Friday, June 8, 2012


On the way home from their latest expedition, the worn and weary crew of the space cruiser Nostromo is sent to investigate a distress signal on a neighboring planet. There a foreign creature attaches itself to a crew member's countenance, who is then brought back to the ship's operating room. A severe breach of protocol done explicitly against the orders of crew member Ripley. Soon, the creature has planted its in and imploded through its host chest, and begins to wreak havoc on the team. But, even more frightening than the implication of this unrelenting and indestructible being is the notion that it may have been working with cohoots with someone on the ship. With the release of "Prometheus", a film director Ridley Scott has said inhabits the same world as "Alien", I decided to revisit that 1979 masterwork, a film which I had regards for but certainly did not hold in esteem with my favorite and most chilling horror films. Watching this brooding, claustrophic, and terrifying film over, I realized how mistaken I was in not initially recognizing the brilliance in what Scott had created. "Alien" is a multifaceted champion, containing excellent direction, eerie sound effects, and impressive, believeable, and real special effects. It contains an impressive cast of character actors (John Hurt, Ian Holm, Harry Dean Stanton, Tom Skerritt) with Sigourney Weaver delivering her iconic role and bringing believeability to that rugged and resilient character. "Alien" is, for better or worse, one of the most influential works of its kind  whose reputation has been cheapened through mostly unworthy sequels ("Aliens" is excellent) and the schlock which it has inspired. Watching it again, nothing can diminish its harrowing effect and if this was ever rereleased theatrically I would jump at the chance to see it on the big screen with my hands clenched in the dark.