Now Scream This: The Best Sci-Fi Horror Movies Streaming Right Now

(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.

Event Horizon

Now Streaming on Starz

Chris: At some point, Paul W. S. Anderson saw Hellraiser and thought, "What if I do that – but in space?" The result is Event Horizon, the best movie Anderson ever made (sorry, Mortal Kombat fans). Event Horizon focuses on a team of space explorers who are sent to investigate a huge space station that vanished years ago, only to mysteriously appear again. It turns out the station has been to hell and back, literally. Now our heroes must face terrifying forces, which materialize in the form of gory tableaus that look lifted from a Nine Inch Nails video. Event Horizon is derivative, yes, but it's also surprisingly effective. There's some genuinely unnerving stuff here – like a video transmission that shows what happens to the original crew of the space station, that comes complete with plucked-out eye-balls and people shoving their entire arms down each other's throats.

Matt: I'm a huge Resident Evil apologist (Resident Evil: Apocalypse being the best), but even I can admit Event Horizon is Anderson's prized pony. What an intergalactic hellscape so zanily acted by Sam Neill especially. Terrifying. Utterly, unapologetically terrifying. How is this Anderson responsible for Event Horizon and Resident Evil: Afterlife?

Alien: Covenant

Now Streaming on HBOGo

Chris: I know people hate Alien: Covenant. I don't care – I think it's a legitimately great film; one of the better films of the later-half of Ridley Scott's career. Is it anything like the first Alien? No. Is it anything like James Cameron's Aliens? Heavens, no. Instead, Scott crafts a weird, gothic extravaganza – this is like something Mary Shelley might write, if she had lived in the 21st century. A crew of colonists hoping to make their home on a new planet end up landing on an uncharted planet instead, where they encounter Michael Fassbender's creepy, sexy robot David – a being who is hellbent on destroying those who created him (human beings). There's a nihilistic streak running through the whole thing that might be the reason so many people don't care for this. It's clear from this film (and its predecessor Prometheus) that Scott hates humanity, and would be perfectly fine if we were all wiped out by body horrors from beyond the stars. I can't say I blame him – have you met people? We're awful!

Matt: Count me among the Alien: Covenant faithful (I promise, check Rotten Tomatoes). This is Ridley Scott ditching creep-and-hunt Alien signatures for warp-speed militant run-and-gunning. Gore is off the charts, Michael Fassbender wages war against himself and ferocity splices with boots-to-throat intensity. Much more in common with Aliens than any other sequel, but still wholly standalone in comparison to brainer or more sci-fi stanced entries. Cue John Denver and enjoy the ride.

Ghosts of Mars

Now Streaming on Starz

Chris: Look, I'll level with you: Ghosts of Mars is kind of bad! But it's that rare, entertaining kind of bad; the kind of bad you can't help love. One of the last films John Carpenter made before he decided to hang up his director's hat to play video games and smoke weed all day, Ghosts of Mars is basically a remake of Carpenter's own Assault on Precinct 13, but set in space. Somewhere on Mars, a team of space cops (lead by a woefully miscast Natasha Henstridge) are transporting a dangerous prisoner (Ice Cube!) when they find themselves besieged by zombie-like humans who have been possessed by Martian ghosts. It's really stupid, but gosh, is it fun. If you're reading this description and thinking, "That sounds like the type of movie Jason Statham might appear in," guess what? You're right – he's in this movie. So is Pam Grier. Carpenter would only make one more feature film after this – the dreadful 2010 flick The Ward – before deciding he'd much rather do nothing all day instead.

Matt: Hells-to-the-yes, Ghosts Of Mars. Exactly my kind of "bad." The kind that goes so 'effing well with pizza, beers and an uninhibited love of cinematic schlock that involves a pre-bald Jason Statham. Sawblades whir and heads roll like tennis balls in a dog park. It's certainly not Carpenter's best, but even Carpenter's worst is still bloody entertaining.

Honeymoon

Now Streaming on Shudder

Chris: Why hasn't Hollywood come knocking for Leigh Janiak yet? I really don't know. She was attached to write the Craft remake, and she's supposedly writing a film adaptation of R.L. Stine's Fear Street series, but neither have happened yet. And that's a shame, because Janiak deserves to be a huge name by now, specifically because of her feature debut, Honeymoon. Rose Leslie and Harry Treadaway play a freshly married couple who seem perfect for each other. Everything is going great...until the two head to a secluded cabin for their honeymoon. Anyone who has ever seen a horror movie can tell you going to a secluded cabin is a bad idea. Sure enough, Leslie's character goes sleepwalking one night, and comes back...changed. What follows is a nightmarish piece of body horror, with Leslie's character growing more and more unstable and weird while her new groom tries to figure out what the hell is going on. Honeymoon is a brilliant exercise in tension and unease, and cements Leigh Janiak as a horror filmmaker to pay attention to. If only producers would throw more work her way...

Matt: I do agree that Honeymoon showcases the filmmaker Janiak can be, but not at all times. This is a perfect example of a slow-burn that simmers, bubbles, but struggles to justify sluggish means with a payoff that's not as effectively executed as such a structure demands. Same as The Invitation. Unsettling at times, but overall a more dry and brittle romantic thriller.

The Stuff

Now Streaming on Shudder

Chris: You can't go wrong with Larry Cohen. Cohen, the B-movie genius behind Q, It's Alive, and more, helms this really fucking weird horror-comedy about killer Cool-Whip from outer space. After a strange, sweet substance is discovered by two bumbling railroad workers, the mysterious white fluff – dubbed The Stuff – becomes a top-seller. It even outsells ice cream. But there's a catch: if you eat enough of it, it turns you into a weird monster with a very big mouth. At the center of it all is Cohen regular Michael Moriarty, who plays a corporate spy trying to get to the bottom of The Stuff. Cohen's direction to Moriarty must've been, "Just act as insane as you want!", because Moriarty spends the whole movie behaving like a lunatic for seemingly no reason. The Stuff!

Matt: Chocolate. Chip. Charlie. Bless Garrett Morris and his portrayal of junk food mogul Charles Hobbs in this insane alien invasion feast. What happens when the "failing" ice cream industry starts trying to investigate what makes "The Stuff" so delicious? Messy goop explodes from people's heads and The Blob does dessert. It's the winner Chris describes.