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Alien

 

  • Film: Alien
  • Director: Ridley Scott
  • Genre: Science-fiction horror
  • Year: 1979
  • Duration: 117 minutes
  • Rated G: Sci-fi violence/gore and language

In space, no one can hear you scream

Members of a commercial starship awaken from sleep as they return home to investigate a distress call from an alien vessel. The terror begins when the crew encounters a nest of eggs inside the alien ship after one of the members advertently awakens an organism.

A beautiful background of space on an alien planet. 🌌

CONCEPT

Little by little the title ‘Alien’ appears on screen above an eerie background in space. We begin entering the commercial towering vehicle ‘The Nostromo’. As we move further into the ship, the camera enters a room that slowly dims the lights on. Transparent pods open and inside we can notice the crew members waking up. Afterwards the scene cuts and we can see them discuss small talk as they have breakfast.

The captain, Ash, enter a room with lights all around to view the log information. After eating they’re seeing carrying on their responsibilities and operating the ship to find out that they’ve yet to arrive home. The ships internal computer, Mother, detects an unknown signal nearby. Under contract the team is obligated to investigate the situation, regardless if they’re interested in doing so. The signal is coming from a small planet.

They approach and three crew members embark from the ship. Nervous, they begin to walk only to discover an abandoned ship. They continue to push onward and upon entering they discover a large fossilized body of another life form sitting in the what appears to be the cockpit. As they take a minute to look closer to inspect the carcass, they notice theres a large hole in the chest. Aboard the Nostromo, the warrant officer, Ellen Ripley, notifies Ash that the transmission looks like a warning.

Offering to go help but is told to stay in her position because if there was danger, they’d have discovered it by now. Inferring that it would be too late. Back in the alien ship, the crew members continue to explore. Deeper inside they stumble upon an immensely large room with eggs. An egg opens and a creature latches onto a crewman’s, Kane’s, helmet. The other two members carry him back towards the ship. Ridley denies their entry as it violates the quarantine regulations, endangering the lives of the rest of the crew. Ash, however; opens the door allowing them to be taken to the infirmary.

The members pry open the helmet to find a creature face hugging around the unfortunate crew members neck. They decide to cut through the creature with a laser but as a defense mechanism the organisms blood is corrosive, burning through 2 floors. As they are unable to remove the life form, they leave the crew member. Ripley gets upset at Ash for having opened the hatch and letting them in. Ash argues that Kanes only chance of survival was to come aboard the ship. He disregarded security protocol and disobeyed the law. Ripley defends her point of view saying that Ash has endangered everyone’s lies.

Ash jeopardized the crew, it was a risk he was willing to take.

A while passes and after having left Kane in the infirmary, the creature has disappeared. Ash, Ripley and another crew member, Dallas, search to find that it’s dead. Ripley wants to throw it out saying it’s a dangerous creature having bleed acid. Ash says it’s too important of a discovery and it needs to be taken back for scientific study. Kane wakes up and the whole crew goes to see him. He says he’s “ok” and “just hungry”. The entire ship decides to eat while Kane abruptly begins to choke, suffocating himself. The crew lays him across the table but from his chest bursts a creature, taking off into the confines of the ship.

The chest burster is one of the most iconic and disturbing sequences of any sci-fi film. 😱

The crew disposes of Kane’s body into space and begin searching for the life form by arming themselves with cattle prods and motion sensors to locate the alien. The remaining crew members desperately want to get rid of the creature. Ripley goes to Mother to consult the situation only to discover that the ship was rerouted to insure the return of the organism for analysis with the crew being expendable.

#ThatMomentWhen you realize you’ve been a pawn this whole time and it’s when the audience realizes that the real antagonist isn’t the Alien but the corporation. 😖😯

Ripley decides to go to tell the others but Ash corners her and they begin to fight. A white liquid drips from Ash’s head. He throws Ripley around until trying to murder her. The remaining 2 crew members come to save Ripley and subdue Ash only to find out he’s an android and was sent by the company to ensure the organism would arrive safely. Ash says there’s no way to kill it, mentioning that it’s a perfect organism that’s structural perfection is matched by its hostility.

Never thought Ash would turn out to be a cyborg. This movie has some truly amazing plot twists! 😁

Situations occur and Ripley remains. She hurries to turn in the detonation failsafe. She’s distressed. Mourning her crew members she continue moving forward. The ship will detonate in 10 minutes. Ripley moves forward and finds a room where the remains of her crew members are being held in embryos used to incubate more offspring. Dallas is barely alive wheezing “Kill me.” She burns her crew mates and presses forward.

As she escapes the alien is in her way but finds another route barely managing to escape alive. The ship explodes into space and Ripley takes off her clothes to relax. As she does a hand falls next to her and she sees the alien laying asleep. She rushes into the nearby closet to hide and puts on a space suit that is located there. She opens the nearby shuttle hatch pushing the Alien out into space killing it.

“This is Ripley, last survivor of the Nostromo, signing off.”

DESIGN

The classic form of storytelling where the main antagonist picks off each of the cast one by one. Its survival horror to the finest. The best part is that the deaths aren’t filed with gore or use over the top violence. The scenes are usually cut right at a perfect moment to leave the audience with a jump scare. As tensions rise, neither the crew nor the audience fully understandings the origins or capabilities of the alien but little by little we discover how terrifying the creature is.

The face hugger attached to Kane in the infirmary. 👨‍⚕️🏥

AESTHETICS

Considered by many as one of the greatest sci fi horror movie ever made. Even now after nearly 40 years it is still an outstanding classic. The movie has age very well with time. An incredible amount of effort was put into making the alien’s visuals appear so realistic and organic.

Once the audience discovers that the creature bled acid only increased the danger and horror. Having acid for blood impeded them shooting and risking a hull breach. This adds element adds to the hopelessness of their situation, reinforcing the claustrophobic conditions they exist in. Small details that aren’t fully explained but implied in the visual effects create a veil of unknown mystery unknown.

Ridley Scott has an incredible taste of atmosphere. It’s noticeable in that every scene is filled with love, detail and care. 🎥🎬

VALUE

Ridley Scotts debut film is by far one of the great films ever conceived on the silver screen. Sigourney Weaver plays a woman whose a leader and trying to help everyone get in order and is thanks to this film that she is considered to be a pioneer of action heroines in science fiction films. This is one of the best science fiction movies every produced (and I’m writing this 40 years after its release). It has stood the test of time. Good quality overcomes everything.

This movie still brings shivers and a smile through its undying creativity. You’ll be impressed by how the creatures design, evolution and the architecture of the environment. Ridley Scott brought to life white blood for synthetic humans and that has been used in many other works of media since its conception. It is clearly noticeable that the interior design and planning that was put into action had been made with passion. This at the end of the day is the real reason why this movie is so great; it was made with love.

It was well received that Ripley was an unlikely character to survive during the time the film was produced as women were still considered helpless in the face of danger. Ripley is still considered one of the most dominate female roles portrayed on film to present day. 👱🏻‍♀️💪🏻

Concept9.3
Design9.5
Aesthetics9.5
Value9.5
Positive
Atmosphere is well produced and intense
Beautiful structural elaboration of the Alien and it's evolution
Spot on jump scares and thrilling moments
Incredible plot twists
Well written overall story
Negative
Minor sound flaw during a scene with steam in the engine room
The only real flaw here is that Ridley Scott did not direct the second, third and fourth sequels until 33 years later with Prometheus (2012). We can only wonder why would one allow someone else to take the helm of their creation?
9.5
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