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Good question.  The first Alien is pure Sci Fi horror while the sequel, Aliens is Sci Fi Horror Action.  The sequel is my choice personally.  Not because it is a better film, but because it is a better rewatch.  It is more memorable in certain ways due to it's quotability, it's characters, and the end is fantastic.  It is the perfect sequel that takes what made the first movie good and expands on it.