In the last few years of my granddads life I went round daily, taking a film with me for him to watch. For the most part he enjoyed them, one or two he found dull- Aliens was defintely not one of them!
This was the only one for which I saw an 85 year old man literally on the edge of his seat!
Aliens (Special Edition) has, over time, simply replaced Aliens (the original release) as being 'Aliens'. Most people no longer refer to the version that was cut by quarter of an hour by the studio to get more showings per screen per day- and with good reason.
The extra scenes really round out the film, giving more logic to Ripley's connection to Newt, and the scene where they both get some sleep in the medical bay.
If you have never seen Aliens then you really are missing out. This is not simply a horror movie or a sci fi one, it is far more than the sum of its parts.
Not only the best sequel ever made, but probably one of the best films of all time- get it!
Note that at the time of writing this review the box set of all 4 films is cheaper than Aliens alone. Worth it to also get the first film, though I advise those who have never watched them to avoid the 3rd and 4th movies. Don't pollute your experience by watching them at all- you have been warned! It's not that they are terrible films, just that they fall so short of 1 and 2.
Also, Aliens was filmed with an unusual camera/film combination which lead to some slight discolouration when not shown in an adequatly equipped cinema. In general it just gives the appearance of a more alien planet, but the upcoming Blu Ray remastering corrects this to give the clearest appearance ever seen of the movie- including for the majority of cinemas it was shown in! Those who have seen and love the film already should consider getting it.