'Alien' while technically science fiction is also one of the greatest horror/suspense movies ever made. Ridley Scott is now one of the most well known and successful directors in Hollywood, but I don't think anything he's made in the last ten years is a patch on this perfect film, which is a near masterpiece in my opinion. In fact, on reflection there are only three Scott movies I genuinely like, those being his first three. The last of these 'Blade Runner' was released twenty years ago now, so to me Scott is long past his use by date. Whatever, 'Alien' itself is a brilliant piece of work, and is almost flawless. Scott's direction is superb and everything else about it is outstanding - a strong script from Dan O'Bannon et al, an evocative score from Jerry Goldsmith, brilliant design and special effects, including the amazing contributions from H.R.Giger, all add up to an amazing movie experience. I also really liked how the cast were character actors and not "stars" so there was plenty of suspense generated as to who will live and who will die. This is something very few subsequent movies have done, 'Pitch Black' being one of the exceptions. Sigourney Weaver may be an icon as Ripley now, but when the movie was first released she was virtually unknown, having had a small cameo in Woody Allen's 'Annie Hall' and not much else. The rest of the cast are equally as good. I especially enjoyed Yaphet Kotto ('Blue Collar') and the legendary Harry Dean Stanton ('Wise Blood') as the wise cracking "below deck" crew. Many people seem to prefer James Cameron's sequel 'Aliens' over this, but as I much prefer horror and suspense movies to action ones I think this is definitely the better movie, and still the strongest and most effective in the series. 'Alien' is a horror classic and an absolutely unforgettable movie that I can't recommend highly enough. If you haven't seen it before watch it immediately!