life

(Welcome to The Best Movies You’ve Never Seen, a series that takes a look at slightly more obscure, under-the-radar, or simply under-appreciated movies. In this edition: the best science fiction horror movies you’ve never seen.)

This coming weekend’s going to be a busy one at the box-office, with three new wide releases aimed at completely different audiences (not to mention a strong hold at the top spot by this past weekend’s monstrous debut of Beauty and the Beast). Two TV shows that are totally still relevant in today’s popular culture are getting the big-screen treatment with the adult-oriented CHiPs and the kid-friendly Power Rangers, but it’s the third film I’m interested in here.

Life is an R-rated, space-set thriller about astronauts who cross paths with a previously undiscovered life form and find themselves in grave danger after one of the geniuses touches it. The science fiction and horror genres go together like chocolate and, I don’t know, something else you like to put in your mouth, and the onscreen pairing of the two has resulted in a seemingly endless supply of filmic entertainment. Some of the best are also among the best-known, including Alien, The Thing, and The Terminator (it’s a slasher movie!). Recent years have given us more niche but still popular fare like Pitch Black, Event Horizon, and Attack the Block.

Rather than talk about the films you already know and love though I’m hoping to introduce you to a few that are maybe a bit more obscure, but still well worth your attention. Below are some great (in their own way) sci-fi/horror titles that, like Life, take place off Earth and/or involve aliens. While some may be familiar, I’m hoping you’re inspired to seek out the others.

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Webb Cuaron Wright

And so it begins. The schedule for Wednesday night and Thursday at San Diego Comic Con 2013 has been revealed kicking off four days of scheduling madness. There are several early highlights on what’s traditionally the second slowest day of the Con, but one standout is a Hall H conversation between Alfonso Cuaron, Marc Webb and Edgar Wright. Webb and Wright’s movies (The Amazing Spider-Man 2 and The World’s End) are already confirmed for the convention, but this all but solidifies Gravity will be there too.

On the movie side of things there’s also Europa Report, Ender’s Game, Divergent and Terry Gilliam’s Zero Theorum. On the TV side, there’s Dexter, The X-Files and Sherlock. And that’s only a small sampling. Below, check out the full schedule as well as some highlights. Read More »

europa-report-header

The indie Europa Report features Sharlto Copley (District 9, Elysium) and Michael Nyqvist (The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo, Mission: Impossible – Ghost Protocol) as members of a crew in space. The film has been fairly under the radar until now, with only a couple images, a poster, and some teaser footage to give us an idea of what to expect.

Now a trailer introduces the crew that is making a voyage to Jupiter’s moon Europa, and starts to give away glimpses of just how things go wrong as the crew is millions of miles from Earth. The found-footage aesthetic appears to be used to good effect, and there’s a final shot in this trailer that is just chilling — just as much so as anything in the trailer for Gravity. Europa Report has also been said to be very quiet and low-key, and I wouldn’t be surprised to find that this trailer makes the film look like a more conventional bit of found-footage horror in order to get audiences into the theaters. Read More »

The Europa Report

Later this summer Sharlto Copley will go into space thanks to Neill Blomkamp and the film Elysium. Before that, however, he has another sci-fi offering: the much more low-key Europa Report. The film follows a six-person team on their three-year journey to Jupiter’s moon Europa, and in an early report on the film io9 calls it “the most painstakingly accurate space movie we’ve seen in ages.”

We haven’t seen much from the film at this point apart from a quiet teaser, but now there’s a new poster and a bit more info on the film thanks to the report mentioned above. Read More »