The Scariest UFO Movies Ever Made

By Rick Gonzales | Updated

independence day aliens ufo area 51

UFO movies have always held a certain fascination with audiences. They not only ask the question “Are we alone?” but also “What do we do if aliens truly exist and make contact?”

Reports of UFO sightings have been consistent for years with even our U. S. military releasing footage of fighter pilots coming in contact with these unidentified flying objects.

The thought of UFOs and aliens has given Hollywood story after story, many of them leaning toward the terrifying side. So, what are the scariest UFO movies? They definitely answer the “Are we alone” question with a resounding, “No, we are not.” Let’s take a look at some of the scariest UFO films.

The Scariest UFO Movies Ever Made

Close Encounters of the Third Kind (1977)

This UFO movie is both fantastical and unnerving at the same time. Steven Spielberg does to the skies with UFOs much like he did with the ocean and sharks in this classic film about visitors from outer space who simply want to make contact.

Or do they want more? That question is not answered until the film concludes but before that, we get some very intense and scary scenes that will have you wondering about their intentions.

Richard Dreyfus, Melinda Dillon, Terri Garr, Francois Truffaut, and Cary Guffey star as normal everyday people who have encounters with UFOs. Spielberg expertly rachets up the suspense as his story unfolds, setting up a dramatic and whimsical confrontation with visitors from outer space.

Independence Day (1996)

Will Smith leads an ensemble cast in this horrifying film about a UFO invasion. Independence Day comes from Roland Emmerich, who conceived the idea while out promoting his Stargate film.

The film follows a group of people who have to fight for their lives (as well as those around the globe) when large UFOs set themselves up over the biggest cities in the world. Once it is determined that these space invaders mean deadly business, it is up to a collection of brave fighters to figure out how to stop the invasion.

Bill Pullman, Jeff Goldblum, Judd Hirsch, Mary McDonnell, Randy Quaid, and Vivica A. Fox also stars.

The Fourth Kind (2009)

The Fourth Kind is a UFO movie about alien abductions that purportedly is based on real-life events. The name of the film comes from J. Allen Hynek’s close encounter classification with aliens, the fourth kind meaning alien abductions.

The film is presented as a pseudo-documentary claiming to be a reenactment of true-life events that took place in Nome, Alaska. Milla Jovovich stars as Dr. Abigail Tyler, a psychologist who deals with patients claiming to have been abducted and taken into UFOs. The film is very effective for its scares and also stars Will Patton and Elias Koteas.

Nope (2022)

jordan peele

Jordan Peele follows up his hit horror films – Get Out and Us – with Nope, a film starring Daniel Kaluuya and Keke Palmer as sibling horse ranch owners who experience strange goings on that have them believing it is a UFO that is causing the trouble.

They then enlist the help of Angel Torres, a Fry’s Electronics tech to help them document evidence of the flying object. Peele effectively hands out the scares, keeping audiences on the edge of their seats.

Fire in the Sky (1993)


Fire in the Sky is based on Travis Walton’s real-life account of being abducted by aliens. The film follows Travis, who mysteriously disappeared while with his logging crew and who just as mysteriously reappeared. He returns with a fantastical tale of being taken up into a UFO by aliens and the experiments they conducted on him. The film focuses on Travis’ return and the emotional toll the abduction takes on him.

War of the Worlds (2005)


Steven Spielberg is at it again with War of the Worlds, his UFO tale based on the 1898 H. G. Wells novel of the same name. This time Spielberg dials up the scares non-stop as he enlists Tom Cruise, Dakota Fanning, Miranda Otto, and Tim Robbins in an effort to fight off the mass alien invasion. These aliens take no prisoners and death and destruction are the name of their game. Cruise, as Ray Ferrier, must navigate the destruction as he tries to get his family to safety.

The Thing (1982)


John Carpenter dials up the scares and gore with his horror alien film based on the 1938 novella, Who Goes There?, written by John W. Campbell. The Thing tells the story of a group of American researchers in Antarctica who are faced with an alien that mimics other organisms.

Kurt Russell is R. J. MacReady, a pilot who discovers the UFO that housed the alien, and now finds himself and the rest of the group fighting for their lives.