Why Are Space Movies So Terrifying?

So I finally got around to watching Gravity (I know, I know, where have I been?) and I was sick with anxiety the whole time. I seriously can't peel my eyes off the screen when there are astronauts sitting only an inch away from the emptiness of space, with no oxygen, no gravity, no way of getting home without a ton of fuel and a protective shield.


A massive accident leaves Dr. Ryan, who is on her first trip to space, completely alone with a small broken space pod and a tank with only 5% left of her oxygen.

Add in the fact that she just saw her coworkers blow off into oblivion, that she is now the only human outside of earth's orbit, and all communication with earth is broken.

Also please take into account the fact that the only thing between her and instant death is a tiny helmet.

The amount of times that shit literally hits the fan in this movie is bordering on over-the-top, the even improbability of it all couldn't break me away from the screen. Whenever George Clooney's character was telling Ryan to calm her breathing, I felt like he was talking directly to me.


The scene of her spinning that seemed to last more than an hour? I saw my life flash before my eyes - twice.


Interstellar seriously messed me up emotionally. The plot twists and turns had me losing my mind in the theatre.

getting the hell off of a planet when a giant wall of water is coming at you.

Basically, this was an incredible movie that was way too much for my weak little heart to take.

Apollo 13

This is history. I knew how the story ended before it began - it's legitimately written in history books.

My dad is big into space (we have a telescope at home that is bigger than I am) so I watched this 'educational' film at the ripe your age of 9. I've been hooked on space-disaster movies ever since.

There are lots of red lights flashing, low level oxygen tanks, astronauts getting sick, motivational speeches by Tom Hanks, and of course, lots of longing looks down at the world below. This is a total stress-fest but it is so worth it.



2001:A Space Odyssey

Here's a little background: I was about 3 credits away from a film major in college, I consider myself a pretty knowledgeable person about cinema. I had to read two plot synopses and one mini explanation on YouTube to understand what the hell was going on. My confusion didn't make this any less scary.

The cinematography alone is enough to give you the chills and a slight sensation of vertigo but then we're traveling in deep space and there are talking computers and giant empty space ships. This movie both puts me to sleep and keeps me up at night.

The Flight of the Navigator

This might just be my memory fading, but I think this is a movie that stressed me out significantly less than others, and I don't think its because of the bad 80s special effects. The kid if dealing with a nice alien-robot so he has a little guide to the universe there to protect him. There is time travel and creepy planets involved, but all-in-all if you want to watch a sci-fi flick that won't put you into cardiac arrest, try this one out for size!

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