It’s almost the weekend, and that means you should book in another Gizmodo movie night. This week, strap into your giant mech, set your long-range radar to gamma wavelength, and power up the nuclear generators — you’re hunting monsters and aliens. These are the best creature feature TV shows and movies streaming online right now.
We’ve re-jigged our existing Netflix Movie Night series, and brought in Australia’s other popular subscription video on demand services — Stan and Presto — to give you a broader selection of movies and TV shows to enjoy. On all three services, you can watch from your tablet or smartphone, on your PC or laptop, through your Smart TV, or through a media streaming dongle like the Google Chromecast, although specifics can vary.
Not what you’re after? Check out some other Gizmodo Movie Night suggestions:
Pacific Rim is the best movie. It’s the best sci-fi movie, the best monster movie, the best movie about aliens. It’s about giant robots punching giant multi-dimensional alien monsters, man, c’mon. Sure, the acting isn’t the best — especially the Australian accents, unfortunately for anyone watching from Australia. The storyline is classic sci-fi, with big weird things from another planet invading Earth. But it’s a great storyline with great monsters — director Guillermo del Toro’s strength. Watch it now on Stan.
Stan: When legions of creatures, known as Kaiju, started rising from the sea, a war began that would take millions of lives and consume humanity’s resources. To combat the giant Kaiju, a special type of weapon was devised: massive robots, called Jaegers.
Stargate SG-1 is one of the best TV series about aliens. If you like aliens, and space, and other worlds, and soul-sucking bad guys with some serious ancient Egyptian heritage, then you owe it to yourself to watch Stargate — every single season of it. Plenty of people think it’s way better than Star Trek, and I’m one of them. The cast is excellent, and the characters don’t take themselves too seriously. The Goa’uld are one of the best alien bad guys around. Watch it now on Stan.
Stan: A team of explorers made up of soldiers and scientists travels through a Stargate, an ancient portal to other planets. They use the Stargate to explore new worlds, forge ties with friendly civilizations and protect Earth from hostile forces.
Splice is a movie about genetic engineering, but not the kind that means we can get strawberries in Coles all year round. Two mad (or are they just brilliant) scientists splice together the DNA of utterly different animals for medical research, but once their work is stopped they go underground and add human DNA into the mix. This is a monster that we can all relate to, in a way, because it is in some way based upon the work of humans and of the humanity that we share. Plus, mucked-up monster humans just look weird and scary. Watch it now on Stan.
Stan: Elsa and Clive, two young rebellious scientists, defy legal and ethical boundaries and forge ahead with a dangerous experiment: splicing together human and animal DNA to create a new organism.
Star Trek: The Next Generation is the best Star Trek TV series, and that means it’s one of the best alien TV series period. Like the original series, it’s science fiction royalty and it sees the crew of the starship Enterprise travel around the Milky Way galaxy, interacting with, fighting and loving a whole bunch of aliens along the way. Patrick Stewart as Jean-Luc Picard is something to behold, and the cast of Enterprise crewers lives on in popular culture. Watch it now on Stan.
Stan: Set in the 24th century, the exploits of the U.S.S. Enterprise continue as it explores the universe, seeking new life and new worlds.
Sharknado is a monster movie. It is a cultural phenomenon. It is also quite terrible. A hurricane hits Los Angeles, and that’s the perfect opportunity for an airborne swarm of sharks to make their cunningly planned masterstroke and chomp people to bits. If you hadn’t guessed, the sharks are the monsters in this one, and they are ridiculous. The rest of the movie, cast included, is just about as silly as you’d expect, but it’s worth a watch just for the cultural cringe that you get. Watch it now on Stan.
Stan: When a freak hurricane swamps Los Angeles, thousands of sharks terrorize the waterlogged populace, and nature’s deadliest killer rules sea, land, and air.
Guardians Of The Galaxy is an absolute rollercoaster ride, and I’d say that it’s by and far the best comic book movie that Marvel Studios has made. Star-Lord (or, y’know, buff Chris Pratt) makes an unlikely team with not one but two notorious intergalactic killers, a super-smart raccoon and a giant anthropomorphic tree, on the run from the galaxy’s most dangerous and powerful warlord. You want aliens? You got aliens — a bunch of ’em, in bright colours. Watch it now on Netflix.
Netflix: On the run from intergalactic warlord Ronan, hotshot space pilot Peter Quill unites a ragtag band of oddballs to form a team of unlikely heroes.
Stargate Atlantis is every bit as good as any of the other Stargate TV series, with the amazing blue-sky concept of taking a promising and brilliant team of scientists working with alien technologies and a military support team, transporting them to another galaxy and stranding them away from the security of planet Earth. Plus the Wraith are one of the best and most devilish antagonists in any sci-fi TV series around — easily the equal of Stargate‘s Goa’uld. Watch it now on Netflix.
Netflix: Dr. Elizabeth Weir and Lt. Col. John Sheppard pilot their crew straight into the lost civilization of Atlantis to explore its long-hidden secrets.
Troll Hunter follows a couple of film students as they put together a documentary, even after they realise the subject of their documentary actually hunts trolls for a living for the Norwegian government. There are some moments of sheer terror, but at the same time Troll Hunter actually humanises the giant creatures that it follows. These monsters are actually really strange and enigmatic, and you feel like you learn more about them during your watching. Watch it now on Netflix.
Netflix: Three students enter the Norwegian woods to film a documentary on a bear poacher who claims that he really tracks trolls for the Norwegian government.
Dark Skies was actually the alternate title for Sharknado, but this particular movie isn’t about raining sharks. It’s about aliens, specifically an alien entering a young couple’s peaceful suburban house by night to terrorise them and their children. It’s like Signs, but actually good. This movie kinda relies on the existence of aliens, but just disconnect your brain for a couple of hours. Watch this if you like a solid mix of aliens and pure, pure terror. Watch it now on Netflix.
Netflix: A couple has trouble convincing friends and neighbors that an alien is entering their house each night to terrorize their children.
Monsters Inc. is a kid’s movie, but being one of Pixar’s best it’s easily enjoyed by younger and older generations alike. In a city powered by the screams of children, two enterprising scarers find themselves in a tough spot when they find a kid that they just can’t scare. It gets worse when the young girl follows them back home. If you have kids and you want to enjoy something from this particular Movie Night list, then this is your go-to. Watch it now on Netflix.
Netflix: The professional scarers of Monsters Inc. sneak into kids’ bedrooms at night to elicit screams that they convert into energy to run their world.
X-Files is absolutely legendary — it’s the TV series that brought sci-fi and aliens and supernatural happenings to life for so many avid viewers through its 10 years of showtime. Join FBI agents Mulder and Scully as they explore unexplained and inexplicable happenings, and contend with the forces of evil and alien powers arrayed against them. This is required reading if you want to get into the murky world of science fiction, aliens, and monsters. Watch it now on Presto.
Presto: The X-Files is the legendary drama series about FBI special agents who investigate cases called “X-Files,” involving all manner of unexplained phenomena, monsters and extraterrestrial life, from the bizarre to the terrifyingly commonplace.
Starship Troopers is an action-adventure film, based on a slightly more intellectual book by sci-fi luminary Robert Heinlein. In it, a militaristic spacefaring Federation encounters an entirely alien race of Arachnids that turn upon the humans and wage a war of ceaseless attacks upon Earth. Remember what the world wars were like? Imagine that, but with an entire planet and entire civilisation fighting to survive. This dystopia is a right-wing totalitarian nightmare. Watch it now on Presto.
Presto: In this sci-fi adventure, fire-spitting, brain-sucking bugs attack Earth and wipe Buenos Aires off the map. Four troopers come to the rescue by travelling to a distant galaxy for the final showdown.
Roswell takes the anguish of young adulthood and blends it with the chaos of the (alleged, or was it?) Roswell alien craft crash in New Mexico. What if those aliens, hidden away in their shining silver disc, escaped the authorities and blended in to live amongst us humans on planet Earth? Roswell runs with that idea and takes it to some very fun places, even though it’s not the most high-brow of TV shows. Watch it now on Presto.
Presto: A suspenseful drama that blends science fiction with the alienation of young adulthood, Roswell portrays a group of otherworldly teenagers living among us on Earth.
True Blood is about vampires, in case you hadn’t guessed. It’s a weird alternate reality where vampires live in the world around us — but their existence was only revealed two years before the events of True Blood. The creation of synthetic blood means vampires’ lives don’t necessarily revolve around sucking the blood of humans — not unless they want it to, at least. The politics of the whole thing are complicated, but especially so in the tiny Louisiana town of Bon Temps. Watch it now on Presto.
Presto: Can a young Louisiana waitress buck conventional wisdom to forge a love match with a 173-year-old vampire?
The Babadook is sweeping through the Australian arts awards scene, and for very good reason. As well as being a genuinely great horror film — I never want to read a children’s book again — it does some groundbreaking and important work in exploring mental health in parenting, and the deleterious effect that overwork and stress can have on an entire family. Monsters have never been so genuinely scary as they are in The Babadook. Watch it now on Presto.
Presto: After the violent death of her husband, Amelia begins to see glimpses of a sinister presence in the house, slowly dawning on her that the monster her son has been warning her about may be real.
Disclosure: Stan is a 50/50 joint venture between Nine Entertainment and Fairfax Media. Allure Media, the company which publishes Gizmodo Australia, is also owned by Fairfax.