A mining vessel takes on a vicious stowaway in the form
of a mysterious creature that hunts the crew down one by one.
Directed by Ridley Scott
Written by Dan O'Bannon
Starring Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm, Yaphet Kotto
Oscar Wins - Best Visual Effects
Oscar Nominations - Best Art Direction
It's always fun to revisit a classic and with today being Alien day (LV-426, connect the dots), I thought it a good time to give my own two cents on one of cinema's greatest frightfests, 1979's Alien. I doubt anyone would dispute how influential this film has been to modern science fiction and horror films. Hell, it gave us Sigourney Weaver and Ridley Scott, not to mention one of the most iconic movie monsters in history. Granted, I do think that its action-packed sequel stands above the original, we never would have gotten the world of the elusive Xenomorph if not for this film.
Alien is the classic haunted house story set on a futuristic spaceship, eliminating the overarching plot hole of haunted house movies: Why don't they just leave the house? In Alien, there is no way out. It's kill or be killed and they have no idea what they're dealing with. For that matter, neither does the audience as the creature itself gets around four total minutes of screentime spaced throughout the film. While this may not be such a big deal now because we've all seen pictures of this thing at one point, audiences in 1979 were shaking in their theater seats wondering what the hell this thing looked like. It's pitted against a terrific cast of late-70's character actors and acting rookie Sigourney Weaver, all of whom perform admirably. Of course, special praise goes to John Hurt, who cemented his place in the horror hall of fame with the infamous dinner scene.
Alien is one of the greatest horror films ever made and it still holds up today. It started a new trend of horror/sci-fi that would eventually lead to films like The Thing and Predator. Ninety percent of the film is build-up to the last ten percent, which you rarely see these days. Alien counted on its audience's intelligence and patience, and believe me it paid off. Frankly, if you haven't seen Alien, you need to stop reading this review and go find it. Odds are, one of your friends has the Blu-Ray.