Yes, this was a tough one. I love Alien. In fact, as I know I've posted else where here, I often use it as an example when describing why I love horror films so much. It does have some of the richest symbolism/psychology in any modern horror, possibly short of Cronenberg. However, I also have to admit that I find the last half to really be lacking in tension. Particuarly after such an amazing first half. Once the alien starts picking off the crew members, I think the film just becomes a series of shock shots. And I don't think they are even assembled that well. If the first half stood alone, I'd easily say this is one of the best films ever. Whereas, the Thing, to me, is just the better crafted film from start to finish. There is absolutely nothing about this film that bothers me. I do like the characters a lot. I don't agree with most criticisms that they are "dehumanized" before the thing even arrives. I think the setting is amazing, both beautiful and menacing. And, as mentioned else where, the score (credited to Morricone, even though it does sound like Carpenter) is fantastic. And, for those who think that The Thing rips off Alien, please keep in mind that there would be no Alien if it wasn't for the middle act of "Dark Star." Likewise, Alien borrows a lot from "Planet of the Vampires." Where Alien does succeed is in Giger's amazing set design and O'Bannon's incredibly inventive creature. As a film, however, I have to say it is the weaker of the two.