ALIEN is a Primal Survival Masterpiece
Watching (Ridley Scott's) classic horror/sci-fi masterpiece (ALIEN) again, a few things came to mind about this fabulous movie. First off, It is another example, just like (Steven Spielberg's JAWS) of how important character development is in creating the tension in films like these. If it just becomes a body count, it gets boring pretty quick. (Scott's) movie never misses one beat. It is scary as hell and set a new standard for this genre. The actual design of the (ALIEN) by the late (H R Giger) was something new out of a nightmare that had never been seen before, and (Scott's) decision to show only parts of it, somewhat cloaked through smoke and lighting effects, only adds to the horror of this creature. Even today, it still looks amazing.
But first and foremost, is the stellar cast who ground this fantastic (haunted house in space story) with true drama.Set in deep space, the flight crew of the Nostromo, a mining ship which is towing back its haul to Earth, the crew are all awakened from hypersleep, when the ship receives what it believes is a distress signal from a nearby planet. The ship's Captain Dallas (Tom Skerritt) is told by the computer that it must go down and investigate the planet and where the signal is coming from. The crew is not too happy about this, especially Engineer Parker (Yaphet Kotto) and Technician Brett (Harry Dean Stanton) who are very good with their shorthanded banter. They want to be paid more for a rescue mission. Navigator Lambert (Veronica Cartwright) is also rather upset that they were woken up and is not too keen on investigating.Officer Ripley (Sigourney Weaver, who is fantastic as the loyal, but tough shipmate) and Englishman Officer Kane (John Hurt) will follow with what Dallas says. Science Officer Ash (Ian Holm, in a truly wonderful snake performance) seems to hump for the company and is very interested in investigating.
Upon landing on the hostile planet, the three who go down to investigate, find a crashed ship and enter to investigate. The sets in these scenes are spectacular and frightening. When they find the famous (Space Jockey) and then the eggs that hatch, all hell has been unleashed, as something that looks like a crab with arms, attaches to Kane's helmet and won't let go. They hurry back to the ship carrying him, but Ripley doesn't want to contaminate the ship by bringing Kane on board with that thing attached to him. Of course, Ash opens the door, and the rest is (Seven little Indians in Space,) as each member becomes the next target from a creature that can't even be killed because its acid like blood will burn a hole through the ship.
Another star of this great film is the set design of the ship with its tubing and dripping water, ductwork and grates, flashing lights and strange sounds, steam and hanging chains, pools of shadow and light, that will have you on the edge of the seat of where to look next. It is a playground for suspense.(Scott) did much of this film with the handheld camera, and it adds a very natural feel to it. You feel like you are in the claustrophobic confines of the ship, along with its very scared crew. There is such a lived-in feel to the movie; that the characters know each other well and the shorthand they speak between them is wonderful. When things are going rather bad, there is a moment where Ripley is talking about what their options are. In the background, pacing back and forth, Parker is babbling about the situation, and, I swear, the anger that (Weaver) aims at (Kotto) is sincere frustration. Maybe she didn't have her coffee yet, or she was tired of a long nights shoot, but boy, is it a perfect moment.
(ALIEN) is one of the best sci-fi films I have ever seen. It has great acting, flawless direction, incredible set designs, perfect music, and a protagonist that had never ever been seen before in film, to fill your nightmares. It is primal survival. This is a Classic movie, that You Should See!
Watch the trailer: