I’m mixed regarding the director’s cut of Cameron’s Aliens. There are two notable additions, and I feel that one should be included and one should not. (No spoiler boxes, as the thread title warned already.)
The first is the sequence in the colony showing Newt’s parents find the derelict spacecraft, explore it, and then radio an SOS when a facehugger nabs her father. Though this does bring up how Newt is good at hide-and-seek because she’s small enough to fit in the airducts (and thus gives a little background to the escape through the ducts), I feel that it makes it way too obvious that aliens did overrun the colony.
Without it, the first indication of aliens is the barricades, acid burns, small arms fire, et cetera that the marines notice when they move in. And the movie would be boring as all hell if it were just a downed transmitter, I feel that the scene of Ripley + marines finding captive facehuggers in glass jars is far more jarring (heh, heh) if it hasn’t been made abundantly clear that the colonists have already fought the aliens.
The second, and what I feel should be included, is the sequence of the remote sentry guns. The eventual point of that is that the aliens have decided against a frontal attack, and need to find another way in - hence the ceiling and floor. It gives a little more reason to the sneakiness of their attack on Operations, rather than the brute-force straight-ahead you’d expect.