Top 10 original titles for popular horror movies

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Alien – Credit: 20th Century Fox

4. Star Beast (Alien)

1979’s Ridley Scott film Alien is one of the most successful horror movies of all time, having spawned an entire franchise still going on to this day. It really makes you wonder if the series would have been such a hit if it had gone under its original name.

Let’s back up a bit. Alien began its life after screenwriter Dan O’Bannon’s plans to do a Dune movie fell through. Still inspired to do something with science fiction, O’Bannon began working on what would become the Alien movie script. While writing the screenplay, however, O’Bannon had been calling the film Star Beast. That’s certainly an awesome title, but not quite appropriate for the gritty, dark, and horrifying film that Alien was meant to be.

It was O’Bannon himself that realized he should change the name while still writing the script. He noticed how many times he was using the word “alien” in the story, and it just kind of clicked at that point. He officially retitled the movie to Alien, which sounded great to everyone else involved. People liked its simplicity and the double-meaning, in that the word could be used as both a noun and an adjective.

Fully running with the alien idea, the concept was also came up with to have an alien impregnate one of the crew members. Later, the alien would burst out of him, and that would explain how they got on board the ship. It’s one of cinema’s most memorable moments, and it came up because of the title’s focus on aliens.