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Top 10 most terrifying moments in the "Alien" franchise


Date Posted: 07 May 2017


The Xenomorph returns in "Alien: Covenant".

The "Alien" franchise has a long history of ups and downs. While the first two "Alien" movies directed by Ridley Scott and James Cameron respectively are often hailed as one of the best sci-fi movies of all time, the subsequent sequels failed to live up to their expectations. Even Scott's long-awaited prequel of "Prometheus" in 2012 was met with mixed criticisms. Still, regardless the varied qualities of the "Alien" movies that have released in the cinemas so far, each instalment has its own terrifying moments.

To coincide with the upcoming release of "Alien: Covenant" this May, here are our top 10 most terrifying moments in the "Alien" franchise. (Warning: There are spoilers below if you have yet to see the previous "Alien" movies)

10. The underwater scene ("Alien: Resurrection")

The underwater alien attack moment in "Alien: Resurrection".

French director Jean-Pierre Jeunet ("Delicatessen", "The City Of Lost Children") tries to bring his offbeat sensibility in the fourth "Alien" movie. Although the result drew mixed criticisms, "Alien: Resurrection" still benefits from one of the most memorable scenes in the series. The scene in question is the "Jaws"-like underwater set-piece where the survivors encounter the aquatic Xenomorphs.

9. Close encounter with Xenomorph ("Alien 3")

The Xenomorph gets up, close and personal with Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) in "Alien 3".

"Alien 3" was famously plagued with a troubled production history till the point that then-unknown David Fincher disowned the movie. No doubt the third "Alien" movie is pale in comparison with the first two entries. But one thing is for sure, there is an unforgettable heart-pounding moment where the Xenomorph is inching closer in front of a scared Ripley (Sigourney Weaver, sporting a radically different bald outlook), all drooling and looking as if it is ready to attack her anytime.

8. Ripley vs. Xenomorph ("Alien")

Ripley encounters a Xenomorph in her escape pod in "Alien".

After a seemingly final moment where Ripley kills the alien by blowing up the entire Nostromo space vessel, director Ridley Scott brilliantly subverts the audiences' expectation by putting an additional scene. Here, the element of surprise is that the same alien has actually been hiding somewhere in Ripley's escape pod. It was a claustrophobic, yet memorable ending where Ripley finally manages to terminate the alien for good by blasting the creature into outer space.

7. The air shaft scene ("Alien")

The Xenomorph appears out of nowhere inside the dark air shaft in "Alien".

In the first "Alien" movie, veteran TV actor Tom Skerritt ("Bonanza", "Gunsmoke") received a top billing as Dallas, the captain of the Nostromo. But instead of making him the hero of the movie, Ridley Scott made a surprise choice by killing off his character midway. It was an effective "false protagonist" trick that instantly recalled the same technique Alfred Hitchcock has used before in "Psycho" nineteen years prior. In this particular scene set in a dark, confined space of an air shaft, Dallas tries to track down the alien's whereabout using a motion tracker. Scott then heightens the level of tension and suspense as Dallas' motion tracker beeps increasingly faster. By the time Dallas manages to locate the alien, Scott ends the scene with one of the best jump scares in the "Alien" franchise.

6. Brett's death ("Alien")

Brett (Harry Dean Stanton) faces the Xenomorph in "Alien".

In this scene, Brett (Harry Dean Stanton) is trying to locate the Nostromo's ginger cat Jonesy. When he finally discovers the cat, a full-grown Xenomorph is seen quietly sneaking behind Brett. When Brett turns around, he is scared stiff as he faces the alien. The scene continues to unfold as Brett is brutally maimed by the Xenomorph. Instead of revealing the complete gore, Scott uses the power of suggestion effectively by showing Brett's death offscreen through the eyes of Jonesy the cat.

5. Kane gets a surprise attack by the Facehugger ("Alien")

Kane (John Hurt) peers at one of the alien eggs in "Alien".

The scene follows Kane (John Hurt), as he discovers a seemingly hundreds of alien eggs all over the dark chamber of a derelict spaceship. As he approaches closer to one of the alien eggs, the top part opens up like a flower where the Facehugger jumps out all of a sudden and attaches itself to Kane's face. Like Dallas' subsequent death scene, this is another well-staged jump scare in the "Alien" franchise.

4. The self-surgery scene ("Prometheus")

Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) grows panicked after the alien fetus is surgically removed from her body in "Prometheus".

Over 30 years after Ridley Scott stunned the audiences worldwide with the first "Alien" movie, he returns to the franchise with the critically-divisive prequel, "Prometheus". Despite the mixed reviews, Scott still knows what it takes to stage a nailbiting moment particularly during a scene where Elizabeth Shaw (Noomi Rapace) desperately enters the surgical pod to remove an alien fetus from her body.

3. The entire chase scene with the Alien Queen ("Aliens")

Ripley holds on to Newt (Carrie Henn) as the entire LV-426 begins to engulf into flames.

Towards the climax of "Aliens", Ripley finally discovers the alien eggs as well as the alien queen itself. She ends up burning all the eggs with a flamethrower and quickly made her escape with the child survivor, Newt (Carrie Henn). The tension heightens as the alien queen leaves the lair and begins to pursue both Ripley and Newt. Here, James Cameron staged a terrifying chase scene scored to James Horner's pulse-pounding score. The scene then follows a close call where the alien queen finally catches up on Ripley and Newt. As the LV-426 begins to fall apart with the ongoing flames and explosions everywhere, it looks as if all hopes for survival is lost. Then comes the James Horner's famous "Bishop's Countdown" soaring score as Bishop appears with the spaceship just in the nick of the time to save them both.

2. Ripley vs. Alien Queen ("Aliens")

"Get away from her, you b***h!".

One of the most famous endings in the Hollywood cinema, the scene follows Ripley bravely encountering the alien queen by operating a Powerloader machine as a battle suit. And yes, this is the ending where Ripley famously quoted "Get away from her, you b***h!" before she engages in a fight.

1. The chestburster scene ("Alien")

Kane suffers a mysterious convulsion as the rest of the Nostromo crew tries to save him.

The numero uno for the most terrifying moment in the "Alien" franchise goes to none other than the famous chestburster scene in Ridley Scott's 1979 original classic. In this particular scene, Kane is having a normal dinner with the rest of the Nostromo crew on the table. Then, Kane starts to cough as if he was choking on a meal. What follows next is a shocking scene, in which Kane starts to convulse violently before the blood spurts out of his body and a small alien creature bursts through his chest that sends everyone in total shock.

Writer: Casey Chong



Related Movies
Alien: Covenant (10 May 2017)
Prometheus (07 Jun 2012)




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