11 Jun 2011

Alien 1979

As previously mentioned I like monster movies. I also enjoy science fiction and horror. So you would think that I would like Alien.

And you would be dead right.

Alien is a modern classic with a great ensemble cast; Sigourney Weaver, John Hurt, Ian Holm, Harry Dean Stanton, Yaphet Kotto, Veronica Cartwright and Tom Skerrit. A wonderful collection of actors.

But why is it so good? Lets look at a synopsis.

The Crew of the deep space mining ship Nostromo are detoured from their journey home when their ships computer detects  some sort of beacon on a nearby planet. The crew set down and make the discovery of a lifetime, evidence of intelligent alien life in the form of the wreckage of a alien vessel. But as they investigate something goes terribly wrong.

What goes wrong? I am not saying.If you want spoilers try that spoiler blog.

When I first saw this film it scared the bejeebers out of me. To this day I lack any sort of bejeeber.

The director Ridley Scott, uses key lighting, and tight camera work to keep the tension high. Most importantly the Alien is rarely seen. It is only at the very end of the film that you see the Alien in all it's glory. You would think that the fact that the Alien was designed by that  weird Swiss artist H.R. Gieger would be disturbing enough, but no you only get partial glimpses of the Alien throughout the film. This allows your imagination  to run away into the dark and shadowy parts of our mind. It is also able to achieve this sense of horror without buckets of blood and dangling eye balls.

In an earlier blog I discussed film noir and Fantasy. Well here is a classic example of the Horror Genre in a science fiction setting.Whether you like science fiction or not, this story will sweep you up in the drama. The performance's by the entire cast are memorable and worthy of their talent.

The plot is simple, but the story is well executed. Good enough to spawn three sequels and a dozen b grade knock offs. Not to mention endless papers on feminist/Freudian/Marxist film readings. 

Alien is well crafted in cinematography and lighting to create the mood you want. The special effects and sets haven't really dated in thirty years for me. So the special effects crew probably deserve their Oscar. 

Despite it's age and the fact you may have seen the film in it's entirety through parody and other references, but it is still worth watching. After all if it wasn't good then it wouldn't be get that sort of attention.

This one of the top horror movies for me and I rate it eight Monkeys out of ten.

Thanks for reading, this post was brought to you by Jacobs Creek Pinot, and my bad back stopping me from going to a very good party.

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