For almost forty years, the Xenomorph from the Alien franchise has been terrifying audiences around the world with eight movies (including two crossover movies with Predator), multiple video games and endless comic books. There is no doubt that these creepy creatures with their acid blood and little mouth inside a bigger mouth are scary as hell, but are they the scariest aliens around?
Your first thought may be "yes", but really think about it. The Xenomorphs, for all their nastiness, are pretty chill. Stay away from their eggs, don't go to the planets they're on and don't take a space job with Weyland-Yutani and you'll be fine. The Xenomorphs are like nasty insects and, like insects, as long as we don't give them a way to spread, they can't get to our home. We're totally safe from them.
It's the aliens that can get to Earth on their own that are really scary. The ones who show up uninvited and wreak havoc across our planet with little concern for human life. The ones who hunt us for sport or turn all sexy before getting all gross with our insides. The ones who love our candy and our intestines! The ones who hide among us! These are the ones we seriously need to worry about!
Fear not the Xenomorph, my friends, for they are but a controllable nuisance out there among the stars! But the ones who are here on Earth, according to high budget (or sometimes mid-budget) movies... these are the green blooded weirdos from other worlds you should be concerned with!
Starting with the Xenomorph's biggest enemy after Ripley, the Predator is a serious problem for us humans. They're uncomfortably tall, way too muscular, have an endless amount of weapons, as well as a love for ripping out human spines, and they have no problem blowing themselves up if it means killing just one more person.
The Predators use Earth as a hunting lodge, and if Arnold Schwarzenegger, in his prime, was barely able to survive fighting against one of them, what chance does humanity have if they decide to come in groups of three or four? Heck, for all we know, there are already hundreds of Predators hanging around! Are you reading this at your desk? There could be one right behind you and you wouldn't have a clue because they can turn invisible! They're like tall, ugly versions of Harry Potter if Harry loved to murder innocent people and mimic the goofy stuff we say!
This is the kind of thing we really need to be on the look out for, because if aliens are going to wipe out mankind, Species shows us that sexy killer human-alien hybrids are the way to do it.
They'll trick our smarty pants scientists by giving them the answer to zero point energy, making the scientists think that the aliens can be trusted, then convince the scientists to splice some alien DNA with human DNA to create a twenty-year-old Natasha Henstridge who will then kill every person she has sex with. And we need to be honest - you can be gay or straight, you can be a man or a woman, it doesn't matter. Everyone would like to have sex with Natasha Henstridge. She's seriously gorgeous. Don't act like you're above it, people. I see one "I don't like blondes" comment and I will personally send Natasha Henstridge to your house and then we'll see what happens (she won't sleep with you, to be clear. The woman has standards).
Imagine that there are zombies. Now imagine that those zombies are off in some distant galaxy. Thank goodness, right? They're way too far to get to us!
But wait... what if these zombies are smart? Not just smart, but like super smart? What if these zombies have crazy powerful spaceships and are traveling the galaxy infecting every alien race they come across, adding to their numbers?
What if these aliens are on a direct course for Earth and we have no clue, not a single iota of an idea, on how to stop them?
That is the Borg from Star Trek. These highly intelligent zombies are all about taking over all life in the galaxy and nothing will stop them. Resistance, as they tell every race they come across, is pointless.
Basically, if the Borg ever come to Earth, we're all doomed. Oh, and they would have to actually exist too.
12 The Thing
I'd love to tell you what this alien looks like so you could be on the lookout for it, but we have no idea. This creature, this aptly named "Thing", takes the form of the animal - be it a dog or a human or any other animal it comes across - and replaces them. It appears to have the ability to remember all the various creatures and animals it has absorbed and change into them at any time as well.
In a computer simulation done in 1982, it would only take a few months for the Thing to overtake the entire Earth - even a bearded Kurt Russell - so you know this is serious stuff.
There's only one way to find out if your dog or your best pal - which, if we're being honest, is your dog - is actually a killer alien life-form from the farthest reaches of space - get a blood sample and put it on the stove. Cook it up and see if the blood totally freaks out. If that blood dances and screeches out in pain, you got yourself a whole heap of trouble.
You may think that E.T. The Extra-Terrestrial is about a kindhearted and wonderful alien who loves kids, but I want you to really think about what this fat little creature does during his time on Earth...
First, he eats way too much candy. I get it, I do - Reece's Pieces are delicious, what with the peanut butter surrounded by the chocolate shell - but he eats far too many. Showing off that kind of gluttony to the kids is no good.
Then he goes and imprints himself onto a ten-year-old kid so that they will share every feeling. We have no idea how old E.T. is, but by the looks of him, he's a heck of a lot older than ten! Where are the police on this!?
Following the imprint, E.T. gets himself drunk and, in turn, gets Elliot drunk! Then, when E.T. is dying, Elliot starts dying! Imagine if we were all imprinted to these tubby beings from another world and they started doing drugs and dying?!
Don't even get me started on how he turns the kids' bicycles into flying machines without asking if any of them suffer from a fear of heights! None of them are wearing helmets! What happens if they fall off the bike and hit the ground from three stories up!
10 Mars Attacks Martians
These little Martians may look kinda cute, despite their brains being on the outside, but believe you me, these green jerks are evil as evil can be.
As they squawk like creepy birds and have translator devices that tell us they come in peace, I promise you that is not true. Listen not to their words, but look at their actions! They want all of mankind wiped out, except for the ones who they decapitate, then put the heads on dog's bodies.
The Martians from Mars Attacks have been causing humans headaches since their card series was first released in 1962, and while they may not be showing up in pop culture too often these days, something tells me they'll be back before we're ready for them. So stock up on Slim Pickens records and get your butt to Las Vegas, where you can find shelter with the legendary singer Tom Jones.
9 Communion Aliens
The look we think of when we think of aliens, for the most part, is the big-eyed little grey guys. At least, that is what we think of when we aren't thinking about science fiction. The Greys, as they are called, have been a part of alien stories since at least 1901, when H.G. Wells explained a race of aliens that lived on the moon as having grey skin, big heads, and large black eyes in his book The First Men in the Moon. At some point, the description became the standard for "true" alien encounters.
These Greys have never been scarier than in Whitley Strieber's book turned movie, Communion. In it, the Greys appear to be the leaders of a coalition of various alien races, and if there's one thing they all love to do, it's take humans from their homes and experiment on them. Worst of all, these Greys are really into butt stuff, namely sticking things into human butts without permission.
The two most famous Kryptonians, Kal-El and Kara Zor-El are, thankfully, good peeps. They help keep Earth safe from alien menaces as well as insane billionaires who also happen to be super genius scientists, and they do it, mostly, with grace, class, and smiles.
Still, there are bad Kryptonians out there just waiting for a chance to take down the Man of Steel and his cousin, as well as destroy our planet. The vilest Kryptonians didn't die when the planet Krypton exploded because they were all being held in the Phantom Zone - a dimensional limbo that can only be accessed by a device that Superman has.
Luckily, there's never been a mass breakout from the Phantom Zone, but there have been some minor ones, and each time, Earth was in grave danger. What would happen if someone with bad ideas got their hands on the Phantom Zone projector and released all the criminals? Could Superman and Supergirl take down an army of super-powered Kryptonians? Hopefully, we'll never have to find out.
Space is weird and scary, and comic books make it weirder and scarier. Take, for example, Starro the Conqueror. Starro, a giant space starfish with one big eye in the middle has a real hate for humanity and wants to rule over us. As an asexual being, Starro is able to reproduce alone and creates millions of little Starros each time he comes to Earth. Starro then shoots his kids out and they fly through the air, attaching themselves to our faces.
Once one of Starro's kids is strapped to your noggin, you lose all control of yourself - you are now a drone for Starro to use as he wishes. Luckily, the Justice League has beat up Starro time and again, ripping him to pieces. Unfortunately for the people of the DC universe, Starro, like a starfish, is able to regenerate himself from a single shred of his previous self.
DC Comics doesn't have the market cornered on giant alien beings who hate Earth. Over in the Marvel universe, they have to deal with Galan, from the planet Taa. You may know him as Galactus.
Galactus is a giant who lived in a universe that died before ours came into existence. He and a few of his pals traveled to our universe, but only Galactus made it alive. Now, in order to stay alive, Galactus has to eat planets, and there's one planet that keeps catching his eyes. Can you guess which one it is? I'll give you a hint, it isn't Hala, the homeworld of the Kree.
Maybe it's the puffy clouds or the salty oceans, but something about Earth just gets Galactus' mouth watering. So far, Reed Richards of the Fantastic Four has been able to keep the devourer of worlds from taking a nibble out of old Terra, but sooner or later, it's gonna happen.
5 Body Snatchers
You may know these alien jerks better as Pod People - they take you, lock you up in a pod where you get turned into goo and fed to an alien baby thing in another pod that turns into a replica of you, but with the hive mind of the body snatchers.
These creepsters, imagined by Jack Finney in his book The Body Snatchers before being turned into four different movies, have one goal - turning Earth into a nice place for their own kind. Of the four movies, two of them - 1956 and 1978 - are considered classics. The other two, less so.
In the 1956 film, as with Finney's book, the story is an allegory for communism. In the 1978 version, the meaning is left a little more open to the viewer, but the message is the same - hive minds are no good.
So, if you see your pal and he looks at you, then points and opens his mouth real wide, giving out an otherworldly screech, know that the body snatchers are here, and you'll soon be in a pod!
4 War of the Worlds Aliens
Of all the aliens here, only one of them ever caused a real life panic, and it was these guys.
Created by H.G. Wells in 1897, The War of the Worlds, the story is about an alien race from Mars coming to Earth in machines that Wells describes as Tripods, slowly but surely wreak havoc across the globe. The armies of the world are no match for the Martians and their Tripods with the heat rays that evaporate people where they stand. The only thing that saves mankind is disease - the Martians are amazingly susceptible to the germs of Earth, and soon enough they all die.
Along with it being made into a number of movies - including a great one starring Tom Cruise - War of the Worlds was turned into a 1938 radio broadcast by Orson Wells. Wells produced the sixty-minute radio show, which ran on the night before Halloween, to sound like an actual news bulletin. When listeners heard it, as the story goes, they believed it to be true and freaked out thinking that aliens had invaded Earth. Police descended on the radio station trying to get them to stop the live broadcast, but Wells refused. How awesome is that?!
Oh, the hubris of man! What folly we make with our fear and anger!
That, really, is what The Day the Earth Stood Still is all about. As the story goes, when the U.S. dropped two atomic bombs on Japan at the end of World War Two, our little planet caught the eye of a bunch of aliens who police the galaxy. These aliens sent one of their members, Klaatu, along with his robot Gort, to Earth with the offer of everlasting peace.
In true human fashion, the world doesn't trust Klaatu and some soldiers shoot him. Pi**ed off, Klaatu basically tells the Earth to shove it, making it clear that we were free to kill ourselves all we wanted, but if we even thought about heading to the stars to kill some other races, he and Gort would be back and they would mess us up good.
Why is Klaatu so scary, you ask? Because he points the mirror at us, showing that the real danger to humanity isn't an outside force, but the one right here.
Also, the remake with Keanu Reeves is so bad it's frightening.
2 Independence Day Aliens
"Welcome to Earth!"
Those may have been the first human words these monument-destroying dill weeds heard, and they came from the great Will Smith. Will made it clear to these aliens that humans weren't going to go down without a fight.
Still, these guys were scary as hell! With their huge ships blasting lasers and blowing up the White House and the Empire State Building and other famous spots, these tentacled freaks really messed us up. Thank goodness President Bill Pullman sent out Will and Jeff Goldblum to give the aliens a computer virus, otherwise who knows what would have happened?
The first time we see these aliens out of their armor, it really is creepy. They are ugly, nasty looking things - like squids filled with hate for the human race. Thankfully they're just fiction... unless squids are really aliens who are quietly plotting our end!
1 Space Vampires
Vampires, going all the way back to Dracula, have always been sexy. They have those alluring eyes and smooth, dark voices. They get up all close, nuzzle your neck and give you the meanest hickey ever, draining every drop of blood from your body but, if movies are to be trusted, it's really hot when they do it.
Now, take the sexiness of vampires and add in the sexiness of space. Now take all that and multiply it by a super hot twenty-year-old woman who isn't a fan of wearing clothes. What should be in your mind is the image of the eternally beautiful Mathilda May in the cult classic Lifeforce.
In the movie, May, who is actually a space vampire who sucks out human energy and, when not looking like a very naked woman, looks like a human sized bat monster, goes around London causing all kinds of death before she goes back to her ship.