Sunday, June 22, 2014


Movie Name: Alien
Year of Release: 1979
Director: Ridley Scott
Stars: Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, Yaphet Kotto, Veronica Cartwright, John Hurt, Harry Dean Stanton, Ian Holm
Genre: Sci-Fi, Horror
Score out of ten (whole numbers only): 10

The classic "Alien", came out in 1979, introducing the talent of director Ridley Scott, and of it's leading lady Sigourney Weaver to the public. The film came after the huge success of George Lucas' "Star Wars", and whereas this was a vision of good vs evil more anchored in a traditional western context (space western that is), "Alien" introduced a menace that was beyond redemption (or explanation).
The film follows the story of the crew from a commercial ship named Nostromo, who are awaken from their hyper sleep, to address an unknown help signal coming from an uncharted planet. Upon descending onto the planet, one of the crew members is attacked by an alien creature, that latches to that individual. Trying to save the crew member, the individual is brought with the alien creature onto the spaceship, which spawns a series of fatal events.
Ridley Scott, prior to directing "Alien", had done "The Duellists" (featuring Harvey Keitel), a period piece which was received with good reviews. "Alien" was his first feature for a large studio, in this case, Twentieth Century Fox (which had distributed "Star Wars" as well). Coming from a background of commercials, the director primed for his aesthetic and visual style, which married perfectly with the tight script from Dan O'Bannon and Ronald Shusett. The film manages to blend the claustrophobic atmosphere of being in space confined to a limited vessel, and the menace of a creature that stops at nothing to eliminate it's opponents. The director also smartly avoids showing much of the creature, building tension and suspense, instead of displaying gore and gratuitous violence. This is a film that lives from atmosphere, from suggestion and from the aesthetic that both Ridley Scott and Swiss designer H.R. Giger devised. The cast is uniformly great, from the always fantastic Sigourney Weaver (in her big screen debut), to Ian Holm, John Hurt and Veronica Cartwright. This film is a classic always worth watching!