Friday, May 19, 2017

Movie Review: Alien

One of the most iconic sci-fi horror movies of all time, Alien is still an incredibly impressive film nearly forty years later. The crew of the Nostromo is returning home after a mining mission when they receive a distress call and the artificial intelligence onboard known as Mother decides that they should stop and investigate. The crew wakes up from cryo-sleep and investigates the strange planet from which the call came. Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) realizes the call is a warning but already three crew members had left the ship to investigate the alien ship on the planet. On the alien ship is a fossilized life form with a hole in its chest. 

Kane (John Hurt) peeks over a giant egg and a spider-like creature pops out and hugs his face. Dallas (Tom Skerritt) and Lambert (Veronica Cartwright) bring him back and try to take him back on their ship but Ripley stops them. The science officer Ash (Ian Holm) overrides Ripley and lets them back on the ship. They take Kane and his face-hugging alien to the medical bay but are unable to cut it off because it has acid for blood that melts through the ship. As Ash investigate the new creature, Parker (Yaphet Kotto) and Brett (Harry Dean Stanton) work to repair the ship.

They take off from the planet and return to the Nostromo. Kane wakes up feeling better but hungry. He wants to eat before they go back into cryo-sleep but as they share a meal, the alien bursts from his chest. The tiny creature scurries off, and the crew search for it, catching the cat instead. Brett goes after the cat but is taken by the alien. Dallas tries to burn it out of the ventilation shaft but he is taken as well. Ripley discovers that Mother has deemed the crew expendable and Ash tries to kill her. Parker hits Ash over the head and Ash malfunctions because he is actually an android. 

The remaining crew members try to blow up the ship but the alien kills Parker and Lambert. Ripley initiates the self-destruct on the ship but finds the path to the shuttle blocked by the alien. She tries to turn the self-destruct off but is too late. She grabs the cat Jones and makes it to the shuttle as the Nostromo explodes. She is settling down to cryo-sleep when she discovers the alien onboard and has to flush it out the airlock while wearing a spacesuit. Ripley is the last remaining survivor of the Nostromo with Jones and goes to sleep floating through space.

Alien is one of my favorite movies of all time and sparked a massive franchise that tells a harrowing tale of humanity, corporate greed, and the dangers of space exploration. Ripley is an amazing character and Sigourney Weaver carries the role for four movies. This movie directed by Ridley Scott started it all and will be remembered for decades to come for the horror sci-fi classic that it is. The alien creatures are terrifying, especially the egg-hatching face-huggers and the large alien creature is awesome in so many ways. I look forward to seeing these films continue for years to come but this one started it off the best way possible. 

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