2. Alien (1979)
The original (and as I’m sure many, many people are going to tell me after reading this, the best) Alien is the perfect union of a great concept/script, a genuinely visionary director who gave the film a “look” like nothing else of the time, and a designers who came up with an utterly alien Alien. It’s part of the pop culture landscape now but it’s hard to think of any other extraterrestrial that is as terrifying or as otherworldly as THE Xenomorph. There have been many attempts to make one, none have stuck like the Alien.
The original film is even more outstanding when you consider all the tropes it manages to avoids. Rather than a team of scientists or plucky explorers, it’s a group of blue-collar workers, space truckers, who run into the “starbeast”. A diverse crew (in 1979!) where it’s immediately clear who will survive and who won’t. It subverts the expectations beautifully with Tom Skerrit’s heroic Captain Dallas exiting the film early on and background character Ripley ending up the sole human survivor of the Nostromo aboard the Narcissus (along with Jonesy the cat and that pesky Xeno). A world/spacecraft that takes the lived-in tech of Star Wars and applies it to regular working Joe’s.
It’s a film that’s often been mimicked but never bettered.
The haunted house in space, an original horror classic. and home to the best dining room scenes EVER.