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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

The Beginning of the story

Little by little the title ‘Alien’ appears on screen above an eerie background in space. We begin entering the commercial towering vehicle ‘The Nostromo’. 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. After eating their seeing completing 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, 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.

Enter the nightmare

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 ignores Ridley and takes Kane 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 is betrayed

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. As the other two crew members arrive to save Ripley, Ash is revealed to be an android.

Ash was sent by the company to ensure the organism would arrive safely. Ash mentions that it’s a perfect organism that’s structural perfection is matched by its hostility before dying.

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

Ripley’s last remaining option is to turn on a detonation failsafe which will explode in ten minutes. Ripley finds a room where the remains of her crew members are being held in embryos used to incubate more offspring. She decides to end her crew mates suffering and presses forward.

Ripley manages to find an escape pod before The Nostromo explodes in space. As Ripley begins to calm down she sees the alien laying asleep in the shuttle. She quietly enters a closet putting on a space suit located there. Ripley then opens the nearby shuttle hatch pushing the Alien out into space killing it.

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

DESIGN

Alien is a classic survival horror film with great storytelling. The deaths aren’t filed with gore or use over the top violence like nowadays. As tensions rise, neither the crew nor the audience fully understandings the 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. An incredible amount of effort was put into making the alien’s visuals appear so realistic and organic.

Having acid for blood impeded the members from shooting and risking a hull breach. This adds element adds to the hopelessness of their situation, reinforcing the claustrophobic conditions.

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 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).

This movie still brings shivers and a smile through its undying creativity. You’ll be impressed by the Alien’s design and evolution. Ridley Scott brought to life white blood for synthetic humans and that has been used in many other works of media since its conception.

Every scene taken in this film was made with passion. At the end of the day the movie is great because of it’s high quality in all areas.

Ripley is considered to be one of the most dominate female characters ever portrayed on film. 👱🏻‍♀️💪🏻

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 story
High overall quality
The movie has age very well with time
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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