movie film review | chris tookey
 
     
     
 

Alien

 (15)
© 20th entury Fox. Photo by Robert Penn - all rights reserved
     
  Alien Review
Tookey's Rating
8 /10
 
Average Rating
8.22 /10
 
Starring
Sigourney Weaver , Tom Skerritt, Veronica Cartwright
Full Cast >
 

Directed by: Ridley Scott
Written by: Dan O’Bannon from story by O’Bannon and Ronald Shusett

 
 
 
Released: 1979
   
Genre: SCIENCE FICTION
ACTION
ADVENTURE
MONSTER
HORROR
IMPORTANT
   
Origin: US/ GB
   
Length: 124
 
 


 

A mutating alien murders the crew of a spacecraft, one by one.

Reviewed by Chris Tookey

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A 50s pulp science-fiction plot, reminiscent of The Thing and It! The Terror From Beyond Space, is pressed into service once again... but to marvellous effect, thanks to a suspenseful script, atmospheric direction and (for the time) impressively gruesome special effects.

Ridley Scott's 2003 cut of Alien isn't much different from the old one - and, a rarity with director's cuts, it's slightly shorter and pacier. It's good to see it again. It delivers some of the most memorable moments - and nastiest shocks - in the history of sci-fi horror.


The central weakness remains: there's no one to root for, and the members of the crew are not deeply characterised. But they are convincingly blue-collar, like long-distance lorry-drivers. And Alien broke new ground in its imagery, which owed much to H.R.Giger's illustrations of books by H.P.Lovecraft, and was sexual rather than hi-tech.


Also revolutionary was Scott's willingness to use the female lead (Sigourney Weaver) as the central protagonist, and not marginalize her as tedious love interest. This is a must-see for horror connoisseurs who prize style and suspense over splatter.


Like most of the great horror movies, it was underrated and even vilified on release.


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