In the summer of 1979, Ridley Scott introduced the world to Alien, one of the most terrifying and influential horror movies that has since spawned multiple sequels, comics, video games, and even an upcoming TV series. Some of us watch these classic sci-fi movies every year or so while others haven’t given them a second try (or first, for that matter) since they originally came out in theaters. Either way, we have a gift for you. And no, it’s not a chestburster or a Xenomorph waiting in the shadows.
If you are looking for something to kill the time before you go into stasis once more, you will be glad to hear that you can watch the Alien movies streaming, as well as rent or purchase them digitally without much trouble at all.
Written by the late Dan O’Bannon and directed by Academy Award winner Ridley Scott, the 1979 horror sci-fi classic, Alien, follows the crew of the Nostromo, whose trip back to Earth is thrown off course when they receive a distress call on a mysterious moon, where, unbeknownst to them, danger awaits. After picking up an alien organism in a deserted spaceship, the crew are killed off in many different ways, one by one, before Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) rises to the occasion to take on the deadly Xenomorph and get back home.
Set 57 years after the events of the first movie, James Cameron’s Aliens picks back up with Ellen Ripley (played again by the iconic scream queen) as she sets off with a group of highly trained colonial marines to investigate a mining operation that appears to have suffered the same fate as the crew of the Nostromo decades earlier. Much more action-packed and featuring far more special effects than its predecessor, the 1986 summer blockbuster carves out its own legacy.
Alien 3 (1992)
David Fincher made his directorial debut with the 1992 release of Alien 3, which starts almost immediately following the events of the film that came before it. Upon crash-landing on a planet whose only occupants are the inmates and guards of a maximum-security prison, Ellen Ripley discovers that a stowaway facehugger also survived the fiery crash. Soon, the prison and adjoining foundry are infested with mutated Xenomorphs who prove to be the ultimate test for the battle-hardened heroine who really wants to get home.
Alien: Resurrection (1997)
In 1997, Jean-Pierre Jeunet told a story 200 years down the Alien movie timeline, one that follows a clone of Ellen Ripley who is brought to life so that the Alien queen that lives in her DNA can be extracted for nefarious purposes. Alien: Resurrection sees what first appears to be a completely different Ripley than ever before (she has superhuman strength and reflexes), but as time goes on, her humanity begins to rise.
Ridley Scott returned to the franchise he helped start more than 30 years earlier with Prometheus, even if it’s not entirely the kind of prequel fans initially imagined. Set years before the events of Alien, this 2012 action thriller follows two scientists — Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) and Charlie Holloway (Logan Marshall-Green) as they travel deep into space in hopes of discovering new life. But when their expedition takes a dark turn, the scientists find themselves face-to-face with an all-too-familiar evil that sees the Prometheus ending begin to connect to Alien.
Alien: Covenant (2017)
In 2017, Ridley Scott released the captivating and gruesome Alien: Covenant, a movie that helps bridge the gap between Prometheus and the rest of the franchise with its sprawling narrative. The movie centers on scientists Janet Daniels (Katherine Waterston) and Christopher Oram (Billy Crudup) as they meet David (Michael Fassbender), the surviving android from the previous movie who is preparing to release untold terrors upon the universe.
After watching all of these titles, you should take a look at our Alien movies ranking to see if your list matches up with ours.
Philip grew up in Louisiana (not New Orleans) before moving to St. Louis after graduating from Louisiana State University-Shreveport. When he's not writing about movies or television, Philip can be found being chased by his three kids, telling his dogs to stop yelling at the mailman, or yelling about professional wrestling to his wife. If the stars properly align, he will talk about For Love Of The Game being the best baseball movie of all time.
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