The cosmic horror genre is both personally existential, and darkly expansive. The darkest corners of space, the pitch-black pits of demons, the sense of no real control, the fear of the unknown, and dread that comes with the ineffable size of the universe. This genre is strongly tied to H.P. Lovecraft who brought it to life with novellas such as At the Mountains of Madness (1936), The Shadow over Innsmouth (1936), and The Shadow Out of Time (1936).
“The Shape of Water” by Guillermo Del Toro or “The Imago Sequence and Other Stories” 2009 by Laird Barron are other strong modern works of cosmic horror. Space itself and extraterrestrial adventures also play a preeminent role in the genre.
Movie: Event Horizon (1997)
With the tagline “Infinite space, infinite terror,” it’s no wonder Event Horizon is considered a cosmic horror.
A rescue mission sent to recover a spaceship named Event Horizon near planet Neptune discovers that even though the crew is found dead, readings indicate that there are life signs on the ship. Or rather, the life signs are the ship. The rescue crew discover recordings from the Event Horizon showing that they conducted one too many experiments and opened a rift in the space-time continuum.
The horrors they saw drove them mad, and now the rescue crew might be doomed to the same fate. Laurence Fishburne stars as commanding officer Captain Miller, and Sam Neill plays Dr. Weir, the troubled scientist who invented the gravity drive that doomed the Event Horizon.
Book: "At The Mountains of Madness" by H.P. Lovecraft
When a geologist leads an expedition to the Antarctic plateau, his aim is to find rock and plant specimens from deep within the continent. The barren landscape offers no evidence of any life form–until they stumble upon the ruins of a lost civilization.
Strange fossils of creatures unknown to man lead the team deeper, where they find carved stones dating back millions of years. But it is their discovery of the terrifying city of the Old Ones that leads them to an encounter with an untold menace.