(Welcome to Now Scream This, a column where horror experts Chris Evangelista and Matt Donato tell you what scary, spooky, and spine-tingling movies are streaming and where you can watch them.)

Matt: Fun fact – when Chris suggested we focus on intergalactic terrors in favor of Solo’s May 25 release date, I assumed it to be a rather accomplishable task. Turns out, streaming platforms are far better suited for other subgenres of horror. After scouring Hulu, Shudder, HBOGo and far more digitized cinematic resources, I’ve plucked a few under-the-radar titles as to leave Chris with enough ammunition for his own five slots. No streamable love for our alien overlords, eh? Just goes to show where current horror trends set their sights. I guess it can’t get better than Killer Klowns From Outer Space anyhow, so why even bother trying?

Chris: Like Matt says, I, too, thought this was going to be a very easy theme. Incorrect! While there is a wealth of sci-fi horror in the world, almost none of it is available to stream. What I’m saying is, you should be very proud of us for coming up with the titles included here. I tried to shy away from obvious choices – Alien, perhaps the best sci-fi horror movie ever made, isn’t here, for instance, but an Alien sequel is! John Carpenter’s The Thing isn’t here either, but another, lesser Carpenter movie makes an appearance.  So if you’re pumped for Solo this week, and want even more content from galaxies far, far away, let this edition of Now Scream This take you to the stars, and beyond.

Monsters

Now Streaming on Shudder/Hulu

Matt: Chances are you probably know writer/director Gareth Edwards as “The Guy Who Made That ‘Boring’ Godzilla Reboot” (you’re wrong, it’s breathtaking) or “The Guy Who Killed Those Star Wars Characters In Rogue One” – but it all started with Monsters. Scoot McNairy and Whitney Able left to navigate multiple roadblocks in true thriller fashion as dominoes topple one by one (passports stolen, convoys attacked, etc), all while monsters loom in the background. What’s accomplished through “low-budget” filmmaking evokes all the essence of Cloverfield and absolutely justifies what studio honchos saw in the savvy, atmosphere-driven creator. Monsters isn’t non-stop action, but it’s a broody and socially-charged alien arrival with tremendous setpieces that play ten times larger than they should. Thank Edwards’ sense of epic scale filmmaking, an unsafe Mexican wasteland overrun by ginormous squiggles and two travelers-who-may-be-crushin’ on a quest towards the U.S. border.

Chris: I always appreciate a movie that takes a well-worn subgenre – in this case the Kaiju film – and does something new an original with it. Monsters is just one step away from being your standard indie love story – it just happens to have huge, Lovecraftian creatures in the background. Gareth Edwards has yet to top this film, no matter how much more money Hollywood throws at him.

Plus One
Now Streaming on Shudder

Matt: Doppelgangers, meteoric crashes and misogynistic partygoers forced to literally face their own demons – that is the draw of +1 (or Plus One, however you represent the title). Actors like Rhys Wakefield, Logan Miller, Ashley Hinshaw and Natalie Hall play uninhibited teens raging the night away, wholly unaware of the increasingly strange phenomenon around them. Turns out whatever rocketed into Earth’s planetary airspace created a time-paradox where duplicate beings appear every so often. It’s a continuous – and dangerous – loop that causes altercations as characters try everything from winning back their girlfriend’s clone to drug dealers flipping out and killing…um…themselves. Neither bodily presence understanding why the other exists, “real” and “fake” becoming forgotten words.

It’s director Dennis Iliadis’ lesser-known project after 2009’s The Last House On The Left, but let’s not keep it that way. +1 will have you seeing double and obsessing over every rapidly represented sci-fi nuance, as youths gone wild attempt to solve suburbia’s most puzzling rager. Coherence Lite, if you will.

Chris: I’ve yet to see Plus One, but I always come across its Instagram-looking poster when I flip through Shudder’s lineup. I’ve hesitated watching it because, from my understanding, this is a movie about youths. And I don’t care for youths – they’re always loud and always on their Snapchats. But fine, I think I’ll watch this.

Extraterrestrial
Now Streaming on Showtime/Hulu

Matt: Rotten Tomatoes will tell you I’m on the wrong side of history here, but hear me out – Extraterrestrial is good old fashioned invasion fun. It’s fast-paced, chaotic and embraces storied subgenre details (re: anal probing). Chances are you’ll end up hating certain characters (Freddie Stroma’s Kyle), but I found the energy among “wreckage investigators” able to sustain similar scenario trappings. Alien movies are often hard to master – whether it’s debating how long to hold a creature reveal or when to begin onslaughts of action – but the Vicious Brothers’ “kitchen sink” style of filmmaking stands a bit taller than other little green duds. Intergalactic horror infamy is not rewritten here, only exploited for a popcorny midnight watch that does what any good streaming watch should do: entertain.

Chris: There’s a lot about Extraterrestrial I like, but for me, the film’s much-too-jokey tone derails it. I want the characters to just shut up and stop making so many wisecracks as they’re attacked by aliens. Is that so much to ask?

Tremors
Now Streaming on HBOGo

Matt: Is Tremors an alien movie? The creatures are said to mirror legendary Mongolian death worms; sharks of the desert. No specific mention of interstellar origins. But it’s slim pickings around these parts and this is my column, so yeah, whatever, I’m gonna write about the underground creature awesomeness of Ron Underwood’s “Perfection.” Five (admittedly failing) sequels are all a testament to Burt Gummer’s rifle-aroused legacy that started here. Bless Michael Gross, Kevin Bacon, Fred Ward, Reba McEntire and more as they play “The Floor Is Lava” or get swallowed by massive slithery beasts that belong in a Hollywood practical effects museum. To date, Tremors is still a creature feature favorite – few films handle tone and small-town terrorization with the dusty gruffness of this one-of-a-kind tunneler.

Chris: There are approximately 400 Tremors movies, but the first will always be the best. A deft blend of humor and horror, Tremors has Kevin Bacon and Fred Ward fighting sand monsters. What more do you need? Nothing. Nothing is the answer.

Grabbers
Now Streaming on Hulu

Matt: An Irish alien invasion flick that plays out like a drunken cousin to Amblin’s most fantastical adventures? That is the draw of Jon Wright’s Grabbers, written by Kevin Lehane. A sleepy coastal island is ravaged by sea-dwelling tentacle creatures whose weakness turns out to be high blood-alcohol levels. This means townsfolk – who are holed up inside a local pub, no less – have to stay sloshed. For survival, of course. Cue plenty of stumbling and light-hearted-yet-savage defensive stands, much like a bit more brutal take on Gremlins (a nice blend of CGI and practical, one might add). Never to be taken seriously, still enjoyable even without a pair of beer goggles engaged. Stay drunk, stay alive – that’s one horror concept I’ll always cheers to.

Chris: Tremors and Grabbers in one list? Matt has lost his mind, someone call the police, this is too much.

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