Movie Review: Alien


Alien movie poster

The movie Alien crosses genres between science fiction and horror.

Alien is an highly unconventional horror movie. The sci-fi setting is a lot different from other such movies. All of the characters also have a good rapport, at least until everyone dies. This is an excellent aspect of the movie that is clearly seen throughout the movie. The cast has some
big names, but stars Sigourney Weaver in her breakout role. She would go on to star in GhostBusters, and a bunch more Alien movies

The movie starts with the entire seven person crew awakening from a technology inducedslumber in a futuristic cargo ship. They all get right to their normal routine. It turns out the crew had been awoken because the computer had gotten an unknown transmission. The landing is
rough, and the ship needs repairs. Three crew members are sent to the source of the signal where they find an alien skeleton with the ribs broken outward. It is at this time that part of the signal it deciphered, it’s a warning not an s.o.s. The exploration group discovers a room full of
eggs. One of this group has the brilliant idea to touch the egg. It opens and a giant spider like alien jumps out, melts through his helmet, and attaches to the man’s face. The crew brings their companion into the ship and try to get the parasite off. The doctor attempts to cut it off, only to
realize the creature’s blood is acid strong enough to eat through three floors of the ship. After a while the alien life form just crawls up into the ceiling and dies. They leave for home and eventually the man then wakes up. This whole section has a slow suspense to it. This being
said the best part is special effects. They are surprisingly good, especially for 1979. This aspect alone makes the movie worth watching.

The movie definitely stands out amongst its contemporaries in horror for both its settings and development”

Everything seems well until at dinner the man who got attacked starts violently convulsing. A two foot bipedal serpent-like creature bursts from his chest and runs off. The remaining crew split up and try to find it. One of them ends up looking for the cat so it does not show up on scanners. He finds a shec skin, which should have been a sign to get out of there, but before too long he sees the now eight foot tall creature. It is using the air ducts to get around. The group will now need more fire power, so naturally flame throwers. The ship’s computer has no idea what to do. The captain crawls around in the vent to try to draw the creature out and get killed. It is then discovered that the science officer is a robot and both him and the ship were ordered to bring back the alien above all other considerations and that the crew was considered expendable. The robot attacks the crew and is destroyed. They reactivate the robot’s head and ask about the orders and the ways to kill it. He says there is none. This part is full of unexpected twists. The chestburster scene has gained notoriety for both its gruesomeness and unexpected nature. Meanwhile having a robot character has become an important part of the series. These developments very much help advance the plot in an interesting way.

At this point there are only three of them left. This group comes up with the plan to get into the small shuttle and blow up the rest of the ship. One of the crew goes off looking for the cat, the most important of the characters. The other two people go off trying to get the unimportant
supplies for the journey, like food and air. How unimportant. These two people who went off for absolutely no reason both get killed leaving only Sigourney Weaver. She activates the emergency destruct system and rushed for the shuttle. Of course she runs into the alien on her way. She drops the cat carrier, and that is unforgivable. She is able to get the cat back on her way to the shuttle though. She made it and the larger ship explodes, along with the monster

Except not. It made it on to the shuttle for one last showdown. She puts on her spacesuit and lures it out by rerouting some pipes and opens the air lock. It still is still alive and hanging on to the thrusters. She hits the gas and burns it off. This would be the last we see of one of these creatures until the six sequels and spin-offs and last we would see of Sigourny Weaver until the four sequels. This ending is awesome. The action is great and high impact, while the horror is subtle and nuanced. This section proves that this movie is basically a slasher film set in space. The scariest thing is that there is nowhere to go. The group was stuck on a ship in space. There is no escape, setting this movie apart from other slasher films.

The movie definitely stands out amongst its contemporaries in horror for both its settings and development, and its contemporaries in sci-fi for its horror and, at the time, graphics. Alien is absolutely a unique movie and even stands out among its sequels. The latter group would become more sci-fi adventure than horror. It is for this reason that Alien is worth watching.