1. Aliens (1986)
Ripley: These people are here to protect you. They’re soldiers.
Newt: It won’t make any difference.
What could be worse than a murderous, acid-blooded, alien running around, hunting you? How about hundreds of them?
Aliens is one of those perfect sequels that expands upon the original without diluting it. James Cameron’s tech-heavy military aesthetic, so different to Scott’s, creates some wondrous visions and nightmares (not all of them alien in nature) and yet it gels beautifully with the original. Cameron reveals another, more militaristic, part of Scott’s world, painting it with a fantastic design sense, crewing it with a cast of instantly memorable characters, and giving them a script bursting with life.
Aliens mesmerised and horrified in equal measure when I first saw it. I’ve had the United States Colonial Marines gear stuck in my head ever since. From the brutal elegance of the dropship and APC, the rifle-like Sulaco, Drake and Vasquez’s smart guns and a personal friend of mine… the M41A pulse rifle, Cameron populated the future with soldiers with delightful toys and then showed you just how useless they all were when faced wit the Alien.
Every character seemed distinctive; the whiny Hudson as played so distinctively by the dearly departed Bill Paxton, Paul Reiser’s corporate sleazebag Burke, stoic synthetic Bishop with Sigourney Weaver’s haunted Ripley at the centre of it all, terrified of facing her nightmares again.
Until that is, she gets in a power loader.
One of the best films ever made (alongside the original!).
Alien Covenant has a very high standard to live up to/
Alien: Covenant is released in cinemas on 10 May with Special Sneaks on 9 May