Alien – Classic Movie Review

[This Review Contains Spoilers]

 Posted October 27th, 2017

In space, no one will hear you creep downstairs to watch Alien on the night before Halloween.

Alien is one of the true masterpieces of the horror genre, from a direction, acting, and writing standpoint. You’d be very hard-pressed to find a “best horror movies” list that doesn’t include this movie. Although there are quite a few other movies in the franchise, none of them match the quality of Alien (Not even James Cameron’s fantastic Aliens). Pretty much everything about this movie is iconic now; the poster alone has become permanently burned into the memories of people who have never even seen the movie.

20th Century Fox

The film’s many strengths stem from Ridley Scott’s impeccable direction. Although people have criticized Scott in recent years for his latest movies, not a single person can deny that his direction is absolutely gorgeous. For example, the scene in which the characters explore the crashed Alien ship looks beautiful due to way Scott portrays its gigantic scale. The set design also adds to the tense atmospheres of the movie. The inside of the USCSS Nostromo, the ship that is the main setting of the film, is incredibly creepy and feels extremely realistic. And the main monster of the movie, the Xenomorph, has one of the coolest creature designs ever put to film. Although many movies are able to effectively create tension without showing the creature, the Xenomorph looks so scary that it works even when it is shown. The performances are also completely perfect and truly sell the claustrophobic terror of the movie. My favorite scene in the entire movie is the famous chest-bursting scene; the idea of a creature that grows in your stomach and ruptures it when leaving is so unnerving. After watching the movie, any stomaches that you may have will likely cause you a bit of anxiety. I also think that the twist involving Ash gives the movie an added layer of complexity and keeps it from being a movie that solely relies on a monster eating people.

If you haven’t seen Alien, I highly suggest watching it this Halloween season. It truly is one of the all-time greats and there is a pretty slim chance that any horror movie set in space ever tops it.

Grade: A

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Josh Hammond says:

    I’m usually a Ridley Scott skeptic, but Alien is definitely beautiful to look at thanks to his vision. Even the first five minutes of the deserted ship are interesting thanks to all the layers he manages to put into each frame. I hadn’t seen this in a while and came away both impressed and scared. Too bad Prometheus was such a disappointment – haven’t seen Alien: Convenant yet but not sure I will based on the reviews. I guess I prefer 1979 Scott over 2010+ Scott.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Justin Kelly says:

      If I were you, I’d check out Alien: Covenant. It’s definitely better than Prometheus and it’s gorgeously directed. It’s a bit faster paced than the original 1979 Alien and is not as much of a horror movie, but I loved the themes of creation in that film and felt that they were more prominent and interesting there than in Prometheus. It’s still not nearly as suspenseful as the original, though, and really suffers narratively since it is simply not as interesting or original. The characters also left a lot to be desired. I actually wrote about it when it came out, so feel free to check out my review.


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