“In Space No One Can Hear You Scream” was its tagline, but when Alien hit theaters in 1979, you could definitely hear audiences screaming in horror as a new breed of extraterrestrial terror sprung from the chest of its first onscreen victim, introducing us to one of the most distinctive and instantly recognizable monstrosities in sci-fi/horror history. Created by the mind of Swiss surrealist H.R. Giger, the biomechanic “Big Chap,” best known as the Alien (and its various forms of Xenomorph brethren), would go on to appear in a total of eight movies, including three direct sequels, two prequels, and two spinoffs that pitted the dome-headed creatures against another otherworldly threat to mankind known as the Predator.
Now, two more Alien-related projects are on the way: One is a new movie from director Fede Alvarez (Evil Dead, Don’t Breathe) and the other is an original series from showrunner Noah Hawley (Legion, Fargo). Will these projects live up to the masterful original? We can only hope. Some fans and critics argue that the series has been on a bit of a decline ever since James Cameron’s 1986 high-octane thrill ride Aliens – a decline that Bill Paxton’s Hudson character might describe as an “Express elevator to hell. Going down!” – with the lowest point being the critically crucified Aliens vs. Predator: Requiem. But there have been some bright spots among the star-beastly bunch, such as 2012’s Prometheus. And while audiences were divided, critics seemed to mostly approve of 2017’s Alien: Covenant, the second of two prequels directed by Ridley Scott. Even Alien 3, the most controversial sequel of the franchise, has earned some love and appreciation since its 1992 release, mostly thanks to a restored and remastered Assembly Cut that surfaced on Blu-ray a while back. And then there's the bonkers fourth film of the franchise, the one that brought Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) back via cloning. But, hey, maybe you dig the sheer lunacy of Alien: Resurrection – whatever floats your Nostromo lifeboat.
Vote up for the Alien movies that made you scream, vote down for the ones you want to jettison into outer space.