The 8 best movies like Dead Space

Dead Space, the sci-fi horror video game franchise starring the ever-suffering engineer Isaac Clarke, has risen from the dead with a new remake of the 2008 original for modern consoles courtesy of Montreal-based developer EA Motive — and it’s really good! You may be a newbie to the Necromorph-laden depths of USG Ishimura. Dead SpaceFans eager to find out what Motive’s changed, or simply curious to learn more about this man wearing a sci fi diving suit and doing the shoot dance. FortniteThe 2023 remake is Dead SpaceIt is strong on almost all fronts.

This new product is a huge success Dead Space game got us thinking about horror maestro (and “Grandpa Horror”) John Carpenter’s long-held desire to produce a live-action adaptation of the series. We began to think about where this film might fit in the list of best-ever videogame adaptations. thenThat got us to thinking about the top sci-fi horror films for movie fans. Dead Space both new and old — y’know, besides the obvious ones like Event Horizon and the Alien series, ‘cus you’ve likely already seen those!

An hour here and there of trawling IMDb later, and you’ve got this list: The most Dead Space-like movies to watch if you’re looking for something else to chase the exhilarating horror and fun of playing through the new remake.


Dark Star

Three men in matching uniforms sit back to back against one another in a cramped spaceship cockpit.

Image: Jack H. Harris Enterprises/VCI Entertainment

It is what it isIt was before the internet. AlienThen, it was Dark StarA kooky space comedy created by eventual.Alien-writer Dan O’Bannon and then-unknown director John Carpenter as an offbeat alternative to 2001: A Space Odyssey. This is just one of many comedies.

Why it’s like Dead Space:Followers of Dead Space or Ridley Scott’s sci-fi horror movie will see instant similarities in Dark Star’s imagined future, where blue-collar spaceship workers futz about interstellar space. But Carpenter’s movie, first cobbled together as a student film then finalized as a feature for about $60,000, is a big goof, complete with slacker space cadets pranking each other aboard the Dark Star scout ship, a bowling ball alien sidekick, a talking bomb (the Hal 9000 replacement), and ahead-of-the-time special effects being put to use for comic mayhem. The wavelength of Dr. StrangeloveNational Lampoon or National Lampoon is more popular than any sci-fi horror film straight face. Dark Star’s far-out space peril remains cult-y and off-the-radar. But there’s a reason Quentin Tarantino recently revered it as “a classic.” —Matt Patches

You should be watching: Dark Star You can stream it for free at Plex, with advertisements on Pluto TV and Tubi and Roku.

Pandorum

A ghoulish mutated human with visibly mutilated facial features and metal spikes protruding from their flesh baring their teeth at something out of frame.

Image: Overture Films/Anchorbay Entertainment

It is what it is Dennis Quaid and Ben Foster star in Christian Alvart’s 2009 sci-fi horror drama as Lieutenant Payton and Corporal Bower, two interplanetary naval officers and crew members of the spaceship Elysium who awake from hypersleep after eight years aboard and discover that the rest of the ship’s crew have gone missing. If that weren’t enough, a group of cannibalistic monsters are now stalking them across the ship as they race to find answers.

Why it’s like Dead Space: In a recent interview with Rock Paper Shotgun, Glen Schofield — the director of 2022’s The Callisto ProtocolOriginal 2008 Dead Space — directly cited Alvart’s film among his favorite sci-fi horror movies a prominent influence on his approach to horror in games. “I love movies like Alien, The Thing and Pandorum. Then? [Event Horizon] Alien Versus Predator. There’s not a lot of them, but I liked them all.” —Toussaint Egan

It’s where to be seen: Pandorum Starz streaming and digital rentals available on Amazon and Apple TV.

Sunshine

A man (Cillian Murphy) standing on the interior bridge of a spaceship bracing to be engulfed by a wall of flames.

Image: Fox Searchlight Pictures

It is what it is Director Danny Boyle (28 Days laterAlex Garland, writer (AnnihilationThe sci-fi psychological thriller was released by ). SunshineOnly one year earlier, in theatres Dead SpaceThe film has some obvious parallels to the game. The movie follows an international crew of astronauts who embark on a mission to reignite Earth’s sun with a massive nuclear bomb — only to encounter the missing, derelict ship that attempted a similar feat seven years earlier. A deadly, mission-altering accident isn’t the only terror the crew of the Icarus II has to face, and everything that can go wrong, Does go wrong.

Why it’s like Dead Space: SunshineThis has it all. A ship in disarray; quasi-religious fundamentalists who succumb to space madness; flashes o grisly bodies; dramatic lighting; zero G space walks; luxurious hydroponics lab; and stars such as Cillian Murphy, Chris Evans and Rose Byrne. That last sentence has nothing whatsoever to do with Dead SpaceBut what a line-up! — Michael McWhertor

It’s where to be seen: SunshineYou can rent or buy digital copies on Amazon, Apple TV and Vudu.

Ghosts of Mars

A long-haired warrior with pale skin dressed in armor and holding a swords stands in front of a horde of zombie-like soldiers.

Image from Screen Gems/Sony Pictures Releasing

It is what it is All of John Carpenter’s movies have delightful B-movie flare. Perhaps none has more. Ghosts of MarsA pseudo-Western-on-Mars with all-star actors (including Ice Cube. Pam Grier. and Jason Statham). The freight train that was sent to Desolation William’s prison on its mission returns home with one survivor, Natasha Henstridge. She is then interrogated by Ice Cube about her experiences and told through flashbacks.

Why it’s like Dead Space: The Martian atmosphere is extremely spooky (and the red tones of the planet’s surface are gorgeous), especially in the back half of the movie, which I will leave intentionally vague so as not to spoil anything. John Carpenter was a big fan of The Shining. Dead Space He has stated to everyone who will listen that his dream is to adapt a film of the franchise. Ghosts of Mars makes it easy to see why he’s so attracted to it. —Pete Volk

You should be watching: Ghosts of Mars You can rent or buy digitally on Amazon, Apple TV and Google Play.

Solaris

A man in a leather coat with graying black hair (Donatas Banionis) holds a young woman with a bloody lip and noise draped in a light blue towel.

Image: The Criterion Channel

It is what it is Based on Stanisław Lem’s 1961 novel of the same title, Andrei Tarkovsky’s 1972 psychological sci-fi horror drama centers on Kris Kelvin, a psychologist who is sent to a space station orbiting a mysterious exoplanet after the crew of the station have ceased communication with Earth. Kris experiences the same weird visions and hallucinations as the rest of his crew, and is forced to confront past events and uncover the truth about him and the love he has long forgotten.

Why it’s like Dead Space: In terms of the cerebral horror of it, and the fact that a literal planet messes with people’s minds later in the original Dead Space trilogy, Tarkovsky’s 1972 sci-fi opus feels like a natural companion to Dead Space’s brand of existential terror. It’s not particularly gory or bloody, but if you’re looking for a film that will — much like the psychologically corrosive signal emanating from the Marker buried in the strata of Aegis VII’s surface — sink its hooks into your mind and not let go, SolarisThe perfect option. —TE

It’s where to be seen: Solaris Available to stream and purchase digitally on Amazon, Apple TV, Google Play and Vudu.

Fly

Jeff Goldbum as Seth Brundle in The Fly, already partially transformed.

Image by 20th Century Fox Home Entertainment

It is what it is David Cronenberg’s remake of the Kurt Neumann’s 1958 sci-fi horror film stars Jeff Goldblum as Seth Brundle, an eccentric scientist who believes he has created the first functional teleporter capable of transporting inorganic and organic matter safely across vast distances. However, following an accident that occurs while inside his prototype, Brundle’s DNA is fused with that of housefly — causing his body to undergo a bizarre and horrifying metamorphosis that endangers the lives of him and his loved ones. Gregor Samsa, oh my God!

Why it’s like Dead Space: While not set in or around space, Brundle’s transformation into a terrifying, sex-crazed human-fly mutant hybrid is probably the closest cinematic parallel to the ghoulish transformation of the Necromorphs in Dead SpaceApart from the ones seen in either, Event HorizonOder the Alien series. You can’t spell “body horror” without David Cronenberg. Technically, you can. However, any discussion on body horror that doesn’t include Cronenberg would be pointless. —TE

It’s where to be seen: FlyIt is streaming on HBO Max, available for digital rental and purchase via Amazon, Apple TV and Vudu.

Underwater

Norah (Stewart) and the Captain (Cassel) sit in their diving suits, looking contemplative, in Underwater

Photo by Alan Markfield/20th Century Fox

It is what it isA sci-fi thriller starring Kristen Stewart, about deep-sea drillers discovering some shocking things below the seafloor.

Why it’s like Dead Space: It doesn’t take place in space, but what is the ocean if not “space, but water?” OK, maybe that doesn’t exactly scan, but Underwater’s eldritch horror leans into some of the very same ideas, images, and scares that many space horror franchises (including Dead SpaceLove is also important. —PV

You should be watching: Underwater You can stream it on Hulu or digitally rent or buy on Amazon or Google Play.

Dead Space: Downfall

An animated man in a brown uniform screaming as he is assailed by mutated zombie-like creatures.

Image: Film Roman/Anchorbay Entertainment

It is what it is An animated prequel to 2008’s Dead Space, the film follows the crew of the USG Ishimura as they attempt to survive the psychological epidemic and subsequent onslaught of the so-called “Necromorphs” following the recovery of the mysterious alien artifact known as the “Marker” on the planet Aegis VII. Film Roman produced the film, which is a Starz Media subsidiary that was known for producing animated sitcoms such as King of the Hill and films like 1992’s Tom & Jerry, and directed by Chuck Patton, known for his work on the 1997 animated series Todd McFarlane’s Spawn.

Why it’s like Dead Space: It’s LiterallyThe canonical prequel for the events of Dead Space If that weren’t enough, as if it wasn’t already apparent, Dead Space: DownfallIt is as gory and bloody as hell. This was intentional on Patton’s part, who wanted to distinguish the film apart from the studio’s previous work as the goriest feature film had ever produced. On top of that, the production team was provided the 3D assets for the game’s environments and characters as references for the film’s animation, particularly the transformations of the Necromorphs themselves. —TE

It’s where to be seen: Dead Space: DownfallYou can stream it for free at Plex. There are also ads available on Freevee through Prime Video, Vudu and YouTube.

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