Critics' Choice Awards: What are the Best Sci-Fi and Horror Movies of 2012?

2013 Critics Choice Awards

So far we've looked at the Best Comedies and the Best Action Movies of 2012 and now we come to a new category I will be nominating at the 2013 Critics Choice Movie Awards, Best Horror/Sci-Fi film.

This is the one category where I wonder how many more I could have seen, especially in the horror genre. A lot of the better sci-fi film are handled by the major studios or at least given a lot of attention throughout the year, but horror is a more specialized genre in a lot of ways and some of the good ones fly under the mainstream radar. That said, I have created a list of 21 horror and sci-fi films that I saw throughout the year and invite you to help me to discuss, which are the best.

Unlike the Comedy and Action categories, there is no vote for Best Actor or Actress, so I have listed my current top five below and am open to arguments as to why any of the other films listed, or perhaps a film I don't have listed, are better.

Best Sci-Fi/Horror Movie

  1. Safety Not Guaranteed
  2. Prometheus
  3. Looper
  4. V/H/S
  5. Sinister

Now check out the list below and if you believe I've missed any let me know and let me know what your favorites are.

My Sci-Fi/Horror Contenders

  • The Apparition
  • The Bay
  • The Cabin in the Woods
  • Cloud Atlas
  • The Devil Inside
  • The Hunger Games
  • The Innkeepers
  • John Carter
  • Journey 2: The Mysterious Island
  • Lockout
  • Looper
  • Men in Black III
  • Paranormal Activity 4
  • Piranha 3DD
  • Prometheus
  • Safety Not Guaranteed
  • Silent House
  • Sinister
  • Total Recall
  • V/H/S
  • The Woman in Black

To check out the previous discussions click either of the links below:

  • Travis

    You should put Brave

  • Avatar

    Prometheus, Looper, Cloud Atlas, Safety Not Guaranteed and The Hunger Games.

  • Movie Fan

    Looper, Sinister, Prometheus, Safety Not Guaranteed, The Women in Black

  • G-Man

    My votes are Prometheus, Looper, and Sinister. Never caught VHS, Paranormal Activity 4, Cloud Atlas, or Safety Not Guaranteed. You should have nominated Piranha 3DD in the comedy category...

    Earlier this week I saw "The Collection", which was pretty good, and most the theatre seemed to enjoy.

  • Good Grief

    "V/H/S," "Sinister" and "Safety Not Guaranteed" were all terribly disappointing so my top five are...

    1.) Looper
    2.) The Cabin in the Woods
    3.) Prometheus
    4.) The Bay
    5.) Total Recall

    • JN Films

      I agree w/ you on 1-3, but TOTAL RECALL and THE BAY? 4 & 5 were total crap.

  • Susan

    I'd pretty easily place Cabin in the Woods as my #1 actually.

  • adu


  • maja

    Can you nominate Looper and Prometheus in both the Sci-Fi and Action categories?

    My top 5:
    1) Looper
    2) Prometheus
    3) VHS
    4) Sinister
    5) Safety Not Guaranteed

    Funny how my top 5 are aligned with Brad for this one, just a different order.

  • Fox

    Prometheus then Looper, after that not much stands out. I thought The Woman in Black was actually surprisingly decent though. Admittedly I did miss a fair few films on the list. Been meaning to catch "Safety" for awhile

  • Xarnis

    Honestly, my favorite would be John Carter. I really liked it and thought it was under appreciated. I also liked Hunger Games so that would probably be my #2

  • Andrew J.S.

    1. Looper
    2. Prometheus
    3. Cloud Atlas
    4. The Inkeepers
    5. The Hunger Games

  • Jesse

    I'd put the Woman in Black in my top 5. I think it went unnoticed because of the type of story it was. Very Victorian-like, based on the novel.

  • PJ

    1. Prometheus
    2. Cloud Atlas
    3. The Hunger Games
    4. Safety Not Guaranteed
    5. Cabin in the Woods
    6. Looper

  • Bertram J. Krogh

    1, Safety Not Guaranteed
    2, Cloud Atlas
    3, Looper
    4, Sinister
    5, The Hunger Games

    This would be my batch of votes.

  • AS

    Why are people going on about SNG? It was terrible. Your Sister's Sister (while not a sci-fi movie) runs circles around it.

    • AS

      Cloud Atlas FTW.

      • Yaz

        Agree with Cloud Atlas... not sure what VHS is even being mentioned.

      • GregDinskisk

        That's my favorite of the year so far, I absolutely adored it!

    • Susan

      I quite liked Safety Not Guaranteed. It was flawed for sure, but I found it sweet, quite funny and entertaining through out. All of the year's sci-fi I liked (Looper, Prometheus, etc) all had a lot of flaws too. The one, in the end, I found best overall was probably Safety though.

      • AS

        I don't know, I thought it had all of the worst qualities we've come to expect from mumblecore films. I thought Plaza was really bad.

    • G-Man

      AS - what are some of your favorite horror movies - not necessarily in 2012? Given your taste for Kubrick, am I correct in assuming The Shining is up there?

      • AS

        Not a fan of that genre. I suppose The Shinning would probably be my favorite, but I don't think I would even define that as a "horror" film. More of a supernatural thriller really.

        I like The Exorcist, The Thing and Texas Chainsaw, but I'm not really crazy about either one of those.

        • G-Man

          Cool. Yeah - I don't see you post much about horror so I figured that was prob the case.

  • Yaz

    Also, Cabin In The Woods should be in the top 5. Made horror fun again.

  • Jordan B.

    Having not seen Cloud Atlas, Safety Not Guaranteed, and a fair few others on your "Contenders" list, I will only select 3:

    1. Looper
    2. The Cabin in the Woods
    3. Prometheus

    I suppose I could throw The Hunger Games up there as a fourth, but the more I reflect on it, the more it disappoints me. Although, its score is fantastic, and likely the best part of the film.

    • Jordan B.

      Also, Brad, based on the various discussions on here about both films, I'd have thought Looper would be higher on your list than Prometheus. Why did you decide to place Prometheus ahead of Looper? Does it just sit better with you now?

      • Brad Brevet

        I wouldn't really say one is better than the other as much as a list requires ordering, and I actually shifted the order of those two at the last second before posting.

  • Michael

    1. Prometheus
    2. The Cabin in the Woods
    3. Looper
    4. The Hunger Games
    5. Safety Not Guaranteed

    Same with Total Recall & MIB3, I haven't seen Sinister, Cloud Atlas, Pa4 & Silent House.

  • Winchester

    Sometimes I realise how much more Brad gets to see due to his position since there remain so many 2012 films I haven't gotten to yet.

    For sci-fi I'm probably tied with Prometheus and Looper as my favourites. Total Recall I didn't mind so much but in a dumb way and I have little that's positive to say about John Carter.

    And I have not seen one even decently done horror this year. The closest would be The Woman in Black which I thought was very dull on a rewatch and throws away half the book's story in favour of an entirely lazy and derivative rewrite anyway.

    Not a lot to write home about in these categories.

    • Winchester

      Oh, I've not seen Cloud Atlas however yet.

  • Tucker

    1. Cloud Atlas
    2. Prometheus
    3. Hunger Games
    4. Men in Black III
    5. Total Recall

  • Tucker

    Cloud Atlas was by FAR the best MOTION PICTURE OF THE YEAR in comparison to all other genres of film as well... It will take about 10 years for everyone to realize that. The 10 minute standing ovation at TIFF was not enough to shake people out of their stupidity...

  • Ra

    Cloud Atlas, looper and Prometheus. That's it

  • Robert

    Sound of My Voice is a very good indie sci-fi if you haven't caught it yet.

    • Brad Brevet

      Hmmmmm... I have seen that, is it really a sci-fi? I liked it, but not sure I would say there is much science fiction to it.

  • MajorFilmFan

    The Hunger Games
    Cloud Atlas
    Safety Not Guaranteed

    I think either The Hunger Games or Looper will win

  • Hailsham

    Brad please consider a film called 'Kill List' - by far the best horror film I've seen all year

    • Brad Brevet

      Yeah, you aren't the first one to tell me that now and unfortunately it doesn't look like I'll be able to see it in time for nominations.

  • GothamCity151

    Best Sci-Fi/Horror Film:
    1. Safety Not Guaranteed
    2. The Cabin In The Woods
    3. Iron Sky
    4. Looper
    5. Cloud Atlas

  • Mikey

    I would like to make a case for The Avengers as a sic-fi film. You've got aliens, genetic mutations, robotic suits of armor, and characters from another universe/realm/Asgard. That all adds up to science fiction in my book. Also Brad, I find it interesting that you placed Looper ahead of Prometheus in action, but the other way around for sci-fi. Anyway my top 5 so far would be...

    1) Looper
    2) The Hunger Games
    3) The Avengers
    4) The Cabin in the Woods
    5) Prometheus

    I really need to see Safety Not Guaranteed and Cloud Atlas.

  • Christophe

    1. Prometheus
    2. Prometheus
    3. Prometheus
    4. Prometheus
    5. Prometheus

  • Elijah

    I'll again profess my love for Cabin in the Woods, but you should definitely include "The Loved Ones" which was a really great horror indie from Australia. Doesn't have a snowball's chance in hell of being nominated but I highly recommend it.

    Also "Over the Black Rainbow" is something I bet you'd appreciate, it's odd as hell 80's retro sci-fi hooey.

    My personal list:

    1. Looper
    2. Prometheus
    3. Cabin in the Woods
    4. The Loved Ones
    5. Safety Not Guarenteed

  • Chris

    1. Looper
    2. The Cabin in the Woods
    3. Cloud Atlas
    4. Sinister
    5. Safety Not Guaranteed

  • Randall P McMurphy

    2.The Cabin in the Woods
    4.Safety Not Guaranteed

  • Harry Fuertes

    1. Cloud Atlas- WINNER
    2. The Cabin in the Woods
    3. Looper
    4. V/H/S
    5. Prometheus

  • Alex Thomas

    Slightly embarassed with my #1 for this but it's the highest SciFi/Horror in my best of list and I enjoyed it!

    1. Paranormal Activity 4
    2. Prometheus
    3. Safety Not Guaranteed
    4. Looper
    5. The Cabin in the Woods

    Happy with that!

  • DavidG

    1. Looper
    2. Prometheus
    3. Safety Not Guaranteed
    4. V/H/S/
    5. Cabin in the Woods

  • VChile

    1. Cabin in the Woods
    2. Prometheus
    3. Cloud Atlas
    (Only ones I've seen)

  • SeenSome

    Kill List is a 2011 movie but yeah, it would smoke most of these films.

    Not many of the films on this list are actually good but of the ones I've seen, I'd go for...

    1. Looper
    2. Sinister
    3. The Hunger Games
    4. The Innkeepers
    5. Prometheus I suppose, or maybe Men in Black III, but neither are that good...