Cosmic horror can be described as the feeling that our world is working against us, and making one helpless in their environment. Cosmic Horror was made popular with the works of H.P. Lovecraft, but many modern horror films have explored the themes typically depicted in those pieces of literature. These flicks are bold and not afraid to push the boundaries of horror in order to present the idea that our world may be much more nefarious than originally thought. Read on for ten cosmic horror films that would make Lovecraft proud!
The Beach House
The Beach House delivers on gross-out horror set pieces, psychedelic imagery, and philosophical conversation, all while serving as one of the freshest and most exciting additions to the cosmic horror subgenre ever. This film may be a bit too slow for some audience members, but for those that can sit through The Beach House, it will be evident that you initially watch this shocker for the trippy alien invasion scene, and you stay for the surgical removal of a parasitic alien from the lead’s foot.
Color Out of Space
Most people would never think the names H.P. Lovecraft and Nicolas Cage would ever be said in the same sentence. But in 2020, anything is possible. Director Richard Stanley’s first movie in years, Color Out of Space is possibly the most vivid and visually arresting direct Lovecraft adaptation ever made. And it features one of the best Nicolas Cage freak outs of all time. This one is in a car, folks!
This Stephen King adaptation features huge deadly bugs and monsters from an
alternate realm, and those creatures do a lot more than just bite. The movie contains one of the bleakest and most disturbing endings in horror history. Leave it to a Stephen King adaptation to include a crazy religious woman trying to kill a kid, or [spoiler alert] the same child being killed by his own father.
This ’90s classic is Lovecraft in space, mixed with some demonic happenings and abstract science-fiction. Filled with gore and a star-studded cast, this space horror flick is fairly underrated. The evil in this film is so much larger than the characters themselves, leaving them virtually helpless.
This criminally underseen indie horror drama used a real-life friend group found on Myspace to craft the first half of the movie, which consists of friends getting high and fighting over a girl. The second half follows said girl and one of the male members of the friend group walking through a mysterious wooded area called Toad Road, which apparently contains the seven gates to hell within. What ensues is a terrifying head trip that transcends time.
Featuring one of films’ most horrifyingly iconic creature designs of all time by the legendary H.R. Giger, Alien is one of the most popular cosmic horror films, even if people aren’t aware that it falls into that category. The crew of Nostromo is no match for the predatory alien, whose intelligence and way of living are incomprehensible to a human being.
Alex Garland’s follow-up to Ex Machina surprisingly turned out to be a horror movie disguised as a sci-fi action flick. The movie’s plot concerns an all-female team of professionals and scientists heading into a zone where the DNA of the inhabitants is infused with everything else. This film is disturbingly beautiful and is layered in a way that only modern-day Sci-fi master Garland could muster.
Into The Mouth of Madness
This John Carpenter classic fits so many memorable monsters into one movie that it’s a miracle the film doesn’t run three hours long. Sam Neil gives an epic performance in a movie that imagines a world where Stephen King-esque supernatural villains can run amok after being written into the world by a famous author.
Although the plot is almost impossible to fully understand, The Void features some frightening visuals that truly stick, as well as some brilliant practical creature effects. The Void is the closest movie to Hellraiser since the movie that introduced Pinhead was released. The cultists in this film have a very iconic look, which would be a pretty great choice for a Halloween costume!
Mike Flanagan’s first feature-length movie depicts a mysterious tunnel where a
strange creature may reside. There are tons of disappearances around the town, and they are all linked to the tunnel. This film paved the way for other great movies directed by Flanagan and includes the most Lovecraftian elements of any of his directorial efforts.