Published Oct 23, 2021
9 Great Horror Movies with Star Trek Ties
It turns out our Trek family has produced some excellent scary movie stars!
This story was originally published on October 18, 2019
With just under two weeks until Halloween, it’s officially the spooky season! Around the world, people are all wondering the same thing: Which horror movies should I watch this year? And can I tie any of them back to my first love, Star Trek? Luckily, the answers are yes, and yes! StarTrek.com has nine great horror movies (and two bonus pieces of horror media) that wouldn’t be the same without their strong Star Trek connections!
The Howling (1981)
Before Robert Picardo became the holographic Doctor in Star Trek: Voyager, he was a favorite actor of Joe Dante, a director responsible for a series of solid horror films including Innerspace and the cult classic Gremlins 2, both of which also feature Picardo. The Howling, which features our EMH as a scruffy, darkly menacing werewolf Eddie. Picardo’s transformation from man to wolf in The Howling is still considered one of the best in horror.
Shatner’s starred in a lot of horror movies about supernatural forces— but only one of them is suspected to actually be cursed. Incubus is a horror film about an incubus, where the entire cast — Shatner included — speaks entirely in the constructed language Esperanto. The choice of Esperanto, and the rumors of the curse, help make this an enjoyably spooky vintage watch.
If you need a refresher on Jeffrey Coombs’ many Star Trek roles, check out our ranking here. Coombs is also a prolific horror actor, best known for Re-Animator where he plays Herbert West, a man with a formula for raising the dead. The film is not for the faint of heart, but if you can handle unrated amounts of blood and guts then it’s a fun movie, with Coombs doing an iconic take on mad science.
Tony Todd is an actor whose name you may not know, but whose face and voice you’ll immediately recognize, from his portrayals of Worf’s brother Kurn in The Next Generation and Deep Space Nine, and an elderly Jake Sisko in “The Visitor.” In the classic horror film Candyman (soon to be rebooted by Nia DaCosta and Jordan Peele) Tony Todd plays the Candyman, a hook-handed ghost with a mouth full of bees. The film is considered iconic for its dissections of race and class in Chicago. Todd, like a true Klingon warrior, was stung 23 times during filming. You can also catch him in the Final Destination series, as well as in our next entry.
Night of the Living Dead (1990)
Along with Todd, Night of the Living Dead stars Patricia Tallman. Tallman is an actress and stuntwoman who has done stunts for Gates McFadden, Nana Visitor, as well as a number of onscreen roles on several Star Trek projects. 1990’s Night of the Living Dead is a rare case where the remake is as good as the original!
Pan’s Labyrinth (2006)
As an actor who can truly inhabit the otherworldly, Doug Jones has a truly legendary career in horror. Highlights include the undead ex-boyfriend Billy Butcherson in Disney’s Hocus Pocus; one of The Gentleman in Buffy the Vampire Slayer’s episode “Hush;” and his extended relationship with horror master Guillermo Del Toro. Jones’ ability to inhabit inhuman roles makes Pan’s Labyrinth an especially chilling take on what happens when you fall down the proverbial rabbit hole.
Green Room (2015)
Green Room successfully shows how a real world situation can devolve into a bloody, violent horror movie without becoming any less realistic. While Patrick Stewart and Anton Yelchin both have other horror credits to their names, this is easily their best is this film. Yelchin plays a punk band’s bassist and Stewart plays the neonazi club owner out to kill him.
Andrew Robinson has a shapeshifter’s ability to play with mood and performance that made Elim Garak so compelling on Deep Space Nine. He used this quality in the deliciously gory Hellraiser. The film’s protagonists are haunted by the Cenobites— possibly demons, possibly angels, but definitely willing to use your body parts as decor. To avoid spoilers, we will only say that Robinson has a delightfully creepy part to play.
BONUS: The Terror: Infamy (2019)
George Takei has done a lot of work in the past few years bringing light to his childhood experiences in the Japanese internment camps of World War II. Takei’s experiences gave the producers of AMC's The Terror the idea for their second season, The Terror: Infamy. The season interweaves the realities of the internment camps with a supernatural ghost story, and features Takei as Yamato-san, as well as a story consultant.
BONUS: BioShock (2007)
If you’re still looking for some more horror to sink your teeth into, how about a video game? BioShock (2007) is a survival horror game often considered one of the best of all time. Armin Shimerman (Quark in Deep Space Nine) plays Andrew Ryan, the founder of a capitalist utopia that’s gone... wrong. Andrew Ryan is the type of businessman even Quark would be afraid of, and the game is an unparalleled chillfest.
A Timeline Through the Star Trek Universe
Cindy Massre is based out of Florida, where she works with public libraries and nerds out on the regular. Cindy talks about Spock on Twitter @yipp33kiyay.
Star Trek: Discovery streams on Paramount+ in the United States, airs on Bell Media’s CTV Sci-Fi Channel and streams on Crave in Canada, and on Netflix in 190 countries.