“No One Will Save You,” the tale of a young woman (Kaitlyn Dever) battling extraterrestrial foes, just premiered on Hulu. In many ways it’s the ultimate scary alien invasion movie, throwing in menacing extraterrestrial intruders, abductions, ominously hovering UFOs and even a creepy “Invasion of the Body Snatchers” motif with gooey creatures nestled in your throat. It’s very scary and very good – so good, in fact, that you’ll probably have a hankering for more creepy stories of alien visitation.
To that end, here are five more scary-as-hell alien movies to watch after you finish “No One Will Save You” – and where you can watch them right now.
“The Vast of Night”
This is one of the more recent alien invasion movies and the one that “No One Will Save You” might remind you of, at least on the fringes. “The Vast of Night,” which premiered at the 2019 Slamdance Film Festival and was released by Amazon Studios in 2020, is focused on a small town in the 1950s that is experiencing an otherworldly visitation. In many ways, though, this is the inverse of “No One Will Save You.” Where the new movie is virtually silent, “The Vast of Night” is extremely chatty, ping-ponging from one discussion of the supposed UFO to the other, leading to a genuinely shocking ending. One of the best movies of the past few years, period, “The Vast of Night” trades on the same kind of unknowable, existential dread as “No One Will Save You,” but has way more poodle skirts. [Prime Video]
“The UFO Incident”
This 1975 TV movie is important because it dramatizes one of the first known cases of supposed alien abduction in real life – Betty and Barney Hill, an interracial couple from New Hampshire (played in the film by Estelle Parsons and James Early Jones) who were taken aboard an alien spacecraft. Many of the hallmarks of alien abduction lore, like missing time, originate from this first account which, the film asserts, only came to light after strenuous psychiatric evaluation and hypnotherapy. Whether or not you believe their claims, they certainly believe it, which makes the entire thing that much more chilling. Also “The UFO Incident” has a surprise connection to another movie on the list … [Not currently streaming but there’s a great Kino Lorber Blu-ray]
“Fire in the Sky“
… Arguably the freakiest based-on-a-true-story alien abduction movie, the disappearance of Travis Walton (D.B. Sweeney) happened on the same night that “The UFO Incident” aired on television. Investigators theorized that Travis’ backwoods buddies concocted the UFO explanation for his vanishing after watching the TV movie. Surely, they must have just murdered the poor SOB. But no. He returned. And he had quite the tale, having been abducted and prodded. One of the more underrated, crackerjack thrillers of the ‘90s, “Fire in the Sky” was beautifully directed by Robert Lieberman and exquisitely shot by Bill Pope, particularly during the prolonged abduction flashback sequence, which is enough to keep anybody up all night. It is freaky. [Max]
This is another story supposedly based on real life and another one that is very freaky, although the somewhat limited visual effects from this 1989 film haven’t aged as well as “Fire in the Sky.” Based on the best-selling book, Christopher Walken plays author Whitley Strieber, who was taken by space visitors after staying at a remote cabin. (Why does anybody stay at a remote cabin? Have they never seen a single movie?) Walken is terrific, as usual, bringing the right amount of psychological depth and actual emotion to a role that could have just been cheesy. Like “The UFO Incident,” much of the terror of “Communion” comes from the fact that Strieber so strenuously believes that the events happened. And the little grey aliens, depicted on film for the first time, really, after being suggested in “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” and “The UFO Incident” (and carried forward in films like “Fire in the Sky” and “No One Will Save You”) are still absolutely terrifying. Yeesh. [Peacock]
“The McPherson Tape”
Another low-key, unsung and genuinely scary alien movie, this 1989 gem (also known as “UFO Abduction”) is even more bone-chilling because it is done in the style of found footage. Thinking that this could have actually happened – and been documented – is enough to give anybody the heebie-jeebies. The less you know about “The McPherson Tape” the better, but it’s basically the story of a family birthday party in the Connecticut countryside that is interrupted by a UFO landing. And where it goes from there … Very realistic and running just over an hour, this is like the most horrifying episode of “Unsolved Mysteries” ever. And it has rightly claimed its place, over the years, as a beloved cult artifact. Ready to get beamed up? [Plex]