Dir. Ridley Scott (1979)
A local desperately tries to protect itself from alien invaders. #XenomorphDidNothingWrong
CAUTION: MAY CONTAIN SPOILERS
In perhaps film’s greatest example of why we shouldn’t colonize other cultures, Alien opens with the crew of a spaceship answering a call on another planet and sticking their nose in places they don’t belong. When one of the crew members inadvertently brings an alien on board via it being attached to his face, the rest of the crew scrambles to try to rid him of the alien parasite before its too late. Spoiler alert: it basically already is. This leads to the famous chestburster scene, when the alien larva, uh… bursts from the infected crew member’s chest. The cast of the film did not know this was going to happen, so all of the reactions are exactly the same reaction everyone else had when they first saw it. The creature skitters away into the darkness, waiting to grow up into its much more terrifying adult form.
THE CIIIIIIRCLE OF LIIIIIIIIFE!
What comes next is some of the most terrifying, claustrophobia-inducing scenes ever put into celluloid. I watched this movie when I was a teenager, but I decided to give it another watch after remembering not having like it the first time around. Holy shit was I wrong. Alien may very well be the scariest movie ever made, and the only thing that keeps it from being the best horror movie ever made is the fact that it’s more science fiction than horror. That being said, this movie is more pure horror than most horror movies are. The Xenomorph could be literally anywhere, even the ceiling. It’s got acid blood that can eat through the space ship (and people!), and it has an extending set of mandibles that can pierce right through human flesh. H. R. Giger designed the monster to be a phallic symbol of otherness, and holy hell he designed it well. If you are wandering through a dark alien corridor, there is nothing that could pop out at you that would be much more terrifying than the Xenomorph alien.
Many people would point to Sigourney Weaver as being one of the better Final Girls in horror, but I would posit that she is nothing but an interloper in the Alien’s world. She and her band of space marines are there to mine minerals and conquer land for the Weyland-Yutani Corporation. It would be easy to take our new #antiwork intellectual framework and display this series of events as mere corporate greed, and to subsequently view Ripley & Friends as mere cogs in the machine, but they knew what they were doing in large part, even if the Corporation held back some details. To let the marines off the hook would be to argue that Christopher Columbus was just doing his job, or that the Dutch East India Company had less responsibility than the Dutch government. That’s nonsense. Brutality is brutality, and you simply cannot blame the Xenomorph for trying to survive.
YOU MAY TAKE MY HOME PLANET, BUT YOU’LL NEVER TAKE… MY FREEEDOMMMMM!
On a more serious note, Alien is awesome. If you haven’t seen it in a while, or if you regard it as less than stellar in any way, give it another shot. Alien is in at least the top 5 horror movies ever made, and if you give it another chance I feel sure you’ll agree. If you don’t, I don’t care, start your own site.
Who this movie is for: Horror fans, Science fiction fans, Fans of the colonization of other countries for minerals
Bottom line: Watch it again if you don’t think Alien is downright terrifying. Watch it in the dark by yourself to get the full effect. Alien is amazing, and Ridley Scott is a genius. Terrifying visuals, a claustrophobic atmosphere, and that fucking cat…