Science Fiction and Horror often collide with each other. Oftentimes, you can find a sci-fi movie in the horror section and vice versa.
GracieKat Anecdote Time: When I went looking for The Thing at the movie store (3 different trips, I might add) I kept looking in their Horror section. Never even crossed my mind that it could possibly be science fiction. Even though it’s about an alien parasite. It wasn’t until the third trip that I actually asked someone if the store had it and they said yes…and led me to the Sci-Fi section…
Anyway…we wracked our brains to think of ways that Horror and Sci-Fi could meet in interesting and (hopefully) unique ways, and ultimately what we found was instances here and there of stuff we absolutely loved and just want to see more of.
Climate Control Nanobots Gone Mad
Nanobots are kind of freaky little things all on their own. They can be extremely helpful but there is always the possibility of them going too far. A tiny, self-healing, self-replicating machine. Add total climate control to that and we think you’d get some awesome disaster movie porn with a healthy dose of sci-fi.
Lovecraftian Horror seems to be a concept that is more easily used in concept than it is as a straight up adaptation. But it would be very awesome to see a big-screen (even IMAX) version of Cthulhu rising and laying waste to the world in all of his cosmic glory. The Colour Out of Space and The Haunter in the Dark could also be adapted very, very well. The story from The Colour Out of Space has actually been adapted into several movies (with varying degrees of success).
And please, someone out there in Movieland, give Guillermo del Toro the money to make his vision of At the Mountains of Madness. Kaythanks.
There has been a plethora of post-apocalyptic novels and movies. They’re very often labeled as sci-fi by default since their stories take place in the ‘future’ or alternate present. But it would be interesting to have some post-apocalyptic horror wherein the main threat is not people. Where man is not the monster. Or, at least, not the only one.
While this is a more common cross-over than others may be. Aliens, Predator and The Thing can all fit easily into either genre. But it can be taken farther than just aliens colliding with humans with disastrous results.
Event Horizon was a good step in the right direction. There’s no big bad alien they can fight. It’s almost entirely psychological horror that the ship inflicts on them. It would be nice to see more space horror in this vein.
When Worlds Collide
What could possiby be more terrifying than your planet on a slow (or not so slow) collision course with another planet? A collision that can’t be stopped at the last second by hardy oil riggers that have zero scientific capabilities? Or, science can stop it but not without horrifying consequences to the world at large. That would be pretty damn terrifying.
As much as we don’t like the thought of death (ours or others) can you even imagine what would happen if death just…stopped? The overcrowding, food shortages, crime? Yikes. A horror story with science fiction elements would be the perfect recipe to bring this to life on the page or big (or small) screen.
We have encountered alternate realities and they mix and mingle throughout horror and science fiction but they rarely co-mingle in an equal degree. It’s usually one or the other. The best examples I can think of are Silent Hill vs. the above mentioned Event Horizon.
There has been an influx of Chomp ‘n’ Stomps lately in books and movies. Enough to make our Kaiju loving hearts happy. And we want more of it. Think the sharks from Deep Blue Sea and apply it other animals (sea and otherwise) that might not normally be all that scary. Night of the Lepus tried to make bunnies terrifying and failed (bless their little B-Movie hearts). But just think how scary that could be if done well? I am of the opinion that if you take a cute little animal and made it twenty feet tall or unusually aggressive it could be fun and scary at the same time. Imagine a hyped-up, bio-engineered sloth slowly digesting you over the space of a month.
So there you have it, eight ways that science fiction and horror could combine successfully and that we would love to see more of! If you have any examples of the above let us know and let us know your ideas!
GracieKat was the first co-host of Sci-Fi & Scary, Lilyn’s partner-in-crime, and sub-head of the Kali Krew. She reviews horror books, movies, and games for the site. She also does a weekly Focus on the Frightful feature, and is the site list-maker. She is also in control of the Sci-Fi & Scary podcast which will relaunch soon.