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Perhaps the best sci-fi suspense horror thriller ever made, Ridley Scott’s 1979 “Alien” continues to freak out everyone around the globe to this very day. There have been sequels and spin-offs throughout the years, but nothing can beat the original.

The screenplay was written by Dan O’Bannon who adapted the story he wrote together with Ronald Shusett. The two writers drew influence from previous works of science fiction and horror movies, but the real magic happened due to Scott’s unique vision and Sigourney Weaver’s brilliant portrayal of Warrant Officer Ellen Ripley who managed to change the way we look at female characters in action and horror films.

Plot

The spaceship Nostromo (named after Joseph Conrad’s novel of existential dread) is slowly drifting back to Earth while its crew is held in suspended animation for the long trip home.

They wake up and realize that the ship’s computer (“Mother”) has woken them to offer assistance to a deep space distress signal. However, they don’t find anyone in need of help.

Instead, they stumble upon the remains of a huge spaceship, with an alien pilot long dead and a plethora of leathery eggs waiting to become the “perfect organism” or alien killing machines. Soon, they realize they’ve let one of these supreme alien life forms in on their ship.

The story is neither intricate nor groundbreaking, but Scott’s directorial skills and crews amazing performance make this a true sci-fi masterpiece.

The received both critical acclaim and box office success, snatching an Academy Award for Best Visual Effects, Saturn Awards for Best Science Fiction Film, Best Direction for Scott, and a Hugo Award for Best Dramatic Presentation, while Veronica Cartwright won an Oscar for Best Supporting Role.

Alien remained highly praised to this very day, and is considered one of the greatest films of all time.