Alien Review

 

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       With Alien Day yesterday, is there not a more perfect moment to go back and watch Ridley Scott’s seminal sci-fi horror masterpiece. Sir Ridley Scott’s Alien is a masterwork of fiction and a nice little preview of things to come. Focusing on the USCSS Nostromo’s crew reacting to a sudden “distress call” from moon LV-426 and man’s “first” encounter with an alien life-form isolated on a estranged solar-system, stuck with a very untrustworthy crew, Alien centers around Ripley and her fight to survive against a mysterious killing machine known as the xenomorph. From the opening shots Scott captures the magnitude and scope of the incommunicado space location, as well as the eerie, uncomfortable atmosphere he portrays on screen. From the get-go we realize this isn’t an amiable crew, as Parker (Kotto) and Beat (Stanton) argue about their salaries and everyone is extremely anxious about their return home. But the only reason the dysfunctional dynamic of the group works is because of the stupendous ensemble Goldberg and Selway were able to gather, those being the always delightful Tom Skerritt, the stupendous British actor in John Hurt accompanied by the chilling performance Ian Holm also brought to the table, Harry Dean Stanton who always adds sci-fi cred to the projects he joins, and of course, Sigourney Weaver. Plus some other great actors which complete the ten-person cast, the tiny group confronted with vast dreary scenarios, from dangerous misty planets to the loneliness of the grand commercial spacecraft, brought to life by Michael Seymour’s set direction and H. R. Giger’s involvement, which truly brought this mysterious solar-system to life as we’re treated with giant chambers  filled with leathery-eggs, palaces with fossilized beasts and more, which when paired with Derek Vanlit’s stellar and visceral  cinematography that takes you on a journey through the darkest dimensions of space as well as the eerie corridors of the USCSSS Nostromo complete the experience that Alien is. Chilling, visceral, truly terrifying, Alien is a perfect example of everything coming together on a shoot, every little set-piece adds a tangible nature to the world, every actor helps make the film relatable, and Ridley Scott’s own interpretation of a horror film is truly something other-worldly. I don’t want to spoil anything, but then again Alien is almost forty-years old, but the way Scott describes the xenomorph from Ash’s point of view, as well as the way he portrays Ash serves as a perfect contrast and jumping off project for his next project, another masterwork of science-fiction on film, Blade Runner. Alien is a stupendous work of fiction, a film in which everything perfectly came together to make the most chilling space experience to date, a film that deserves this sort of celebration and remembrance, Alien is unlike anything out there, a ground-breaking film in the sci-fi horror genre that went on to inspire young film-makers like David Cronenberg  at the time, thus I rate it an 85 out of 100.

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