Alien (1979) Macabre month of horror #11

Cover of "Alien (The Director's Cut)"
Cover of Alien (The Director’s Cut)

*Spoiler Alert* I know it’s an old movie, but there are still many people who have not seen it.

Ridley Scott is a great director. He has many amazing film including “Gladiator“, “Black Hawk Down“, “Blade Runner“, and of course “Alien” which was only his second feature film.

The famous tagline for this movie was “In space no one can here you scream.”  This is a good tagline as well as a good solution to the horror isolation element. In horror movies there needs to be a reason why the protagonist can’t simply go to the police, or get help. In space there is no help.

The alien is one of the greatest horror character designs of all time. It looks completely original, like no alien before it’s time. The Alien was designed off of the art work of H. R. Geiger. Geiger does some cool stuff, and his designs have been used in other movies and games. The art design for the entire movie looks fantastic. From huge, very detailed sets, to the special effects, and eggs, the movie looks great and still holds up today. I’ll take practical effects over CG any day.

The cast is great. Sigourney Weaver is the main protagonist “Ripley” and this is the film that made her an icon. She has made many other films, and constantly returns to sci-fi films for cameos.

The rest of the cast is great as well. A lot of horror movies suffer from characters that you simply don’t care about, they just add to the body count, but these characters have depth, and even sub-plots aside from the main plot.

Giger's Alien, as portrayed by Bolaji Badejo i...
Giger’s Alien, as portrayed by Bolaji Badejo in Ridley Scott’s 1979 film Alien (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

One of the characters who you went through the movie with, turns out to be an android. The android attacks Ripley and this causes a fear of robots in the sequels.

“Aliens” is claimed as one of the greatest sequels of all time, often claiming it’s better than the original. This time James Cameron takes over the director chair and we have a genre switch. The first “Alien” was a sci-fi horror film, while the second is more of a sci-fi action film. James Cameron knows how to make a sequel. The relationship is very similar between the Alien films and the Terminator films. James Cameron also directed the Terminator series, and the first one is more of a sci-fi horror/thriller (almost slasher even) and the second is more of a sci-fi action movie. The third in both series’ is complete crap.

The movie “Alien” is a classic. It has some of the most memorable and often referenced scenes. Perhaps most famous is the chest buster scene (Which it’s always called but if I remember correctly, it busts out of the stomach.) This scene is so instantly recognizable. Many people found it horrifying. I found it hilarious. Not the bursting itself, but rather the way the little alien slides across the table after. I guess most people are a little too freaked out to notice it.

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