It’s that time of year when everyone trots out their best horror movie lists. I’m not going to do a top 10, but I do have a rough list of the Sci-Fi Horror movies of the last 50 years, and I’ll throw in a Starfinder write up of a monster at the end. The horror genre is so flooded with schlock (and was even more so before the rise of the internet) that it drags the genre down as a whole, making the rare good one that much more of a gem. There have been a surprising number of gems over the years in the Sci-Fi Horror realm (more so when you let the more horror themed thrillers bleed in as well), making this a great watch list when you are looking for some spooky thrills this month.
I’m not doing a number rating system, or even thumbs up or down, just a Good (stands up on multiple re-watches), OK (worth a watch at least, or play while you are doing something else), Bad (maybe if you are in an altered state), and those movies where I can’t say as I haven’t watched them. For the franchises, expect a broad drift of quality and use your best judgement. A few have very strong later entries (Prey is at least as good as Predator, if not better), but many tend to have a sharp decline as they continue.
28 Days Later (Franchise)
A Quiet Place (Franchise)
Attack the Block
Cabin in the Woods
Color Out of Space
I Am Legend / Omega Man
Invasion of the Body Snatchers / The Invasion
Jurrasic Park (Franchise)
Pitch Black (Franchise)
The Dead Zone
The Invisible Man
The Puppet Masters
The Thing (Franchise) – monster here
The Terminator (Franchise)
Under The Skin
Village of the Damned
War of the Worlds
I Come In Peace
Resident Evil (Franchise)
The Incredible Melting Man
Crimes of the Future
Galaxy of Terror
Killer Klowns from Outer Space
The Cure for Wellness
I hadn’t thought about Mimic for a long time until I started to put together this list, which is a shame because it’s an early example of Guillermo del Toro’s unique style and a notch above most creature-feature horror movies. Not to mention Mira Sorvino, who in a just universe would be a much bigger star. The Judas breed manage to combine both the creepy uncanny valley and the more frightening aspects of insects into a pretty horrific package. They’d make a solid foe for a low level Starfinder adventure too.
N Medium vermin
Init +3; Senses blindsense (scent) 60 ft., darkvision 60 ft., low-light vision; Perception +7
EAC 13; KAC 15
Fort +6; Ref +4; Will +1
Defensive Abilities Swarm mind; Immunities fear effects
Speed 30 ft., climb 20 ft., fly 20 ft. (Ex, average)
Melee bite +10 (1d6+6 P) or arm blade +10 (1d6+6 S; critical bleed 1d4)
Str +4; Dex +1; Con +2; Int -3; Wis +0; Cha +1
Skills Disguise +12 (+17 to pass as a humanoid), Stealth +7, Survival +7
Other Abilities humanoid mimicry
Environment urban areas with a high concentration of humanoids
Organization solitary, pair, or colony (10-40)
Humanoid Mimicry (Ex) Judas breed have evolved to mimic the profile and movement of humanoids, enabling them to blend in with crowds and pass for a humanoid in areas of dim light. A judas breed gains a +5 bonus to disguise checks to appear as a humanoid of non-descript species, roughly similar to whatever the dominant humanoid species is in the settlement they are infiltrating.
Swarm Mind (Ex) Judas breed colonies are bound together into a singular hive mind by a blend of exuded pheromones, imperceptible movements of antennae and limbs, as well as audible and subsonic clicks. All judas breed within 30 feet of each other are in constant communication; if one is aware of a threat, all are. (Such awareness can spread along a “chain” of judas breeds under appropriate circumstances, potentially alerting distant bugs.) In addition, once per round when within 30 feet of another judas breed, a judas breed can roll twice and take the better result on a saving throw against a mind-affecting effect.
Judas breed are the product of genetic experimentation and extremely rapid evolution, growing in size to that of small and medium humanoids. Living in the less trafficked areas of highly populated urban cities, they mimic the look and movements of the humanoids that are their primary food source. A judas breed infestation preys on the most vulnerable elements of society, and once they’ve exhausted that food source, expand their forays for prey into more populated areas as their numbers grow.
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Artist and Writer