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6 Alien Films to Thrill You a Year After ‘Nope’

Did you enjoy the complex themes and alien elements of Nope? Watch these 6 other alien movies like it, ranging from classics to horror!

Credit: Monkeypaw Productions

It has been a year since Jordan Peele’s sci-fi horror film Nope was released (July 22), and the film is still teaching us new things about the intricate genre. Perhaps one of the most interesting things it has taught us is to dig deeper into films about aliens. 

Nope and Its Impact

Nope follows OJ and Em Haywood’s struggle to sustain the family horse-wrangling business after the death of their father. Their problems take an otherworldly turn when OJ witnesses something strange in the night skies, and they must decide if they will bear witness to the growing presence of the alien.

Nope grossed over 172 million dollars in worldwide earnings and achieved a spot on the American Film Institute Awards in the “Top 10 Films of the Year” category. The greatest success seems to have landed with audiences. Curious viewers rushed to social media to ask questions and make their own theories about the film. Apart from its commercial success, Nope also presents an exciting and overlooked achievement: proving that films about aliens can hold deeper meanings and themes. With this in mind, let’s look at 6 other movies that are about more than just aliens.

1. Signs

An aerial view of green crops with a farmhouse at the bottom left, and three large crop circles done by aliens.
Aerial view of the Hess farmhouse and alien crop circles. Credit: YouTube

The first film on the list is M. Night Shyamalan’s film Signs. Ex-Reverend Graham Hess (Mel Gibson) is forced to confront his own beliefs and faith when crop circles appear on his farm. With the question of survival ever present, Graham and his family must also face the suppressed grief that has punctured their connection since the death of his wife.

Like Nope, Signs gives the viewer much to think about. This is largely because of the prominence of grief and forgiveness as central themes. Even with Shyamalan following the comical model of aliens as “green men,” the film does a phenomenal job presenting serious themes through the emotional disconnect of a family. The film’s dinner scene is a brilliant culmination of these themes, immersing viewers in the moment.

2. Color Out of Space

A brightly-colored asteroid with a magenta glow stands in the middle of the image, with a dog staring at it and people running toward it.
A strange meteorite lands on the family farm. Credit: YouTube

Richard Stanley’s Color Out of Space is second on the list. Inspired by H.P Lovecraft’s short story of the same name, Color Out of Space sees a family in rural New England as their mundane life descends into horror after a meteorite with an indescribable color lands on their farm.

Color Out of Space and Nope share science fiction and horror themes, as well as harrowing scenes. The unique use of color makes the film’s extraterrestrial presence stand out. The fuchsia palette of the meteorite, a color not typically found in horror films, mesmerizes the viewer into the descent into madness.

3. Fire in the Sky

A man, Travis Walton, is on all fours looking up with a horrified expression at alien suits that seem to be staring down at him.
Travis Walton looks horrified at alien suits. Credit: YouTube

This cannot be a list of films with alien encounters without Fire in the Sky. This film explores the supposed true story of Travis Walton’s alien abduction. It follows the moment Walton is taken by a strange light in the forest, as witnessed by four other men, and the accusations they receive from an incredulous town. When Walton returns, the memories of the horrors he experienced continue to haunt him.

One thing Nope and Fire in the Sky have in common is the nauseating interaction between humans and the extraterrestrial force. Viewers feel Walton’s terror in the film’s distressing experimentation scene, which can remind them of the equally unsettling crowd digestion scene in Nope. Whether you believe Walton’s story or not, Fire in the Sky promises a captivating experience for any daring viewer.

4. The Mist

Several people stand inside a market, with one group of people being cornered by another larger one. A Woman points outside the market windows to the mist and its alien creatures.
People in the market debating whether they should face the alien creatures of the mist. Credit: YouTube

The fourth film on the list is an adaptation of Stephen King’s novella, The Mist. When a storm hits their home overnight, a father and son head to the town market for repair supplies. But when a thick mist creeps over the entire town, they are forced to remain inside. They quickly learn that the mist has brought bloodthirsty creatures and must decide to fight them or the increasingly violent people inside the market.

The Mist and Nope observe the reaction of a group of people when put in an unusual situation. The simple answer: an inevitable descent into chaos. Additionally, complex themes of religion create an impactful story, all building to a shocking ending that is sure to stick with viewers for a long time.

5. E.T

The silhouette of a boy and an alien on a bike flying in front of a big round moon and over a dark forest.
Elliot and E.T. flying to escape government officials. Credit: YouTube

Taking a break from horror films, the fifth film on the list is the classic and beloved E.T. Elliot, a young boy, and E.T., a kind alien, form an unlikely bond with the help of a candy trail. They soon discover they have a very literal connection with one another, which fills them with wonder. However, this connection also risks their safety as the government relentlessly pursues E.T. With the help of his friends and family, Elliot fights to get E.T. back home.

A surprising similarity between E.T. and Nope is the exploration of humans trying to subdue the extraterrestrial being for personal gain. Despite the massive threat, E.T.’s themes of adventure and friendship shine throughout the film to inspire a sense of hope for viewers.

6. The Iron Giant

A giant alien robot and a young boy, Hogarth, sit across from one another in a beautiful autumn forest.
Hogarth and the alien robot meet in the forest. Credit: YouTube

The final film is one that undoubtedly deserves more attention: The Iron Giant. Hogarth is an adventurer to his core, and when his curiosity leads him to find a giant alien robot, he embarks on a thrilling journey to befriend it. But as anxieties of the Cold War and a suspicious government agent threaten the robot’s safety, Hogarth must find a way to protect him before a fear of the unknown separates them.

Like Nope, The Iron Giant is an excellent example of how films with extraterrestrial encounters can hold much more substance. Viewers can enjoy the funny antics as much as they can ponder on the film’s discussion of death and sacrifice. With stunning 90s animation and great characters, The Iron Giant is a film for anyone to love.

So, were you convinced to watch any of these films? Whether you’re looking to be scared, cry, or just want more extraterrestrial thrills, this film list will do the job! 

Written By

Hi! My name is Slane and I’m a writer studying English at California State University Long Beach. Analyzing films, books, shows, and characters is a great passion of mine.

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