The film that spawned a franchise that still continues to this day, ALIEN maintains its pedigree as a masterwork of sci-fi/horror.
For those who don’t know, the story follows the plight of the doomed crew of the space freighter Nostromo, awakened from hypersleep only halfway through their journey home due to a distress signal sent from a mysterious planet.
They discover a derelict alien spacecraft and inside the hull are large leathery eggs. Unfortunately Kane (John Hurt) finds out the hard way what’s inside the eggs and before you can toss your cookies, he’s got an alien “facehugger” laying an embryo in his stomach.
Once the alien is hatched, it grows at a rapid rate and soon it’s a 7ft. tall nightmare only interested in doing what it does best; killing off the crew one by one. Unfortunately, the alien has Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) to deal with and it’s this first encounter with the creature that will haunt her for the rest of her life (and even beyond that).
Directed by Ridley Scott, the film is essentially a gussied up B-movie; a gothic horror movie set on a spaceship. It’s the attention to detail that Scott brings to the film that elevates it so far above others of its genre that make the film soar.
Other than some technology that we would consider quaint in this high tech times, everything else in the film is absolutely authentic and feels real. Nothing is left for granted, from the design of theNostromo interior to the costumes worn by the beleaguered crew.
Kudos also goes to Jerry Goldsmith’s haunting score that captures the loneliness of space and adds to the sense of claustrophobia without being too overbearing. It’s one of his best scores in a long and storied career, which features some of the best film scores ever written.
A review of ALIEN would not be complete without mentioning the awe-inspiring work by Swiss surrealist artist H.R. Giger. The creature is a true masterpiece and the uniqueness of its biomechanical design would inspire artists for years to come.
Folks, the original ALIEN is a MUST SEE MOVIE and if you haven’t seen it, you are missing out. It is sci-fi/horror done to absolute perfection and exudes high quality story telling and entertainment.
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