There are some arguments about what exactly a sequel should be. Some will tell you that it’s to be the same as the first movie but with improvements made all around (because we know how often that happens) and some will say that the point is to change the formula and create something new out of previous concepts. I tend to not care as long as I get another film that is worth watching and doesn’t just reuse the formula until it’s boring. Franchises have done this time and time again and I’m sick of it. “Aliens” takes what Ridley Scott did with “Alien” and does almost exactly what it says on the tin, makes the enemy plural.
What we get now, are horrors, slashers and action movies that are too focused on throwing action right in your face without so much as saying please first. What “Alien” realises, like “Jaws” before it, is that part of the splendour of these films is mostly found away from the explosions. “Alien” is special for many reasons but particularly because it knows exactly how much to show you and how little as well. Ridley Scott uses restraint perfectly and the end result is one of the best science fiction movies of all time but also one of the best movie movies of all time.