Is Arrival the Movie Scary?

Are you considering watching Arrival but wondering if it’s too scary? This science-fiction movie, released in 2016 and directed by Denis Villeneuve, follows linguistics professor Louise Banks as she tries to communicate with alien visitors who have landed on Earth.

But is it a horror movie? Let’s take a closer look.


The plot of Arrival revolves around the arrival of twelve mysterious spacecraft across the planet. The United States Army hires Louise to lead a team that includes theoretical physicist Ian Donnelly to decipher the language of the aliens and find out why they are here. As they struggle to communicate with the extraterrestrial beings, tensions rise between different nations and fear takes hold.


Arrival is not your typical horror movie. It doesn’t rely on jump scares or gore to frighten the audience.

Instead, it creates an eerie atmosphere that keeps you on edge throughout the film. The use of sound effects and music builds tension and enhances the feeling of unease.


The main themes explored in Arrival are communication, time, and memory. The film asks thought-provoking questions about how we perceive reality and how language shapes our understanding of the world around us. While these themes are not traditionally associated with horror movies, they can be unsettling in their own right.


So, is Arrival scary? It depends on your definition of scary.

If you’re looking for a traditional horror movie with jump scares and monsters, then no, Arrival is not for you. However, if you’re open to a more cerebral sci-fi film that explores deep themes while keeping you on edge throughout its runtime, then give it a shot.

Ultimately, Arrival is a masterful example of intelligent science-fiction that will leave you thinking long after the credits roll – but it won’t keep you up at night.