October 30th 2007 00:35
Directed with the attention to detail with which he has become synonymous Ridley Scott created a genuinely frightening study of humans in extreme claustrophobic crisis: It is 2122, a deep space mineral ore towing ship, Nostromo, returning to earth has its crew interrupted from their hyper-sleep by the ship’s computer Mother. She’s intercepted a distress call from a neighbouring planetoid. Captain Dallas (Tom Skerritt) makes the decision to land the ship on the planet’s inhospitable surface (one of science fiction movies’ rare examples detailing how laborious this can be) and investigate.
Inside the alien craft are the fossilised remains of its occupants
The alien infant takes an immediate dislike to the ship's food
Everything about Alien is top notch; it is almost impossible to fault the movie. Sure if you want you can find flaws or inconsistencies, but any film will have these. My only substantial gripe with the movie is that the alien’s physical appearance, when revealed in full near the movie’s end, is too humanoid; not alien enough. There is one shot where the alien is silhouetted against the ship’s rocket exhausts, which looks silly, and Ridley Scott should never have used, but hey …
Tom Skerritt as fearless Captain Dallas
Ripley covers her ass during the film's uber-tense final moments
I could write a damn thesis on this movie, but I’d best keep it short, this is a blog, not a university paper (been there, done that). I now find myself dangerously close to All Hallow’s Eve, having completed my countdown to Halloween with reviews of seven nightmares of pleasure. Alien and tomorrow’s review are modern horror’s truly seminal movies.
Here's the superb original theatrical trailer:
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