Vanessa is a square screen junkie that loves to find overlooked gems that get hidden in the flood of things to see.
What’s on the List?
Here are ten films that are science fiction based with either horror or thriller mashed into their narratives. If you love this list as much as I do, don't forget to share it with anyone else who would love a few of these too!
If you are looking for something to watch on Hulu and think that sci-fi and horror/thriller go hand in hand like wine and cheese then look no further. These 10 films will help enhance the popcorn experience of sitting at home on the couch.
Most are available on other streaming services too, not just Hulu.
1. Arrival (2016)
If you like movies about aliens, then Arrival is one of the best thriller movies you can see. Directed by Denis Villeneuve and with the screenplay by Eric Heisserer, it features a linguist who is recruited by the military because of 12 spacecraft which land in different cities around the world. Teetering on the edge of being called just a drama/sci-fi.
I've included it because of the end sequences. Anyone who's seen it will hopefully agree. In any case, this film has won lots of awards and things like 'film of the year' were bandied about by people in charge of that type of thing (American Film Institute.)
Genre: Sci-fi |Thriller | Drama
- Free on USA.
2. Battle Royale (2000)
Battle Royale has subtitles but is another film to add to your repertoire if you like the best sci-fi thriller movies you can possibly see. This one is written and directed by Kinjo Fukasaku who joined a bunch of other filmmakers in bucking the system by tackling taboo subjects. He went on to receive awards even after his death in 2003. He died during the making of the sequel (Battle Royale II: Requiem) and his son took over the rest.
Basically, it's a Japanese Hunger Games only with forty-two 9th-grade students who are instructed to kill each other according to the new 'Battle Royale Act.'
Even if you end up being one of the few people to dislike this movie, you might enjoy looking out for the zillion Easter eggs peppered throughout this awesome example of when directors get things right.
Genre: Drama | Sci-fi | Thriller
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- Tubi TV.
3. District B-13 (2004)
Sticking in the foreign film arena, District B-13 is French and also comes with subtitles too. For me though, the combination of action, sci-fi, and thriller all mixed in together is hard to pass.
The setting is somewhat similar to that of a few virus movies I have seen only B-13 in the ghetto. The movie takes place in 2010, 6 years after its release and the poorest suburbs have exploded in numbers. The solution? A big wall is built complete with barbed wire. No one's allowed in or out and so B-13 becomes populated with gangs.
The rest of the film is an action-packed parkour-filled race to ensure B-13 isn't destroyed by a bomb. Trust me when I say, it's worth it.
Directed by Pierre Morel and written by Luc Besson.
Pierre Morel is also directing Peppermint, starring Jennifer Garner released in September 2018.
Genres: Action | Crime | Sci-Fi | Thriller
- Tubi TV,
- Magnolia Selects,
- Pluto TV.
4. Coherence (2013)
A directorial debut for James Ward Byrkit, Coherence is an overlooked and underrated top sci-fi film. The story sets up with 8 people enjoying a dinner party when a comet passes over them. From there it's multiple reality time, where guests who leave discover themselves in the same house in a different time. It sounds confusing but it really isn't. This film is well written and was crafted in such a way it's impossible not to mention it. Even if you hate the sound of the premise, the way it was filmed is worth watching just for that.
Coherence was filmed over five nights at his actual house. None of the cast knew each other previously. Instead of given scripts, the cast was given just one page of notes for their character and the performances were then garnered organically as each character interacted with another.
Genres: Mystery | Sci-Fi | Thriller
Stream it on:
- Popcorn Flix,
- Sundance Now,
- Sony Crackle,
- Amazon Prime Video.
5. 28 Weeks Later (2007)
One of my personal all-time favorite movies, 28 Weeks Later is the sequel to 28 Days Later (2002). This film takes place six months after the fast-moving rage virus zombies plagued the population in the first story. Set in Great Britain, it centers on the US Army trying their best to pretend everything is ok and it's time to repopulate.
If there is anything better than fast-moving rage-filled zombies, let me know because I love them. They just make everything exciting and tense. I love the cast, I love the setting and I love the way it all plays out. If you like more horror than a thriller in your sci-fi, make this your go-to film, sit back and enjoy the bitey goodness. Directed by Juan Carlos Fresnadillo and written by Rowan Joffe.
Genres: Drama | Horror | Sci-Fi
- Foxtel Australia.
6. Troll Hunter (2010)
Back to foreign films again, Troll Hunter is made in Norway.
Troll Hunter begins with investigations into dead bears and ends with the mockumentary-style trail sniffing activities of a troll hunter. If the found-footage technique is not your thing, you will hate this.
Some people really do hate this movie for other reasons, I am not one of them. I love this flick and it definitely has a cult following.
Written and directed by André Øvredal, its audience is divided. It does have a sequel and it is terrible. Don't even worry about that one, it will diminish the shine that this one leaves.
Genres: Drama | Fantasy | Horror
- YouTube Free,
- Magnolia Selects,
- Pluto TV,
- on Tubi TV.
7. The Colony (2013)
I love horror movies set in the snow. This movie is not fantastic, in fact, it's a bit cheesy and a little generic. Ok, ok, very generic. The guy that directed it also directed sporadic episodes of heaps of tv like Killjoys (2017), Helix (2015) and Being Human so he knows his way around a bit of sci-fi.
This is not the movie you put on when you are wanting something brilliant, rather The Colony is something that's ok to watch if you think you might fall asleep, but I love it all the same. It dwindles into something less than anticipated but for a while there it's pretty good. It's got Laurence Fishburne in it so it can't be all that bad.
Genres: Action | Horror | Sci-Fi | Thriller
- Amazon Prime,
- Urban Movie Channel.
8. Splinter (2008)
Another divisive film makes it one to watch. That's my rule anyway. Reviews that divide tell me one thing; I have a 50/50 chance of loving it and there is usually no middle ground.
Splinter has a dual storyline which I like a lot. On the one hand, you have a couple on a camping trip who get car-jacked and kidnapped and on the other, you have a horde of parasites. When the two meet up it becomes a nice little mesh of survival with the bad guys. It's an indie production and it's a good one. Splinter is sci-fi and gore. If you like that type of thing, you will dig this.
Directed by Toby Wilkins.
Genres: Horror | Sci-Fi | Thriller
- Magnolia Selects
9. Carriers (2009)
A virus movie always shows me a good time. This one is paced in a way that keeps you on the edge of your seat even if you see that seat a mile away.
Four friends flee a viral pandemic together. In their quest to get to the Gulf of Mexico and simply wait it out, their car breaks down. Decisions are made and choices lead to consequences. Even if it feels like the hundredth time you've seen this when you've never seen it before, it's still a good watch.
Written and directed by David and Alex Pastor, this film got a free pass to the front of the line because Chris Pine is in it. Chris Pine did a good job in Star Trek so Paramount decided it was good to go.
Genres: Sci-fi | Horror | Drama
- Pluto TV,
- Tubi TV Free,
10. Mom and Dad (2018)
I loved Mom and Dad. It even made it onto my top ten movies for 2018.
Starring Nicolas Cage and Selma Blair, the film is an unpalatable premise for some but I'm tough and I can handle it. If you can get over the fact that a virus has caused parents to systematically kill their kids and appreciate it for what it is, you just may love it as much as I did. Sure there are a few extremely hard scenes to watch, but overall the performances and undertones of what lies beneath parental burdens outweigh any misgivings I have about its content.
If you want to see Cage do a frenetic hoky-poky while he and Selma band together to gas their teenage kids in the basement then get onto Mom and Dad and stream it for yourself. I don't think it's 'fun,' I think it's fairly horrific but that only makes it more interesting.
Directed by Brian Taylor
Genres: Sci-fi | Horror | Comedy
© 2018 Movie Whisperer
Movie Whisperer (author) from Moreton Bay, Queensland on April 16, 2020:
Thanks CZ, I have updated the whole list of streaming services and they are now current as at 17th April 2020.
cz on April 16, 2020:
dated hulu doesnt have splinter, thx for that
Movie Whisperer (author) from Moreton Bay, Queensland on March 03, 2020:
I love Pontypool. I recently featured it in my horror list about horror love. Session 9 is good also. Sometimes a list just has to stop somewhere.
John "Jay" Black on February 29, 2020:
Two of my favorite overlooked morsels of horror are "Session 9," and "Pontypool." "Session 9" is a haunted asylum story that was filmed at an actual decommissioned asylum; while "Pontypool" is a film that theorises that a zombie-plague can be transmitted by more than a simple bite . . .
If you haven't watched either, watch them both!