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The Six Best Cosmic Horror Films of All Time—According To An Unknowable Eldritch Horror

image: screencap/Paramount Annihilation Natalie Portman Paramount Skydance Alex Garland

*You have traveled far through the nighted corridors between dimensions. Far Beyond the Veiled City of Ys’thytrig, home of the Pale King. You have traversed the greasy, cyclopean Ruins of Xirg. You have seen the horrors that crawl in the Temple of the Outer Things. You have stared into the Mouth of Madness, and it has stared into you. You have opened Great Door of the Vault of Shatuth, and beheld the mysteries therein. You have spoken the Crimson Tongue to the Watchers of The Stars, and they let you pass through their tenebrous realms with the last shreds of your sanity. Now you stand before the Tentacled God K’ylishstbeconeth in the Valley of Elder Knowing, to prove that you are worthy to receive the Truth. She opens her gibbering maw and speaks*

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Ohmahgerd a GUEST! Haha HEYYYYYY! Holy shit! I can’t believe you’re here!

I haven’t company in SO LONG. Like it’s been literal STRANGE AEONS since I’ve seen any other form of cosmic intelligence! I’M SO HAPPY!!! :))))))))

You wanted to know the Truth? Lol! Well, truth is I haven’t really thought about it! Like, I guess life is what you make of it? Right now my life consists of scrolling through TikTok (talk about cosmic horror!) and watching movies! You look tired. Come, come! Sit on the couch! Lemme get mah sourdough out of the oven and we can watch some of my favorite movies together! What kind of movies? Cosmic horror of course!

6. Annihilation

annihilation
(Credit: Paramount Pictures)

Omg this movie is like … so good. I listen to the soundtrack all the time when I’m contemplating Elder Mysteries or like … taking a shower. It’s about a group of scientists (all ladies! yas!) who are selected by the government to investigate a totally weird phenomenon called “The Shimmer” that has been expanding out of the fallen meteor for three years. The Shimmer spreads across the land and warps it, mixing the D.N.A. of living things together into so kooky combinations! The scientists enter into The Shimmer in order to study it, but end up discovering a lot more than they bargained for. One of them even runs into her ex-husband! Dramaaaaaaa

5. The Cabin In The Woods

cabin in the woods cast
(Credit: Lionsgate)

This movie is SO COOL! And like … original? It starts out like every other horror movie. Five college kids go into a cabin in the woods to have sex or whatever. Lol good idea guys. But! This particular cabin has a secret! It’s part of a scientific facility! The cabin can be controlled and manipulated remotely, and the scientists can release all sorts of iconic horror movie monsters into the environment! After one of the kids dies after crashing a motorcycle into a man-made force field, the kids realize that the cabin is being controlled by a bunch of science nerds. They make a plan to escape, but what they don’t realize is that by not dying they are throwing the delicate cosmic balance of the world out of whack. They might have to deal with even bigger monsters. What do I mean? You’ll seeeeeeee!!!

4. The Thing

(Image: Universal Pictures)

Omg my ex is in this movie! She plays The Thing, and she looks so hot. Ugh, makes it hard to watch. It’s about a group of scientists in a remote base in Antarctica who are doing some science-y stuff! Buttttttt while they’re there they end up rescuing a runaway sled dog that actually isn’t a dog. It’s an alien creature that can perfectly mimic other living things. My ex calls it “method acting.” The alien creature starts killing and absorbing the other poor doggies that it’s locked up with, and eventually escapes and starts trying to do the same thing to the researchers! The worst thing is that The Thing can look like anybody, so the researchers don’t know who is real and who is an alien in disguise! So scary! But my ex’s tentacles have honestly never looked better.

3. Alien

ripley & the alien in Alien
(Image: 20th Century Fox)

Lol my cousin is in this one! He plays the alien! Only the big one though, they got some non-union creatures to be the little face-huggers and chest-bursters. So it’s about the crew of a commercial space ship who discover a cute little egg after landing on a remote moon. One of the crew members looks inside the egg one of the non union aliens jumps out and latches onto his face! She did all her own stunts! Eventually, the little alien detaches itself and dies, but that’s only because it laid eggs inside the crew member! Eventually the egg hatches by exploding out of the guy’s chest and a little newborn alien is born! This alien grows up really fast, and it really loves to murder people. So the crew have to figure out a way to find and kill the alien before it does the same thing to them!

2. Martyrs

anna in Martyrs (2008)
(Image: Wild Bunch)

Okay so Martyrs is NOT a film to watch on a full stomach, so you better digest that sourdough quickly cause this movie is gross. It’s about a secret society who go around capturing and torturing children in order to uncover the Eldritch Truth! Omg just like you!!! Well, almost like you, I hope. They torture these kids because they believe that bringing them inches away from death with give them transcendental knowledge of the afterlife! And I’m like “silly! they could have just asked me!” XDDDD

Seriously though, this movie is super disturbing and you’re either gonna love it or hate it. It’s part of The New French Extremity movement that came around in the 2000’s on Earth! Irreversible is another icky film that’s part of the same movement! If you liked that one, I’m probably more afraid of you than you are of me!

1. Hellraiser

pinhead and the cenobites in Hellraiser
(Warner Bros.)

Um … classic!!! This movie is an adaptation of “The Hellbound Heart,” a novella by Clive Barker. Apparently the novella wasn’t scary enough, so Clive turned it into a screenplay and directed the movie himself! Wow! Triple threat! It’s about a hedonistic guy named Frank Cotton who buys a puzzle box that is said to open the door to a realm of “otherworldly pleasure.” Silly! He could have just astral projected through the Door of Y’lktet and gotten there that way! Frank solves the puzzle box, which summons “The Cenobites.” The Cenobites are a group of star traveling sadomasochists who can’t tell the difference between pleasure and pain! Things get really messy when Frank starts sacrificing people in order to discover new carnal pleasures! That’s some Eldritch Truth that I don’t wanna know!

(Featured Image: Paramount Pictures)

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Jack Doyle
Jack Doyle (they/them) is actually nine choirs of biblically accurate angels in crammed into one pair of $10 overalls. They have been writing articles for nerds on the internet for less than a year now. They really like anime. Like... REALLY like it. Like you know those annoying little kids that will only eat hotdogs and chicken fingers? They're like that... but with anime. It's starting to get sad.

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