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  • The thought of extraterrestrial beings that invade your body, through another being that technically rapes you, then burst out of your stomach when you least expect it.
  • The original alien concept was the subject of repeated nightmares for the artist, H. R. Giger. He was just sharing it with the rest of us.
  • Giger's unique design of both the Xenomorph and the sets. The creature is so carefully designed to actually blend in with the rest of the environment. Meaning that these guys can and will appear everywhere. Made especially worse when you realize that the design of the Xeno often means you've been looking at it the whole damn time!
    • The first and probably the best example of this is in the first one, where Ripley has just left the Nostromo and the Xeno to fry in the ship's explosion. So she relaxes and takes a load off, undressing, making sure the ship's working until...
    • Also from the first one: There is a long, slow scene of Brett looking for Jonesy, finding him in a room with water dripping from the ceiling and chains hanging from the vents. This is before the adult alien has been seen at all and audiences are expecting it to still be tiny. In one brief shot of the ceiling, the alien is fully seen hanging from the chain above Brett, but from it blending in with the scenery the audience does not even notice it. They only realise they were looking right at it on a second watch, after it has lowered down to snatch Brett.
    • Then there's the sequel, which is just after the Marines flip out at the chestburster. We see shots of the walls, with the alien goop material all over the place. Not too scary right? That's until entire sections of the wall start moving revealing dozens of fully grown Xenomorphs everywhere! It then brings up the question as to whether the Aliens were sleeping after bringing all the humans here...or were waiting for the Marines.
  • Alien features the famous John Hurt chestburster sequence, which (when shooting was taking place) wasn't told to most of the cast before the scene was shot (the look of horror on Veronica Cartwright's face as she's sprayed by a jet of fake blood is genuine). The final fate of Dallas and Brett (in the Director's Cut) is just as frightening. You can also see the human skull that the alien's head is based around. What's even creepier is that it's reproduced in the xenomorph's appearance at the Great Movie Ride at Disney's Hollywood Studios.
      • The absolute worst part, which is a lot more obvious in the extended cut, is that Kain doesn't immediately die once the Chestburster emerges. He's still moving and twitching even after its run off.
    • It's not fake blood in the chestburter scene, it was sheep's blood. In fact, lots of the creature effects -- the eggs, for example -- in this film used animal organs for added realism.
    • Technically, the cast was made aware of the alien finally being shown to them in that scene, but nobody aside from Hurt was told how. Apparently, Cartwright passed out during the scene after getting the blood in her face, and Yaphet Kotto (who played Parker) ran to his room afterward and refused to talk to anybody. It's made worse when you consider the cast didn't get too suspicious before filming the scene- after noticing everyone else on the set was wearing a raincoat.
    • For extra fun, be like my mother and go watch Alien while pregnant.
    • While the chestburster scene is the most famous, four other scenes are just as, if not more frightening than it:
      • First, the incredibly eerie exploration of the derelict spacecraft, including a strange alien skeleton in a chair, with no explanation of what the ship is or who it belonged to given.
      • Second, the aforementioned scene of Brett searching for Jonesy and unknowingly being stalked from the ceiling by the alien the entire time. The tension reaches insane levels by the end.
      • Third, Dallas in the air vents, featuring one of the biggest Jump Scare moments in film history. Dallas appears to have climbed down a ladder to safety from the approaching alien, only to turn around and find the alien right in front of him, screeching and reaching out for him.
      • Finally, the absolutely nightmarish scene of Parker and Lambert's deaths, seeing Parker killed by the alien's "second mouth", and not even seeing what it did to Lambert (apart from apart from moving its bladed tail up between her legs), only hearing her anguished death cries over the radio.
  • Aliens: the hospital chestburster dream sequence, the sequence with Ripley and Newt trying to survive being implanted by two facehuggers let loose by Burke, or the female colonists who "gives birth" as the Colonial Marines and Ripley look on in horror.
    • Forget that. The scariest moment for me was when the Marines are in the hive and first encounter the aliens. The motion trackers are going crazy, but we can't see anything, Gorman's freaking out, then an alien comes out of the goddamn wall and grabs Dietrich. *shivers*
      • There's something more subtle about that scene that makes it horrific, too. The entire first hour or so of the movie is spent building up the Colonial Marine Corps as being, as Hudson so eloquently describes it, "the ultimate badasses." They do such a good job that you really start to believe it too, and the fake scares when they first begin investigating the Hadley's Hope colony on LV-426 do a lot to reinforce the subconscious idea that these guys are going to fare a hell of a lot better than the Nostromo's crew did. Then they actually encounter the Xenomorphs and lose nearly 3/4 of their entire squad in 5 minutes flat. The utter effortlessness with which the creatures dispatch what are understood to be humanity's finest warriors serves to strongly underscore just how deadly the titular aliens really are. The CMC were lethal by way of extensive training; the Xenomorphs were lethal by their very nature. And nature won out in a big, bad way. The rest of the HONF comes from the idea that there's a traumatized civilian, an even more traumatized child, a pacifist android, a shell-shocked and unstable soldier, and a naive commander who spends the better part of the film unconscious all being held together by two marines, one of whom is jumpy and short-tempered and the other having no illusions about just how far out of their league they really are. And they're up against potentially THOUSANDS of the creatures that completely gutted their ranks with no rescue in sight. The Corrupt Corporate Executive and the fact that they have about 4 hours before the entire colony goes up in smoke don't exactly help matters, but for every challenge they face, there's the constant reminder of the Xenomorph threat and the memory of their team of ultimate badasses being ultimately torn to shreds or worse while they were powerless to stop any of it happening. It's a very cool injection of psychological horror into what appears, on the surface, to be a creature feature. Not just "these things can kill you," but "these things can, will, and HAVE killed people about 100x tougher than you. You. Are. FUCKED."
        • It doesn't help that they were setup to fail from the get go, being given a rookie officer and being a mostly company affair. Gorman was chosen BECAUSE of his incompetence and inexperience, besides that and the fact the greater portion of the marines are misfits they are still trained bad asses. If they had a half-way competent commander then they may have fared better or greater still, told them to pull out upon finding the ass load of already dead colonists.
  • Alien 3: Newt's death pose in the EEV (in the Assembly Cut).
    • ... Made worse by the fact she is shown with no photo and labeled as an Unknown Survivor in the data info of the four survivors from Aliens.
  • Alien Resurrection: Purvis going crazy when he's shot, picks up Dr. Wren, holds him to his chest, and screams as the chestburster goes through his chest and Dr. Wren's head. Also, the Newborn being ripped to pieces as parts of him are sucked out into space.
    • The scream during that scene was chilling. The vaguely human facial features didn't help.
      • Oh, the Newborn. It mauls the Alien Queen and dies in one of the most Family-Unfriendly Death EVER! Also who else was scared of the unshown result of a Predator being impregnated by an Alien?
      • That scene was gratuitous Hollywood Science, but the CGI made it work.
  • Knowing full well that amping up the body horror is the only way to create enough of a thrill to get people back in the theatres for the series, the Alien Versus Predator sequel Requiem goes to perhaps the greatest lengths of all the movies to create a terrible mixture of horror, Squick, and tragically enough also Fetish Fuel for the most depraved moviegoers. A notable choice on part of the director was to set and show a father and his son out on a casual hunting trip as the first victims, and while the birthing scene with the pregnant woman's belly crawling with aliens is bound to inspire some very horrible Fridge Logic the true moment of climactic horror is when the Predalien breaks into the maternity ward, seeks out the pregnant women and forces a proboscis down one's throat, pumping her full of eggs, the bulges of them traveling down her very much visible to the viewer, while a woman in the bed next to her screams in terror.
  • It gets better, turns out the whole Predalien thing is based on a comic Alien Labyrinth, where a dying colony tries to do the same thing (doesn't work, but only because they were weaker) and that's not the worst thing from that comic. The other one being they force people to breed with each other, to make more hosts, and turn people into giant blobs of flesh for food.
    • It gets even better in the novelization of Labyrinth. The book's Mad Scientist is the sole survivor of a colony that fell victim to the dying hive. He got the whole unsuccessful facehugging, then had to see his mom, legs and arms gnawed off but still alive, and quite insensible, presented to him by the xenomorphs. As a mate. So they can make more breeding stock/food. He mercy killed her, but the psychological damage was done.
  • There's an abandoned script of Alien3 where Ripley finds a bunch of prisoners in cocoons... in the process of being violently transformed into Aliens.
  • For some reason the Aliens never managed to stick with a specific sound effect for their squeals and screeches throughout the movies, but the voice they were given in the second movie was the scariest. There's one scene once the Xenomorphs attack the Colonial Marines for the first time, there's a shot where we see Hicks shooting his shotgun at something offscreen, and one of the most recognizable bits of the Xenomorphs vocal arsenal screeches out for the first time... And apparently it was so scary it was reused in the various Aliens Vs Predator games and was remastered for the second AVP movie.
  • In Aliens, there's the scene where Ripley is in the hospital and everything seems fine until a chestburster comes out of Ripley and screeches. It's All Just a Dream; but even Ripley is pretty freaked.
  • Ellen Ripley herself......Before and After she was cloned. Feared by both Aliens and some humans.
    • The six malformed Ripley/Alien clones in the final film.
  • In Aliens vs. Predator, there's a scene with two men trapped by the Predators. One is freaking out, until the other asks him if he has any kids. He replies that he has a son, and his companion says something along the lines of "We'll survive, keep thinking of your boy!" Thirty seconds later... "AUUUUGHH!" *CHOMP*
  • What if there was a real-life organism that mimics the Alien reproduction process?
  • The early Aliens comics provide a truly horrific explanation for why humans constantly grab the Idiot Ball when it comes to looking for the Aliens and bringing them back to Earth. It's all part of the plan, orchestrated by the Queen Mother on the homeworld to propagate her species by using a whole planet. It's hard to decide which is the scarier part:
    • That the Queen Mother becomes the subject of their own maternal feelings, to the point of begging for a Facehugger"
    • That the psychic signal is spread by a madman who sees the Aliens as gods
    • That this is all simply part of the Aliens' life cycle and has no malice at the core
    • That it's clear that this entire process has been played out on other planets before and will continue to play out until every Alien is dead... which is going to be very hard considering that Predators have spread them throughout the galaxy, if not the universe

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