Alien is terrifying. Straight up horrifying. Alien excels at creating tension, fear, and everything in between. From the first moment that the chest burster pops through the chest of its unsuspecting victim, Alien succeeds where most horror movies have fallen: creating an enemy that it all powerful. We are terrified because the Xenomorph feels unbeatable and inescapable, especially for the main character Ripley. Try as she might, there is no escaping this menacing creature.
This is one of the many Alien deserves the #2 spot on our List of Best Horror Movies. Not only is the Xenomorph horrifying, but the Nostromo is imagined perfectly. From every hallway, vent system, and boiler room, there is so much attention to detail that it draws the viewer in. You can feel the dread as Ripley walks through the hallways, patiently trying to escape her captor. The pacing is excellent: the viewers are made to wait, to anticipate when we will next see the Xenomorph, which creates an extreme amount of tension. And that’s not even mentioning the creepy robot, Ash. Portrayed by the excellent Ian Holm, every scene he appears in has an uncertainty about it. We know he is up to something, but the viewer’s aren’t quite sure until the excellent ending.
While Alien spawned three sequels, none of them reach the terror and tension that the original instills. Alien changed the way how we viewed horror movies. With an antagonist that can terrify even the most hardcore horror expert, pacing that perfectly encapsulates the struggle that Ellen Ripley is facing, and a crushingly, overbearing atmosphere, Alien stands far above most movies.
Does Alien make your list?