As part of a new wave of keep-the-lights-on-when-you-get-home scary sci-fi flicks, Ridley Scott’s Alien (1979) simultaneously gave life to a terrifying new creature and introduced the world to Sigourney Weaver’s badass heroine, Ripley.

When a mining ship gets an SOS from another space vessel, they discover an abandoned spacecraft with one hungry, shape-shifting stowaway with a lot of teeth and acid for blood. Based on the erotic drawings of H.R. Giger, a Swiss surrealist painter, the titular creature burst (literally) onto the screen with shocking force—audiences were not prepared for the intricately violent concepts and glistening shape-shifting that came with Giger’s creation, but they were sufficiently freaked out. Giger won an Academy Award for his work on the art direction of the film, which is hands-down the scariest of the franchise. —Finn Cohen

Alien (1979)
Friday, April 15 and Saturday, April 16
Midnight (both nights)
Esquire Theatre
590 Downing St, Denver
Tickets $7.25