10 Memorable Donald Sutherland Sci-Fi, Horror, and Fantasy Movies

10 Memorable Donald Sutherland Sci-Fi, Horror, and Fantasy Movies

Donald Sutherland has departed at the age of 88, but the acting powerhouse will forever live on thanks to his iconic array of performances. While a lot of his best-known works are not in the sci-fi, fantasy, and horror realms (think MASH, National Lampoon’s Animal House, JFK, Pride & Prejudice, and many more)—he did venture into geekier territory on many occasions. Here are 10 standouts specifically among his genre movies.

Don’t Look Now (1973)


Don’t Look Now (1973) Trailer #1 | Movieclips Classic Trailers

While Nicolas Roeg’s thriller, set mostly in Venice, became infamous for Sutherland’s realistic sex scene with co-star Julie Christie, horror fans will also thank it for giving them a lifelong fear of red raincoats, specifically very small-sized ones. Streaming free with ads on Pluto TV.

Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978)


Invasion of the Body Snatchers (1978) – Official Trailer (HD)

Philip Kaufman’s 1978 update of the Red Scare classic stars Sutherland as a San Francisco man who falls for the woman he’s on the run with while desperately trying to avoid either of them becoming pod people. His “point-and-scream” reaction is one of the most chilling final moments in cinematic history. Streaming on Prime Video.

Buffy the Vampire Slayer (1992)


Buffy the Vampire Slayer | #TBT Trailer | 20th Century FOX

Before the cult TV show came the cult movie, starring Kristy Swanson as the Valley Girl who’s also a once-in-a-generation monster killer, and Donald Sutherland as the very patient man sent to prepare the Chosen One for her destiny—no matter how much she totally does not want the responsibility. Rent or buy on Prime Video.

The Puppet Masters (1994)


The Puppet Masters 1994 Trailer | Donald Sutherland

This Robert Heinlein adaptation didn’t set audiences on fire back in 1994, but considering the talent behind it (it was co-written by Ted Elliott and Terry Rossio, who penned Shrek and multiple Pirates of the Caribbean movies, and Dark Knight trilogy co-author David S. Goyer) and in front of the camera (along with Sutherland, it stars Keith David, Will Patton, and Yaphet Kotto, among others), perhaps it’s time to re-appraise. The plot is, as the title suggests, about alien parasites who arrive on Earth hellbent on mind-control. Rent or buy on Prime Video.

Fallen (1998)


Fallen (1998) Official Trailer – Denzel Washington, John Goodman Movie HD

Sorry for getting “Time Is on My Side” stuck in your head for the rest of the day, but that’s unavoidable when talking about this tale of a serial killer who uses his occult know-how to live on after being executed—and continue his crimes by possessing random people. Denzel Washington plays the detective tasked with this bizarre case, with John Goodman as his partner and Sutherland as their skeptical boss. Rent or buy on Prime Video.

Virus (1999)


Virus (1999) – Official Trailer (HD)

If you’re looking to be entertained by an extremely goofy sci-fi movie about a salvage team (Sutherland is the captain; Jamie Lee Curtis is part of the crew) who realize too late that the research vessel they’ve stumbled upon may be missing its Russian occupants… but is still very much occupied by aliens aiming to cyborg-itize humanity—well, Virus is here to make your B-movie dreams come true. Rent or buy on Prime Video.

An American Haunting (2005)


An American Haunting (2006) Trailer

The legend of the Bell Witch—framed in a deeply unsettling narrative about child abuse—comes to life in this tale, which mostly takes place as an extended flashback set in the early 1900s, starring Sutherland and Sissy Spacek. The cast is admittedly better than the movie itself in this instance. Stream on Starz.

The Hunger Games series (2012-2015)


The Hunger Games (2012 Movie) – Official Theatrical Trailer – Jennifer Lawrence & Liam Hemsworth

Sutherland played the villainous President Coriolanus Snow across The Hunger Games, The Hunger Games: Catching Fire, The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 1, and The Hunger Games: Mockingjay – Part 2. Sutherland brought gravitas to the complex character, so far the only Hunger Games creation to get his own prequel too. Stream the series on AMC+.

Ad Astra (2019)


Ad Astra | IMAX Trailer [HD] | 20th Century FOX

Tommy Lee Jones and Brad Pitt play the fraught father-and-son duo that anchors James Gray’s film, but Sutherland brings plenty of his usual charisma as a colleague of Pitt’s character—and gets to be a part of that FIGHT WITH SPACE PIRATES ON THE MOON. Rent or buy on Prime Video.

Mr. Harrigan’s Phone (2022)


Mr. Harrigan’s Phone | Official Trailer | Netflix

In one of his final roles, Sutherland stars as the titular phone-owner alongside It’s Jaeden Martell in John Lee Hancock’s Netflix horror movie. The device in question is an iPhone, but because this is a Stephen King adaptation, well… you know it has a direct line to someplace distinctly supernatural. Stream on Netflix.