Play time: 1h 56min
Director: Ridley Scott
Starring: Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, John Hurt
Among the best horror movies in the world and also among the best sci-fi movies without a doubt, Alien is a masterpiece from Ridley Scott in many ways and there’s no mistake when we say that it is almost perfect.
In order to simplify what this movie meant to the film industry, we just need to affirm how much it changed since this film was released, making it not only a masterpiece, but a standpoint for future movies in both horror and sci-fi, demonstrating that the industry had much more to offer than what it already had shown.
Alien brings us to the space, Alien shows us a new type of horror we’ve never seen before, and Alien introduces us to a new type of villain that even nowadays, almost forty years later – we’re still enjoying from this wonderful original creation from H.R Giger which Ridley Scott brought to film in a perfect way. A film that has simply overcome age and obsolete-ness to become a point of reference to all sci-fi and horror movies from the past few years.
Alien (1979) – The New Type of Horror
When this movie was released, horror movies were that type of movie where the usual villain was a mass murderer, a ghost or a bizarre monster. But this changed entirely with Alien, here we were introduced to this new horror we’ve never seen before – the extraterrestrial horror.
But it wasn’t that simple, this new horror was everything bad you could think of. First people who saw it never thought this “monster” could be that bad and scary until they saw the real alien, the mass murderer of space with a less-than-bizarre look that still makes a lot of people feel shivers in their spine. The new type of horror was introduced getting out of a rescued man from a cargo ship in the space, while the crew of 7 people who saved him had only one purpose, and it was to get to their destination… Until they got the distressed SOS signal.
This man was seemingly infected by something, and as soon as they tried to take care of him in the sick bay, something explodes out of his chest: the first ever seen alien on film. And that’s was a majestic first apparition for the Alien, who later became one of the most feared and scary creatures we’ve ever seen without a doubt.
But as soon as it gets out of the man’s body, the creature is not seen anymore, as we now had just seen a little cat-type of animal who got away in search of hiding and food. It wasn’t until later that we see this creature developing and getting as big as a person, with claws of a bear, the mouth of a monkey with an additional internal smaller mouth and the head of a big person with dis-figuration. A masterpiece in design that evokes more nightmares than any other.
A New Type of Hero in Alien (1979)
Even though horror movies are not meant to have a hero, here we have some kind of savior, a crew member of the 7 which was originally inside the ship. This new hero is called Ripley (played by Sigourney Weaver) who after killing the only being who knew about the creature, the cyborg Ash (Ian Holm), now has to go kill the creature – but the only help she has is a little gun and little fire creation if needed.
But as you know, Ripley accomplishes saving part of the crew, even though almost everyone else from the 7 members died, and only her and the cat are saved. But this hero, a girl without much to offer more than just simple crew membership, is not our hero, the character we fall for is a heroine.
Ridley Scott’s Masterpiece – Alien (1979)
And all of this is done in a masterful way – with perfect horror directing from Ridley Scott, a perfect plot written by Dan O’Bannon who also wrote the original book and the acting, especially from Sigourney Weaver who changed entirely how we see heroines from that time until now. As fierce, powerful and incredibly capable characters without a doubt.
Alien was a point of reference and still makes a lot of people change the way they make movies. If you want to know which one started it all, take a look at Alien and see for yourself.