I’m constantly being bombarded by people telling him “you haven’t seen ____? You gotta check it out.” Or hearing critics rave “this movie is a classic, a must see.” So I decided that from now on every time I actually watch one of these flicks, I’ll write my take on whether the film lived up to the hype or fell short.
So, what’s the deal with Alien?
The first thing I noticed was how clear the sets were. As Ridley Scott took you through the ship and showed you the distress call reflecting in a helmet it was easy to see that there was a lot of detail and thought put into these sets. This really helped draw me into the movie. Later when they find the wrecked ship, you get to see just how Scott was envisioning this universe. Both the ship and the landscape surrounding it are incredible to look at.
The movie did have an old feel to it, but not in a negative way. In fact, I was impressed by how up-to-date the effects and cinematic elements were. Things like the monitors were distinctly from the 80’s, as were the hairstyles, but I feel like this only added to the character of the film. This character gave the film even more stuff to examine. Even at times when the pacing is slow I never began to get bored watching the film.
I love how the plot of the film slowly unfolds over the first half. You know what type of movie you are about to watch, but the story is told at a great pace and sucks you in quickly. The film seems calm while having an underlying sense of urgency. The confined spaces of the ship offer up a lot urgency. The interactions between some of the characters added to the tension without ever going over the top and made for another great element to the story.
I was surprised to see that Sigourney Weaver was not first billed. I guess Tom Skerritt was a bigger name at the time. Not to say he doesn’t deserve it after watching the movie, I had just always assumed Sigourney Weaver was first. I can see why her character was the one that people took the most away from. She was clearly the most level headed person and I think people like to identify with those characters.
Most of the time, when I watch movies from years ago I don’t regret having waited so long to see them. I definitely wish that I had watched Alien when I was younger. I don’t feel like I lost anything by watching it now, but to have grown up watching a movie of this caliber would have been better. Regardless, I’m glad I have finally seen it and encourage others who haven’t to do the same.