Director: Ridley Scott
Screenwriter: Dan O'Bannon
Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, Harry Dean Stanton, Veronica Cartwright, John Hurt, Ian Holm, Yaphet Kotto
Depending on who you ask, Ridley Scott's Alien is either sci-fi or a haunted house story set in space. Either way, you have to acknowledges it's a masterful classic.
Alien meshes genres together so well that it shrugs off categorization. Sigourney Weaver, in her breakout role, runs shit as the heroine, Ellen Ripley, one member of a crew trying to survive a terrifying, quick, and bloodthirsty alien's rampage on their ship.
Under Scott's watch, Alien is full of genuine scares, palpable tension, and dazzling visual effects. Speaking of the FX, the alien's design, credited to H.R. Giger, is the freakiest of its kind; with a long, jai-alia-racket-shaped head and Velociraptor-like arms and legs, the film's monster is the stuff of intergalactic nightmares. It's also the benefactor of one of cinema's all-time great taglines: "In space, no one can hear you scream."
Too bad the people watching Alien with you can. —MB