ByJack Carr, writer at
You are the Princess Shireen of the House Baratheon, and you are my daughter.
Jack Carr

38 years after Alien, Ridley Scott is back in space with Alien: Covenant in 2017. Fans of this franchise have waited a seriously long time for this movie, which introduces an all-new cast and explores what happened in the aftermath of Prometheus.

But if you've got a taste for blood that one movie alone can't satiate, we've compiled a list of seven movies similar in nature to to watch before or after Scott's latest blood-soaked nightmare hits theaters.

1. Prometheus

Prometheus is nowhere near the best movie in the Alien franchise, but it's absolutely essential viewing before you get your tickets for Covenant.

Ridley Scott returns to the series after three decades to helm a slightly confused, sometimes dumb but always entertaining story which attempts to fill in some of the gaps in the Alien mythology by exploring who created the xenomorph, and how.

A lot of the philosophical stuff never quite lands, and a talented cast including Charlize Theron and Idris Elba is mostly wasted here, but Michael Fassbender is brilliantly chilling as David, a meddling android whose actions have disastrous consequences.

2. Life

It almost seems ridiculous to describe Life as a "movie like Alien: Covenant," because this film is essentially a straight-up remake of Alien, with only a slightly different premise — a group of astronauts discover an organism from Mars which could be the first proof of extraterrestrial life. It is, and it wants to kill them. That's not a spoiler!

However, what it lacks in originality, Life more than makes up for with brilliant performances (Jake Gyllenhaal and Rebecca Ferguson are great), a creative alien design and one death scene so horrifying that you'll be squirming like you're up there in space with them. A brilliant late twist justifies Life taking up precious oxygen in the genre.

3. The Martian

Ridley Scott loves his sci-fi, and before Covenant, he took a detour into slightly more feel-good fare with The Martian, an uplifting story about an astronaut left behind on Mars and forced to fight for a miraculous survival against all probability.

The ensemble cast of Jessica Chastain, Kristen Wiig, Michael Peña and Sean Bean all deliver, but it's Matt Damon as the story's savvy protagonist Mark Watney who makes this such a refreshing, human entry in a genre mostly defined by terror and gore (his performance was rewarded with a well-deserved Oscar nomination). In short, The Martian is the perfect movie on this list to watch on date night with your better half.

4. Arrival

Most alien invasion movies suggest that alien life forms are inevitably more advanced than humankind on every level. We should fear them because they can, and probably will, destroy us.

Arrival is not most alien invasion movies. In Denis Villeneuve's thoughtful, slow-burn sci-fi flick, the aliens (gorgeous and terrifying in their towering, levitating squid-like design) don't come to Earth to start a war. The mystery of what they actually want — and how Dr. Louise Banks (a never-better Amy Adams) fits into the equation — is gradually revealed as the film slowly turns everything you thought you knew on its head. Put simply, Arrival is a masterpiece of the genre.

5. Starship Troopers

This satirical, futuristic sci-fi cult classic from Basic Instinct director Paul Verhoeven is the definition of a love/hate movie. In the 23rd century, a military team is extracted to do battle with a flock of giant, killer alien bugs.

It's every bit as insane as it sounds — and as camp as you'd expect from Verhoeven — but Starship Troopers is also slyly clever and undeserving of the parallels it drew at the time with dumb '90s action movies. Oh, and it's bloody. The gore is delicious.

6. Predator

The Alien and Predator franchises share so much DNA that they eventually crossed over in the stunningly awful Alien vs. Predator, a movie you should absolutely not see ever. But 1987's Predator — starring Arnold Schwarzenegger as the chief of a special ops team being hunted by (yup!) a murderous alien — is infinitely better than what followed, even if it was strongly "influenced" by James Cameron's Aliens. The hyper-macho action scenes are typically '80s and enjoyably ridiculous.

A reboot is in the works for 2018, because we've got the alien bug all over again.

7. Alien

Seeing as we began this list with the movie which was Covenant's prequel, it's only fitting to end it with what will become, chronologically, its sequel — the original Alien.

Ridley Scott changed the game in 1979 with this talky, super-slow burn horror/sci-fi hybrid which created the "alien goes on a killing spree in a spaceship" sub-genre. For a film made almost 40 years ago it somehow looks like it could've been made today (killer set design) and the ensemble cast all play their part — but it's Sigourney Weaver's ballsy heroine Ellen Ripley who steals the show.

James Cameron took over for the action-heavy sequel Aliens, which is good, but he can't touch the original.

Click here for the definitive timeline of the entire Alien franchise.

Are there any other movies like Alien: Covenant you'd recommend? And which sci-fi movie on this list is your favorite?


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