Since George Méliès shot a bunch of people to the moon in 1902’s A Trip To The Moon, cinema has been used to show how people conceive of extraterrestrials. These depictions have changed over time depending on current moods, societal fears and hopes, and abilities of special effects departments. Digg put together a video, edited by Adam Schleichkorn and Bryan Menegus, that charts these changes through the years.
Accompanied by Radiohead’s “Subterranean Homesick Alien,” the montage spans decades, genres, and budgets as it shows the various ways that aliens have appeared on screen—to menace audiences, astound them, or some combination of the two. The full list of films can be found on the YouTube page, but of course no list would be complete without some notable absences (where’s Howard The Duck!?!?). However, despite the mallard deficiency, it’s a great overview of the many permutations that society’s psyche has gone through in conceiving the other beings that lay beyond the stars, and what their intentions are for earthlings.