Alien is a movie I have watched several times in my childhood but I can't remember having seen it as an adult. So I wanted to check if this film still holds up today.
There are several things that stand out in this film but let me start with the setting and the atmosphere. What could be more frightening than being isolated in a far away galaxy? You guessed it being stranded with your ship on an unknown, creepy and dark planet. If that wasn't enough you get introduced to an ugly looking alien creature that has attached itself to Kane's face. I won't spoil how this unfolds but you must have an idea by now. Although I do have to add that even knowing what is going to happen won't ruin the famous classic scene. Part of this is because of the fact that Ridley Scott makes optimal use of the environment and never goes over the board with the scares. The scenes where the crew members are searching their ship you often can cut the tension with a knife since almost every corner of the screen is haunting. Another part is because of the incredible convincing artwork and special effects. The animatronics of the alien creature are amazing. Real effects beat CGI hands down. I wished more film makers would realize this.
But it is the actors that help sell the fright. They react like real people would and don't succumb to stupidity like some characters do in creature flicks like these. Above all is Sigourney Weaver. Her character is the only one that acts sensibly and if they only had listened to her they would not be in such a predicament. Instead of whining and screaming she does what needs to be done and confronts the alien creature like a boss.
Now Alien is not without flaws. The pacing sometimes is a little on the slow side. Mind you this does help build suspense so it's not entirely fair to classify this a flaw. Some of the effects look a little dated. I am talking about the on board machines and computers. But if I am being honest, it does give a little charm to the film and does help us remind that the film is made in 1979.
Who am I kidding? Alien without a doubt is a sci fi classic. After all these years it still manages to do what it was set out to do and scare the living daylights out of you. Even if you already seen the movie several times. If by any chance you have not watch Alien yet then please do so now, it's a must watch.