directed by Ridley Scott
If horror is a genre about atmosphere then Alien stands as an all-time great amongst its peers. Ridley Scott’s masterpiece is one of the few science fiction films that actually feels like space – a cold, dark, silent void that quite simply does not care about anything, where only your own ingenuity, intelligence, skill, and luck can save you. Back this up with H.R. Giger and a good amount of phallic horror, and you have Alien. As the titular alien slowly works its way through each crew member, and as Sigourney Weaver’s Ripley emerges as protagonist, Scott’s social criticisms become more apparent, throwing light on a society bent on economic capital at the expense of the entirety of its population, culling its herd even as a beast preys on the flock. Alien is a film where the hard truths of existence take pure, monstrous form and lay eggs in your chest to feed on you later, where human arrogance is humbled into oblivion, where the thing most alien, most untrustworthy, unknowable, and dangerous, is ourselves.