In the future, a group of scientific explorers get a signal from an unidentified life form upon their space ship. They decide to explore and quickly learn the phrase, “In Space, no one can hear you scream.”
I have a confession to make: I’ve never seen ALIEN nor ALIENS. I have only seen the third, fourth and AVP movies. What took me so long? Who knows- procrastination perhaps. With the “not-prequel”, PROMETHEUS, coming out next week and me making it a must see for the summer, I thought I’d start from the beginning and get introduced to the ALIEN universe. I’ve always heard the first installment is more of a horror film and the second is more of an action film. Considering, as of this writing, I’ve only seen ALIEN I’m going to agree with this installment being a horror sci-fi film. ALIEN has so many layers as a story that it invites discussion for years to come. Is it the arrogance of science that makes us explore the unknown or is it basic human curiosity? How important is it to explore uncharted territory? Shouldn’t well enough be enough? It’s impossible to understate how revolutionary ALIEN was upon its release. Just two years prior the world became obsessed with the western set in space called STAR WARS, which projected an all-American love story and fantasized battles. Ridley Scott gave us a realistic nightmare that didn’t involve a loveable Bigfoot. Instead, we saw an vision of how brutal purity has been around us, as a planet, for years. Casting a relatively unknown, Sigourney Weaver, as the take charge woman upon a ship of mostly men, and not be subjected as their cheerleader, was very revolutionary in 1979 sci-fi horror.
I have seen clips of the movie here and there throughout the years. Perhaps the most famous scene, the chest bursting scene, would’ve been more effective if I hadn’t seen it every Halloween on a “best of” horror scene list. I found the final scene where Ripley thinks she’s escaped the Alien and finds herself fighting it again as the lone survivor, in an astronaut’s uniform, to be more effective.
I found the movie disturbing, but I’m not sure how much the new and future generations will. At this point, modern audiences know the ALIEN saga without having seen the film. We’ve seen Ripley cloned and battle the Aliens. We’ve seen the Aliens fight Predators, twice. Not much of this film will have an impact on the people who haven’t lived under a rock and haven’t been privy to the basic idea of the ALIEN movies.
Whether you find the movie scary or not, you have to give credit where credit is due. The futuristic vision of a 1979 Ridley Scott gave the genre some of the most striking visuals ever. The kills were shocking. The “reveal” of Ash was tragic. The kept-in-the dark shadows of the Alien made his final scene unsettling.
***1/2 out of 4
Hydrated Ice-cream and Blue Moon. It’s what the characters would’ve had.