Alien (Director's Cut)
Essentially a haunted house film set in space, Ridley Scott's seminal sci fi takes place aboard a commercial mining spaceship. When a stowaway alien is inadvertently smuggled onboard (its first appearance providing one of the classic fright moments in cinema), the ship's dark, cramped corridors become a labyrinth of lurking fear and dread.
Scott (in only his second film) creates a palatable sense of terror, opting for a slow burn over quick shock tactics. The fact that the alien itself is never fully revealed in its complete form is testament to the adage that less is more. What is on display is, simply put, a triumph of production design and visual effects.
Alien is one of those rare movies where every element works, from its casting to its inventive take on the genre by screenwriter Dan O'Bannon (Dark Star). But the film will always be remembered for its iconic set design and art direction by Swiss surrealist painter and sculptor H.R. Giger.