From 1979’s ‘Alien’ to this week’s new release of ‘Covenant’ and everything in between — yes, even you, ‘AVP’ — we look at the 50 Most Beautiful Shots of a franchise that’s been terrifying us for almost 40 years.

When we think about what awaits humanity out among the stars, we often gravitate toward the celestial beauty of undiscovered planets, new star patterns, and the strange and wonderful natural occurrences our universe has to offer. But every once in a while, these thoughts turn toward the darker, more frightening possibilities that exist beyond Earth’s atmosphere. Way out into the void where vessels have claustrophobic corridors and in the shadows lurk nature’s freakish killing machines. That’s where the Alien franchise began in 1979, in those tight spaces and with those freaky killing machines.

Over the years, the Alien franchise has evolved, died, been reborn, died again, and been reborn again. Just like its original heroine Ripley, if you think about it. And just like Ripley’s many adventures, some are better than others. We choose, as a One Perfect Shot team, to believe that even when the whole isn’t great — ehem, AvP — there can still be beauty in the parts. So whether it’s Ridley Scott’s original horror or Paul W.S. Anderson’s horror show, there are Shots in every Alien movie that are worthy of celebration. And well, maybe one from AvP: Requiem (if you crank up the brightness).

We’ve scoured the entire franchise, all 8 films, and have constructed this list of the 50 Most Beautiful Shots from nearly 40 decades of horror. Including a few shots from Covenant (only one that’s not in the movie, but we still love it). We hope you enjoy the list and if you’d like to tell us about your own favorite Shots from the franchise, feel free to do so in the comments below.

Alien (1979) DP: Derek Vanlint | Director: Ridley Scott

Alien

Alien (1979) DP: Derek Vanlint | Director: Ridley Scott

Alien

Alien (1979) DP: Derek Vanlint | Director: Ridley Scott

Alien

Alien (1979) DP: Derek Vanlint | Director: Ridley Scott

Alien

Alien (1979) DP: Derek Vanlint | Director: Ridley Scott

Alien

Alien (1979) DP: Derek Vanlint | Director: Ridley Scott

Alien

Alien (1979) DP: Derek Vanlint | Director: Ridley Scott

Alien

Alien (1979) DP: Derek Vanlint | Director: Ridley Scott

Alien

Aliens (1986) DP: Adrian Biddle | Director: James Cameron

Aliens

Aliens (1986) DP: Adrian Biddle | Director: James Cameron

Aliens

Aliens (1986) DP: Adrian Biddle | Director: James Cameron

Aliens

Aliens (1986) DP: Adrian Biddle | Director: James Cameron

Aliens

Aliens (1986) DP: Adrian Biddle | Director: James Cameron

Aliens

Aliens (1986) DP: Adrian Biddle | Director: James Cameron

Aliens

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