5 terrifying, E.T.-esque aliens from Spielberg's aborted '70s horror flick Night Skies

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Apr 29, 2019, 6:22 AM EDT (Updated)

Before Steven Spielberg decided to break all our collective hearts with E.T.: The Extraterrestrial, he was eyeing a much more terrifying alien project called Night Skies. Here’s a look at the bizarro E.T.s that could’ve been.

Spielberg had a script ready and was deep into preproduction on the horror flick Night Skies, which would’ve followed evil alien encounters at a rural farmhouse. The concept was loosely based on the 1950s Kelly-Hopkinsville encounter, in which a Kentucky farmer claimed he was terrorized by aliens.

Before filming was set to start, Spielberg had tapped effects guru Rick Baker to generate some alien designs for the separate, distinct aliens that would’ve been featured in the unofficial (and much scarier) sequel to Close Encounters of the Third Kind. But along the way, Spielberg realized the concept would be better served by focusing on the one nice alien in the story — so the pitch for E.T.: The Extraterrestrial was born.

Despite Spielberg’s change of heart, Baker was still neck deep in evil aliens, so he’s finally opened up the vault to show off some of the designs. It doesn’t take more than a quick glance to see how these designs inspired E.T. Just imagine if the adorable li'l alien was tweaked up and trying to rip out your guts, and you’ve summed up these designs. Seriously, these are wicked freaky.

Turn on the lights and check out E.T.s much scarier cousins below. Then go rewatch E.T. to flush these terrifying visuals from your palette. 

(Via Comic Book Movie)