...I saw this in the movie theater when it first came out, I thought as a science fiction fan, that knew what was going to be. Well, I didn't. This film is frightening in a way that is hard to describe. For the entire last hour of this film, a viewer is sitting on an edge that is unstable and fearful.
... Because of the nature what the spaceship is, we are all trapped on the ship wondering what is going to happen next. Yes, all of us. So, Rodney Scott directed the film with that kind of fearful wonder. As the story continues, the fear increases for many reasons. All very likely for the situation the crew is in. That unknowing fear is the essence of this film.
... In 1979 when I saw this, I was taken into the space ship and felt that fear just as the crew on the ship felt it. I sat there being taken in by a great film, that I did not know as anything more than just another film. The suspense, fear, uncertainty, and direction of this film lead to other Alien films. I thought I knew, but I did not know.
.. If you give this a chance, on some sort of larger screen with good sound, you will be taken in too. (and watch it through all at once, no stopping) When I walked out of that movie theater, I realized what an experience I had that day. That feeling is still with me. I was so taken in by that experience, that when the next Alien film came out (Aliens), I did not go to the theater, I waited until it came out on "video tape" and played it backwards to see the end first. And it turned out that the second trip in this voyage was just as good as the first. But be warned, ..."in outer space there is no sound..."