6 points about Alien
So, the Christmas break is finished and I was struggling to pick which movie to start back up with. I was initially planning on leaving the Alien movies until nearer the release of Alien: Covenant. But I was short of ideas on which movie to do, so the original Alien movie it is. This movie came out in 1979, and is directed by Ridley Scott and stars Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt among others.
1. This is a really intriguing and compelling concept.
Alien is an excellent concept for a movie. Whether it be the general design of the Xenomorph is very well done. You really get the emotionless and terrifying tone through the alien itself and it really has a presence on-screen. This was all down to some excellent costume design. Also the overall plot of the simple space errand gone wrong is very original and also excellently executed. This movie really has a lot of original qualities and it really added to my overall enjoyment. A lot of sci-fi movies follow the same formula, but I feel like Alien took a different step and stands out as a result. This was a movie that simply wouldn’t work without a good story and for it to be told in a compelling way, and fortunately Alien ticked all of these boxes.
2. The characters were all developed enough for the story and for us to care.
I didn’t really need to know the whole life-story of every character in the movie, but here was a need for them to be humanized. This was accomplished well by having some general banter and conflict between the characters. Everybody had something for you to relate to and for when they eventually meet their destiny, it has more impact on the viewer. The only character that I had some initial problems with was Ian Holm as Ash. His character seemed very wooden and one-note. Obviously this had the great pay-off but it was a bit jarring at the start. Otherwise there was no other character than Ripley that we really needed to care about too much. I enjoyed watching the likes of Brett and Parker, but ultimately they were developed as much as they needed to be. This was all down to a tight script and good acting, which we will get into later.
3. Ridley Scott’s directing was outstanding.
This really was masterful directing from Scott. His way to convey the tone he desired in a scene was excellent. This was all down to many elements. This included some great camera work, which always made you feel as if you were there going through what the characters were going through also. He developed the characters excellently and his story rarely side-tracked. The first half hour or so of the movie is a bit long-winded and boring but once you really get a grasp of what is going on you are fully invested in this universe. He used light and darkness very well, and his use of sound to build up tension was brilliant. You could really feel the tense and worrying situations thanks to some genius work from Scott. I have full faith in Scott with the next instalment, despite some more recent sorrowful attempts at movies from Scott. Did somebody say Exodus: Gods and Kings?? Must be my imagination.
4. There was mostly good performances.
Sigourney Weaver is obviously the stand-out and she really grew onto me as the movie progressed. She had a great character arc and it was really helped by Weaver’s good performance. She really had to carry a lot of the final act and she did so excellently. Yaphet Kotto and Harry Dean Stanton had some excellent back-and-forth, as well as some stand-out scenes. They really added to my enjoyment of the movie, and they added some much needed witty dialogue. Tom Skerritt gave a very emotional performance and was really invested in his character. He offered a good alternative to Weaver’s Ripley. This movie didn’t rely on its actors but their all-round solid performances were much needed.
5. I have to get a few negatives off my chest…
This is a beloved movie, that I really don’t want to sh*t on, but I had a few problems. There were a lot of periods in the movie where I was sitting there thinking “Ok…This is fucking boring”. There was some weird, undeveloped shots of just nothing, with nothing going on and nothing to care about. This happened quite a lot in the first act. It’s as if they thought that they can’t just put the damn alien in straight away, so they decided on some uninteresting and unnecessary scenes that really nobody cares about. There was a slight lack of action and I thought there could have been more fun moments. Don’t get me wrong, there was some great tense horror moments, but the movie got very dull in parts.
6. Overall, Alien is a well-executed movie that blends the sci-fi and horror genre.
Ridley Scott created an iconic franchise with this movie. He set up an iconic villain in the alien itself and a great character in Ripley played by Sigourney Weaver. This is beloved by so many people and rightly so, it jus sometimes lacks some space adventure fun that we have come to expect with a space movie. This is a great horror movie with some great tense scenes, all done excellently by Ridley Scott. I highly recommend that you check Alien out if you haven’t already as it really holds up well today.
I will give Alien an 8.5/10.
We will continue our Alien series with Aliens coming out very soon.