The Best Sci-Fi, Fantasy, and Horror Films on Paramount+

Some of the titles now on Paramount+
Some of the titles now on Paramount+
Image: Paramount

Another day, another streaming service. Yesterday marked the debut of Paramount+, the new name of the service formerly called CBS All Access. With it came a lot of new content to consume. io9 has some suggestions so you don’t have to endlessly scroll.

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If you were already subscribed to CBS All Access, your account should have rolled over automatically to Paramount+. All of the staples you may have had on All Access remain, but a lot more entertainment has jumped aboard. We took a deep dive into the movie library on the newly launched service and emerged with over two dozen excellent titles you can watch right now. (And a few dozen not-as-excellent films as well.) Here are the best sci-fi, fantasy, and horror films streaming on Paramount+.

Note: These titles are likely to come and go much like other streaming services. But these are all there as of the launch day, March 4.


A.I.
A.I.
Photo: DreamWorks

A.I. Artificial Intelligence - Steven Spielberg’s vision of a Stanley Kubrick story is about a young robot who attempts to find his place in the world. It’s a gorgeous, introspective film that will stay with you long after it ends.

The Adventuers of Tintin - More Spielberg. This time, an adaptation of the old school comic, with high-end motion capture effects and the help of producer Peter Jackson. If you can get past the unique effects, it’s a rewarding, rousing adventure.

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Beowulf - Speaking of weird animation, Robert Zemeckis’ retelling of the epic poem certainly loses some of its magic thanks to its now quite dated attempt at performance capture. But beyond that, it’s a hugely epic, exciting film.

Clue - Hollywood keeps trying to bring the board game Clue back in various iterations, but really there’s no need. This 1985 film did it perfectly.

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Console Wars - Not technically sci-fi, but this documentary based on the excellent book by Blake J. Harris tells the wild story of the battles between Sega and Nintendo. Seth Rogen and Evan Goldberg produced it and it’s exclusive to Paramount+.

Dragonslayer
Dragonslayer
Photo: Paramount
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Dragonslayer - If you grew up in the 1980s and loved genre, you probably have a soft spot for the 1981 fantasy about a wizard who vows to kill a dragon that has an uneasy alliance with his kingdom.

Evolution - I haven’t seen Evolution in years, but I don’t remember hating it. It’s a sci-fi comedy from Ghostbusters director Ivan Reitman starring David Duchovny, Julianne Moore, Orlando Jones, and Seann William Scott.

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Existenz - David Cronenberg’s creepy, gross take on virtual reality and gaming stars Jude Law, Jennifer Jason Leigh, and the most disgusting gun you’ve ever seen.

The Faculty - In 1998, few filmmakers were hotter than Robert Rodriguez and Kevin Williamson, so the two teamed up for this super fun high school alien movie starring a who’s who of young stars at the time: Elijah Wood, Josh Hartnett, Jordana Brewster, Clea DuVall, Shawn Hatosy, and Laura Harris.

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From Dusk Till Dawn
From Dusk Till Dawn
Photo: Dimension

From Dusk Till Dawn - Like we said, the late 1990s were very good to Robert Rodriguez, and a big part of that was due to this awesome horror action comedy which features George Clooney, Salma Hayek, Quentin Tarantino, Danny Trejo, and others in a battle between humans and vampires.

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Ghost Town - Ricky Gervais stars in this poignant, funny melodrama about a man who briefly dies, comes back to life, and can now see ghosts. It’s a solid film that definitely doesn’t get the love it deserves.

The Gift - Sam Raimi’s star-studded (Cate Blanchett, Keanu Reeves, Katie Holmes, Hilary Swank, J.K. Simmons) supernatural crime thriller is a tense, stylish flick that you should check out if you missed it 20 years ago.

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The Indiana Jones Films - Yes, all four. Raiders of the Lost Ark, Temple of Doom, Last Crusade, and even Crystal Skull.

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Minority Report - There’s lots of good Spielberg sci-fi on the streamer, including this Tom Cruise film about a man who stops criminals before they commit crimes, and is then accused of committing a future crime himself.

Mission: Impossible
Mission: Impossible
Photo: Paramount
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Mission: Impossible 1, 2, and 3 - The Mission Impossible franchise is interesting in that it seems to get better and more outlandish with each subsequent sequel. This means the first three films, while all good in their own ways, are maybe the “worst” of the bunch. But it’s a good place to start.

Pet Sematary - Though there was a remake recently, this is the 1989 original that haunted the dreams of kids who saw it growing up. (The sequel is also on the streamer too.)

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The Ring - This American remake of the Japanese horror sensation—starring Naomi Watts as a reporter who discovers a mysterious videotape that has a fatal effect on those who watch it—was hugely influential when it was released, and remains creepy and cool to this day.

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Road to Perdition - Though not in any way sci-fi, this comic book adaptation by Oscar winner Sam Mendes, starring Tom Hanks and Daniel Craig, is as moody, cool, and impactful as any other comic book movie of its time. It’s well worth a watch if you haven’t seen it.

The Ruins - You’ve heard of killer monsters, aliens, demons, you name it. But in The Ruins, the killers are weeds in a jungle and it’s way gorier and scarier than you can even imagine.

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Sin City - More Robert Rodriguez! But really, Sin City is way more Frank Miller than Rodriguez. The director just found a way to bring Miller’s stunning pulp comic book to life with an unforgettable cast: Mickey Rourke, Bruce Willis, Jessica Alba, Benicio del Toro, Brittany Murphy, Clive Owen, and Elijah Wood, just to name a few.

Star Trek: Generations
Star Trek: Generations
Photo: Paramount
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Star Trek: The Voyage Home, Generations, Nemesis, and First Contact - For a streamer that has so many Star Trek TV series, it’s a surprise it only has a few of the movies. But this is it. At least for now.

Vanilla Sky - Cameron Crowe and Tom Cruise teamed up for this English language remake of a Spanish film about a rich man who gets into an awful accident and begins falling into an elaborate plot that stretches the limits of reality.

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Virtuosity - Oscar winners Denzel Washington and Russell Crowe show down in this 1990s sci-fi action film about a cop on the hunt for a killer using the artificial intelligence of multiple serial killers.

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Young Sherlock Holmes - Besides being a groundbreaking film in terms of visual effects, this Sherlock Holmes origin story is also a really good adventure mystery.

Aeon Flux.
Aeon Flux.
Photo: Paramount
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That’s not everything of course. There are plenty more sci-fi films on Paramount +. Here’s are some of the rest from the genre realm:

Aeon Flux, Bebe’s Kids, Blind Swordsman: The Zatoichi, Charlie’s Angels Full Throttle, Down to Earth, Halloween Resurrection, Halloween H20, Next, The Nutty Professor, The Phantom, Pootie Tang, Prophecy, The Saint, Small Soldiers, Spy Kids 3D Game Over, Tales from the Darkside the Movie, The Time Machine, The Uninvited, Wes Craven presents Dracula 2000.

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Entertainment Reporter. NYU Cinema Studies Alum. Formerly Premiere, EW, Us Weekly, and /Film. AP Award-Winning Film Critic & CCA member. Loves Star Wars, posters, Legos, and often all three at once.

DISCUSSION

talance
Talance

Mission: Impossible 1, 2, and 3 - The Mission Impossible franchise is interesting in that it seems to get better and more outlandish with each subsequent sequel. This means the first three films, while all good in their own ways, are maybe the “worst” of the bunch. But it’s a good place to start.

This is a bad take. While the original Mission Impossible has plenty of action, it really felt more like a spy thriller. Its focus was mainly on the plot - it had double-crosses and twists that no one saw coming and really sets it apart from its successors. I think the only one that comes close is MI: Fallout. The original is still easily my favorite of the series and I’m glad I got to see it in the theater.

As for 2 and 3..... eh. The best thing the second movie had going for it was Thandie Newton and the third was slightly better. They veered into more action/less spy movie territory, which is fine but the stories suffered a bit. I think the later movies are better with more solid writing around the action genre.