Good Movies on SyFy

Tuesday, May 3, 2011 at 4:58 pm

Movies on the SyFy Network

Formerly known as the Sci-Fi Channel, SyFy debuted in 1992 and specializes in bringing viewers all the best in science fiction, fantasy, and horror programming. While their early shows left a lot to be desired, they have since built up enough of an audience to make their own original productions, as well as present popular television and movies from their chosen genres. Below, I’ve listed a few of the good movies on SyFy, although the rotation changes somewhat on a monthly basis.

Serenity (2005) – Based on the cult TV show Firefly from Joss Whedon, Serenity continues the 2002 series about the rugged captain of a cargo ship (Nathan Fillion), his morally ambiguous crew (Gina Torres, Adam Baldwin, Jewel Staite, Alan Tudyk), and the psychic passenger they take on (Summer Glau) who gets them embroiled in all sorts of interstellar danger. Imagine a western crossed with a sci-fi movie, and you’ve got an idea what Serenity is all about. Fillion is especially enjoyable as the wisecracking and burned out Captain Malcolm Reynolds.

Underworld (2003) – The lovely Kate Beckinsale stars as Selene, a vampire who specializes in tracking down and killing her race’s longtime enemy, the Lycans (aka werewolves). But when she rescues a med student (Scott Speedman) targeted by the Lycans, she soon finds her loyalties tested and uncovers an age-old secret. Bill Nighy shines as the ruthless head of the bloodsuckers, and Michael Sheen is equally entertaining as a Lycan leader long believed to be dead. And don’t even get me started on Beckinsale and her form-fitting PVC corset and ice-blue contact lenses. Includes an elaborate history between vampires and Lycans, tons of gunfire, and an all-out showdown to conclude the film. Of all the good movies on SyFy, this is one of my favorites.

Underworld: Evolution (2006) – Picking up right where the first film left off, Selene (Kate Beckinsale) and Michael (Scott Speedman) are on the run from another vampire leader, and this one is far less sympathetic to her plight than Victor (Bill Nighy). While not as good as the original, it still manages to deliver plenty of conflicts between vampires and Lycans, and the death toll rises to a respectable number.

Underworld: Rise of the Lycans (2009) – The third film of the series, this vampire movie acts as a prequel, detailing the forbidden love between the first werewolf able to take a human form, Lucian (Michael Sheen), and the vampiric warrior woman (Rhona Mitra) who happens to be the daughter of the clan’s vicious leader (Bill Nighy). The plot is pure genre fluff, but the straight-faced British cast gives it their all and manages to make it more entertaining than it has any business being.

Final Destination 2 (2003) – One year after the events of the first film, a young woman (A.J. Cook) has a vision that allows her to save 12 people from dying in a tragic interstate pile-up. But the Grim Reaper will have his say, and so the survivors are picked off one-by-one in increasingly ingenious ways. Ali Larter reprises her role from the first film, and those looking for horror movies with unique death scenes will love the Final Destination series (which, unlike its characters, won’t seem to die).

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Leprechaun (1993) – The bizarre tale of an evil leprechaun (Warwick Davis) and his quest to relocate his missing pieces of gold. When he’s not shining shoes or chasing a young Jennifer Aniston, the Irish monstrosity busies himself by setting bear traps, killing men with pogo sticks, and avoiding four leaf clovers. Be sure to catch the sequels as well, including Leprechaun in Space and Leprechaun in the Hood.

The Blair Witch Project (1999) – If not for this independent horror film, there would’ve never been a Paranormal Activity or Cloverfield. When three student filmmakers journey into the woods of Maryland to investigate a local legend, they disappear without a trace. Only their footage is located, which provides a terrifying look at their ultimate fate. Surprisingly effective in its execution, the film went on to gross almost $250 million at the box office and popularize the handheld camera craze in cinema.

Splinter (2008) – A couple are out for a romantic camping trip in rural Oklahoma, but they soon find themselves abducted by an escaped con and his druggie girlfriend. Stopping for gas, they run afoul of a bizarre creature that takes over the bodies of its victims, and a desperate struggle for survival ensues. Nominated at both the Scream Awards and Saturn Awards, Splinter also picked up six wins at the Screamfest Horror Film Festival (including Best Picture, Best Director, and Best Special Effects).

Ginger Snaps Back: The Beginning (2004) – This beautifully shot prequel concludes the Ginger Snaps trilogy, and it once again stars Ginger (Katharine Isabelle) and Brigitte (Emily Perkins) Fitzgerald, but this time they’re playing the ancestors of their characters from the first two films. It’s also notable that the film is set in 19th century Canada instead of modern day, although those who like werewolf movies won’t be disappointed by the continuation of the franchise’s lycanthropy theme.

Dawn of the Dead (2004) – Before Zack Snyder worked on high-profile projects such as The Man of Steel, 300, and Watchmen, he gained notoriety for revamping George Romero’s zombie classic about determined survivors barricaded inside a shopping mall during an undead apocalypse. The gore is plentiful, the soundtrack is awesome (Johnny Cash, Disturbed, and Richard Cheese), and the cast is filled with lots of talent (Ving Rhames, Sarah Polley, Jake Weber, etc.). If you’ve seen the original or enjoy horror movies in general, this one is a must.

So the next time you’re looking for a mix of horror and science fiction, be sure to check out some of the good movies on SyFy. You might be a geek and not even know it.

This entry was posted on Tuesday, May 3rd, 2011 at 4:58 pm and is filed under Good Movies. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

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