only place left for the series after taking Jason to Manhattan and Hell: space! Jason X made the best use of the Drowning Pool song "Bodies" imaginable in its trailer. Jason wasn't even the killer till Friday the 13th Part 2 and didn't get his iconic hockey mask till Part III, but make no mistake, Mr. Vorhees was definitely the main character of these movies well before Jason X. The other characters are only there to get sliced and diced, this time onboard a spaceship in the future, where Jason is awakened from a frozen slumber. After this, it was finally time for Freddy vs. Jason, first hinted at in Jason Goes to Hell: The Final Friday. Of course, The Final Friday was released before Jason X and the 2009 Friday the 13th remake.