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This Is The Best Sci-Fi Horror Film Of All Time, According To Reddit Horror Fans

In the history of cinema, it's safe to say that few genres have been quite as well-suited to one another as horror and science fiction. Both genres delve into harrowing explorations of the shadowy, unknowable corners of the universe — as well as the human spirit — and put together, they often elevate the narrative strengths of each either. Rightfully so, the melding of horror and science fiction has, in turn, produced some of the more wildly original, and unsettling, tales in film history. 

That statement remains true whether you count yourself a fan of sci-fi horror or not, because the realm is stacked with titles regularly ranked among the most important movies ever made — not to mention, the most financially successful. Likewise, fans of the genre would also be quick to point out some of the biggest names in Hollywood have played often in the sci-fi horror sandbox, with Ridley Scott, James Cameron, John Carpenter, and David Cronenberg leading the pack.

Not surprisingly, when sci-fi horror fans took to Reddit to vote on the Top 20 Sci-Fi Horror films of all-time, films from each of those auteurs made the list. Even less surprisingly, the film that landed in the top spot was none other than Scott's genre-defining classic — the sublimely gothic Alien

Set largely aboard a merchant ship unexpectedly besieged by deadly predators, Alien broke a fresh mold for Hollywood filmmaking, utilizing a hard science fiction base to bolster a stylish, meticulously-paced, space-bound spectacle as bold in its exploration of isolationist terror as it is steeped in a ghastly, "creature feature" cool. And upon Alien's release in 1979, it proved an artistic treat, the likes of which had rarely been seen.

It's pretty much impossible to argue Alien isn't the all-time best horror sci-fi flick

The sci-fi horror genre still hasn't seen those elements so perfectly blended since Alien made its premiere, either, though dozens of films have tried. To date, each has been unable to match Alien in terms of understated gothic energy, eye (and stomach) popping special effects, and singularly horrifying creature designs, courtesy of the legendary H. R. Giger. Most notably, subsequent imitations have failed to deliver a hero anywhere near as intriguing as Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver). 

All in all, Alien is a practically flawless sci-fi horror confection, with even the feistiest of Redditors mostly unwilling to argue its #1 status.

Still, there are some very intriguing titles which Redditors listed right behind Alien. These include James Cameron's 1986 sequel, Aliens (#6), which eschewed Scott's slow-burn methodology for balls-out action, in surprisingly effective fashion. Ditto for John Carpenter's gory classic The Thing (#2), which essentially transplanted Alien to Antarctica, and upped the paranoia factor by giving its alien creature the power to invade and control the body it inhabits.

There are a handful of genuine surprises on that Top 20 list as well, with Paul W. S. Anderson's cult shocker Event Horizon shocking the masses by claiming the #3 spot, landing in front of David Cronenberg's The Fly (#4), and Frank Darabont's nihilistic masterpiece The Mist (#8). Alex Garland's brilliant — but divisive — 2018 offering Annihilation surprised as well, claiming the #5 slot, with 2020's Nic Cage-starrer Color Out of Space unexpectedly sneaking in at #15. As for the rest of the films on the list, genre lovers really won't find a miss in the bunch — even if they don't entirely agree with all the rankings.