Wick-Quoting #28: Alien (1979)

For a horror movie, Alien has done pretty well for itself.  Not only has it made a considerable amount of profit, the film has influenced many others like it (such as Alien Vs. Predator).  Directed by Ridley Scott, Alien follows much of the standard procedure of horror films: a monster is set loose, people are killed one by one, and the main female character survives at the end.  Despite the obvious story and the predictability of “who dies next” the movie is well beyond its time of 1979, with images that are effective without CGI.

Nicely done settings of unknown territory

The one aspect that Alien exceeds in is the convincing settings which the story takes place.  The space crew lands on unknown territory due to an S.O.S signal.  The area which the crew explores is greatly convincing, as if an ancient civilization of aliens once thrived there before.  Not only is the landscape cleverly done, but the inside of the ship is well designed also.  The lights to the main areas of the ship give a futuristic view, while the huge space of the ship allows for infinite hiding places for the monster.

The beginnings of the alien

Speaking of the monster, Alien follows the standard procedure of sci-fi/horror films of not showing the monster at great lengths or detail (except for the finale at the end).  Not showing the monster clearly gives it a more threatening appearance of ambiguity.  A successful monster film can, however, display the monster in long sequences and still succeed, such as the Korean film, The Host.  Making the monster elusive to the camera only makes it easier to make the movie scary.

The main problem with the movie is that it starts off very slow, allowing for the audience to get, perhaps, too settled in and comfortable in their seats.  This, however, does allow for further character development and a greater surprise once the monster makes its first “deput.”  Overall, the film may be considered old, but it can still entertain present day audiences.


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