As you read this, the total solar eclipse of 2017 has come and gone, offering the entire contiguous United States a glimpse at the Moon blocking out the light of the Sun for a few minutes. This event marked the first time the entire country, from Oregon to South Carolina, could witness the spectacle since 1918.
This astronomical event is amazing to some, but to horror movie fans, incredibly troublesome, as eclipses mark a time in which borders between realms and dimensions are at their weakest.
Considering the eclipse only just happened this afternoon, it might be hours, days, or weeks before we find out the true effects of the Moon blocking out the Sun. In all likelihood, the world has continued to spin and no portals or gateways to other realms have opened up, but that's not very exciting, is it?
For those of you who were disappointed with today's events and would like to believe in fantastical ramifications of these celestial bodies achieving alignment, maybe you'd rather watch one of these films that explore the more catastrophic consequences of the rare spectacle.
Scroll down to see some of the best horror films featuring eclipses!
With virtually every classic sci-fi or horror film getting a remake, it's easy to dismiss them all as being poor imitations of the original. In the case of The Little Shop of Horrors, however, many would argue that advanced special effects allowed the remake to be a stronger interpretation of the story.
Seymour (Rick Moranis) works at a run-down floral shop that struggles to get by. While walking past another exotic plant shop, a sudden eclipse takes place, creating a mystical effect on one of the plants. Seymour purchases the strange "flower" and, while caring for it, accidentally gets a cut and drops blood into the plant's mouth. This seems to be exactly what the planet has needed all along, creating a deadly cycle of feeding a plant human flesh as its appetite increases.
The early days of sci-fi didn't totally understand the realities of celestial events, often citing otherworldy inspirations for a variety of their stories. Whether it was a comet or a satellite returning to earth, "outer space" was an easy instigating factor in a number of horrific tales, with Little Shop of Horrors paying its respects to those stories.
Not limited to merely featuring an eclipse as an integral component of this film, Hellboy incorporated a multi-planet alignment to act as a symbolic moment in time in which evil could let loose its terrors upon the world.
A demon literally from Hell, Hellboy (Ron Perlman) is adopted as a young being by a military platoon and cared for the way a normal child would be. As he gets larger, his true power begins to manifest, causing the government to use his abilities to fight evil in all of its many forms.
After discovering his true demonic origins, Hellboy realizes that he plays a key part in participating in a celestial alignment that would create a gateway to allow fantastically horrific beings into our realm, forcing him to choose between embracing his destiny or protecting the planet he has grown to love.
Before the MPAA tightened their guidelines on films given a PG rating, The Watcher in the Woods was released with the tame "Parental Guidance" suggestion, becoming one of the only horror movies released by Disney.
When a family moves to the rural English countryside, locals begin noticing that the family's young daughter looks a lot like a young girl who went missing 30 years prior. As the young girl demonstrates a mysterious connection to the one who had disappeared, it is revealed that the girl disappeared during a ceremony in the woods that took place during a solar eclipse, which the disappeared girl's mom hopes to recreate with the upcoming lunar eclipse.
A much more intense film than virtually all other live-action Disney films, it's tough to say whether it should be commended for giving young audiences such intense subject matter, assuming the kids were mature enough to handle it, or condemned for frightening children with its tales of witches and sorcery.
College student Samantha (Jocelin Donahue) is desperate for a job so she can have enough money to move into her own apartment, which is why she accepts a last-minute babysitting job on the night of a legendary eclipse. Once she arrives at the remote house, she learns this isn't an average babysitting job, as the one in need of watching is an elderly woman and not a young child.
Throughout the course of the night, Samantha will learn that if a job sounds too good to be true, it probably is, and babysitters should be wary of anyone changing the deal at the last minute, even if there is an eclipse going on.
The film's opening reminds audiences that there was a Satanic panic in the '80s, with as much as 70% of Americans believing in Satanic cults. The House of the Devil fully embraces the look and feel of the '80s, while also using an eclipse as an integral piece of the narrative as opposed to Halloween or any other more regularly used symbolic night on the calendar.
Before he was Groot in Guardians of the Galaxy, before he was Dom in The Fast and the Furious, Vin Diesel starred in this sci-fi horror film as Riddick, a ruthless murderer who must embrace his inner hero if he hopes to make his way off a stranded planet.
A ship transporting passengers, including the deadly Riddick, suffers damage from a comet, forcing it to make an emergency landing on a nearby planet. That planet has three suns, which comes as a relief when it's discovered that photosensitive monsters live on the planet, only coming out under cover of night. Unfortunately, with an eclipse coming that will shroud the planet in darkness for 30 days, the timeline for the survivors' escape is shrinking, forcing Riddick to turn over a new leaf if he wants to be granted freedom.
Many earthbound observers are lucky to witness an eclipse for even a few minutes, let alone an entire month, but the otherworldly nature of Pitch Black allows for some creative shifts in time. Far from being a household name at the time, Diesel proved early in his career how compelling of a presence he contributes to an action film, kicking off a career that would lead him to be one of the biggest names in the business.
Photo Credit: Warner Brothers