Whether you know it or not, if you’re a reader of this site you’ve been watching director Jason R. Miller‘s work for years. He’s been heavily involved in producing and doing VFX and second unite for films like the Frozen, the Hatchet trilogy, The Barrens among many others. He made his directorial debut with Unidentified which is out digitally (you can watch it here) and on DVD now.
The movie is a lot of fun, as I’ve said before it really nails a lot of the comedy so many films get wrong when they try to mesh genres. But there’s also a strong alien/UFO presence in the movie’s second half. To that end, I asked Miller about the films that inspired his first feature as a director.
Head below for his 5 Favorite UFO/Alien Horror Movies!!
“This movie scared the shit out of me! I was 13 years old and I remember it was one of the first “BASED ON A TRUE STORY” movies where I fully understood what that meant. The lights in my bedroom stayed on for a long while after seeing that movie. There’s not a lot of actual abduction footage, but that sequence where they drag Travis Walton down the hallway, put that black goo in his mouth and then cover him in that flesh sheet; To this day if you ask me to describe an abduction, that’s what I picture.”
“I remember tons of people hating on this movie, but I love Signs. When I saw it in the theater, I couldn’t sit back in my seat. I was on edge for the entire movie and the first time you see the Alien, which used “found footage” in a wonderfully scary way, it was so great. I remember the collective JUMP from the audience during that scene. And here’s a UFO movie where they don’t show the UFO at all and you don’t miss it.”
“This one edged out Predator by a hair. I love the Predator, but the alien in The Thing is just so much more of a unique character and those practical effects sequences are to this day some of the best ever done! I love the use of matte paintings to show the UFO buried in the snow and I love the “It could be any one of us” element. Also having it set in the Antarctic brings in the isolation factor and trust me when I tell you, because I worked on a little movie that took place in the snow (Frozen) IT IS HARD TO MAKE A MOVIE IN THOSE CONDITIONS!”
“I really love the reality that Neill Blomkamp brought to D9 and the world building that he did here was amazing. You watch this movie and just want to find out the answers to everything about this society. I really want to see where these aliens come from and what happened to their ship and who was in charge!
I love the way Blomkamp taught us more about the societies in Johannesburg by portraying the Aliens as second class citizens. I love the technology and how humans are doing all this experimenting for nothing because only the alien DNA can control it. A huge accomplishment for a first time director.”
“This is the mother of all FILMS for me. It just works on every level and I love that Ridley Scott refers to it as Texas Chainsaw Massacre in Space! Ridley Scott is such a visionary director that even the writers were amazed with the final result.
I wasn’t allowed to watch R rated movies when I was kid, but I knew a guy who would edit out all the swears in movies for me and my friends to watch. Don’t ask me why, but my Mom was okay with me watching the bloodiest of movies as long as they didn’t yell “Fuck” while they were killing. So when I finally got to see the unedited, non-copy of a copy of a VHS tape version of the film I was changed forever. What a masterpiece! The backdrop to my life while I write is always Alien on a loop!”