Review: Alien (1979)

alien poster

“Wait a minute. If we let it in, the ship could be infected. You know the quarantine procedure. Twenty-four hours for decontamination.”
– Ellen Ripley

SYNOPSIS: The commercial vessel Nostromo receives a distress call from an unexplored planet. After searching for survivors, the crew heads home only to realize that a deadly bioform has joined them. – via IMDB

alien chestbuster

It’s all like: “Was I fucking talking to you?”

GRADE 9Alien is a sci-fi horror classic, and with good reason. This is just one of those films that hit on all the right notes so often. Alien is old, but has aged well, and still manages to crawl under the skin all these years later, and it is terrific. The soundtrack is creepy, and it sure as hell drives in that terrible feeling of isolation and loneliness, something the movie has in spades.

This crew is in the middle of nowhere with absolutely no backup, no way home and mysterious orders from home, as well as some weird planet outside that is so obviously not right. The miniscule crew lands on the planet to check out the distress signal they have received, and from there all hell breaks loose. I cannot believe Ripley never pulled the “I told you so” card. I mean after all was said and done, she was the only one thinking straight, and because of an android and an emotional ship captain and hysterical woman, total terror and drama had to be unleashed. Don’t think for one second my pettiness would be forgotten when everyone devolves into total panic and starts screaming about what the hell is going wrong and what are we doing to do… prime time for I-told-you-sos. True story.

The story keeps you captivated from the off, and you marvel the space exploration, the hyper sleep, the incessant complaining about money and finally, whatever they brought back onto the ship with them. I like the fact that the alien arc itself is not rushed, but gradually presented from egg to facehugger to chestpopper to scary stalker, you get to see this terrifying creature every step of the way, and it truly just gets scarier as it continues. The performances were solid, too, and there wasn’t anything that was too out there that it detracted from the story – the crew reactions were quite believable.

Sigourney Weaver is the perfect Ellen Ripley – that woman is badass and she handles herself so well and is deserving of all the respect she gets. Alien is shot well, and implements the shaky cam effect in all the right places, so it does not get frustrating or annoying, but actually lends to the situation at hand. As you can tell, there is quite a lot to love about Alien, and I am sure there are many of you that will agree with me. Old school horror is just one of those things that oozed charm and originality, something that has been lost over the years. Alien is everything you want in a survival horror – solid performances, isolation, a phenomenal monster, plot twists and a heroine worth supporting.

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22 thoughts on “Review: Alien (1979)

  1. Niall McArdle says:

    Absolutely brilliant film, possibly still Ridley Scott’s best (or perhaps no. 2 to Blade Runner – I tend to have them swap spots each time I watch either.) Great, thoughtful review of a classic. Pumped about his new film, which I really hope is good, because he’s made a lot of forgettable stuff and it would be nice to see him back on top

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Satua says:

    This is one of those rare films I can’t agree with majority. One of the problems is probably that it was so hyped and when I finally saw it, I was just let down. Didn’t really worked for me. It looks cool and I think Giger’s job is still spectacular but otherwise… Meh.

    Liked by 1 person

    • Zoë says:

      Ahhhhh, I can understand that though! There are some movies I also saw after the fact that were really hyped and let me down quite a bit. Did you watch any of the other movies in this franchise?

      Like

      • Satua says:

        I did see the second one, the tone is so different, it was hard to think that it’s same franchise. But I liked it. But then again, I’ve never been a big fan of Ridley Scott (except Gladiator) and I love James Cameron’s films. 🙂

        Liked by 1 person

  3. abbiosbiston says:

    What could be scarier than something living inside you and then bursting though your motherfucking chest? Oh wait… it’s an impossibly strong and agile faceless creature with two mouths that bleeds acid.

    Liked by 1 person

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