11. Alien

11. Alien (1979). While the sequel takes the ideas of the original and cranks them up to 11, Alien is, by a hair, a superior horror experience because of its simplicity and artistry in execution. A workingman’s script by the hot dog- and coffee-fueled Dan O’Bannon was elevated to true artistic heights by the direction of a hungry Ridley Scott (okay, okay, I liked Prometheus, and I’m looking forward to the sequel). The crew of the ill-fated Nostromo seem real enough to be your dad’s drinking buddies from his blue collar job, the creature and its life cycle are terrifying, and the sense of doom is present as soon as the title slowly fades into view.

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