5 of the most horrific moments in the Alien franchise

We’re celebrating Alien: Covenant coming to the big screen with a little reminder of the most shocking scenes in the first five movies, available to watch now from BT TV Store.

Last updated: 15 May 2017 - 02.55pm

Since the first film burst onto screens in 1979, the Alien franchise has become so iconic that it’s embedded in our consciousness like a xenomorph in the chest. It’s cinema’s darkest vision of human and extraterrestrial contact, and every film is packed with moments designed to send popcorn shooting up into the air. Here are five of the scariest.

1. Alien – Here, Kitty

The moment when an incubated alien bursts out of John Hurt’s chest is gruesome, but 10 minutes later comes the scene that will really shred your nerves, an exemplar of director Ridley Scott’s signature dark, claustrophobic tension. Crew member Brett is searching for the ship’s cat, calling, ‘Here, Kitty,’ softly as he wanders through the dripping void. ‘I’m not going to hurt you,’ he says – but the cat and the audience can see what’s coming over his shoulder. Yep, it’s the alien. Cue blood and screaming.

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2. Aliens – Get away from her

The sequel’s final face-off sets Sigourney Weaver toe-to-toe with the alien queen. As the scene begins, the airlock opens to reveal Ripley tooled up in a pneumatic loader, screaming, ‘Get away from her, you bitch!’ as she prepares to defend orphan Newt. Ripley dukes it out with the alien, fending off swipes and dodging snapping jaws as she manoeuvres the beast into an airlock and manages to open it, shooting the queen out into space – although not before an obligatory tense moment or two as the alien hangs onto her ankle…

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3. Alien 3 – Ripley’s death

Some might say the movie’s greatest moment comes right at the end – the final scene is undoubtedly the pinnacle of pathos for the series, and a fitting end for one of cinema’s greatest heroines. With the knowledge she’s carrying an alien embryo, Ripley dives backwards off a platform to kill herself and the spawn. As the alien rips out of her chest, she holds it close to prevent it escaping and they both fall into a furnace and are consumed by the flames. RIP Ripley.

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4. Alien: Resurrection – Newborn

Two centuries later and Ripley’s back – cloned by misguided military scientists who want to study the alien. They’ve removed the embryo, but with alien DNA inside her, Ripley 8 is stronger and quicker, and has acidic blood and a psychic link with the aliens. This instalment is the most inventive of the series, and the scene where Ripley 8 must kill the Newborn, an alien/human hybrid birthed by the queen removed from Ripley, is a perfect example. Ripley 8 uses her blood to melt a hole in the ship’s window and watches, weeping, as the Newborn’s guts are sucked out into space.

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5. Prometheus – Surgery

Set 30 years before the events of the original Alien, the Prometheus prequel has director Ridley Scott back at the helm. The plot is more complex than that of the other four, with a crew arriving on a distant planet searching for the origins of humanity, and finding something that could destroy it. Along the way, Scott manages to create a fitting mirror to the iconic chest-bursting scene from the original. This time, scientist Noomi Rapace must climb into a robotic medical pod and perform a self-induced alien-ectomy – a scene that reportedly gave the actress nightmares and single-handedly made American sensors award the movie a ‘restricted’ R rating. Make sure you watch with a cushion handy.

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