After the tailored style of The Duellists, Scott hit his stride with this unimpeachably thrilling sci-fi shocker.
Space mining vessel The Nostromo picks up an SOS call from a nearby planet and the crew investigate. However, while the rescuers probe what appears to be an alien hive, the Nostromo's onboard computer works out the SOS is in fact a warning.
Inspired use of the artist HR Giger's dark production design for the rarely-glimpsed predator and an inventive relocation of the cat and mouse thriller to space ensured that Scott had created a classic that would stand the test of time. The director's cut is shorter... and even better.