Thursday, 23 October 2014

"Alien" Movie Review

(fig. 1, original poster)
"Alien" (1979), directed by Ridley Scott, is a movie that does not stand out for its plot, but for its way of keeping the viewers on the edge of their seats. However many times you watch the film, it can still make you jump and experience  anixeity, as if you are really there, among the crew, fighting off a "perfect" organism. states that: Parents need to know that Alien is a classic of sci-fi horror, and while not as gory as most horror films, it's too intense for younger viewers.” (, 2014)

(fig. 2, movie still)

Alien is also a film, where women are not portrayed as maidens in distress, screaming at the horrors in front of them, waiting for a male figure to descend from the heavens and rescue them, but the exact opposite.  Ripley (Sigourney Weaver)  rationalises her fears, trying to overcome them, finding answers on her own and fight her own battles. She walks down the dark corridors, haunted by the alien, and makes you think - what will I do if I was in the same position? R. Ebert states “certainly the character of Ripley, played by Sigourney Weaver, would have appealed to readers in the Golden Age of Science Fiction. She has little interest in the romance of finding the alien, and still less in her employer's orders that it be brought back home as a potential weapon.”(Ebert, 2003). Fig. 3 shows one of the few, but intense, encounters with the alien.

(fig. 3, movie still)

What is also really interesting about the film is the sound design. Throughout the whole movie, the viewer has trouble hearing what do the characters talk about, making you more aware of what is happening, a great little detail that adds to the overall uneasy feeling. The camera, kept so close to the characters, switches to first person perspective, putting the viewer directly into the action. The pacing of the movie is also impeccable. "Alien" starts slowly, but then unfolds with a rapid speed. Derek Malcolm talks about the movie: “Scott, aided by his special effects team, headed by Brian Johnson and Nick Allder, and many others who deserve to be mentioned but can't be, creates in the confined space of his main set a sweaty little world on its own that responds ideally to his obsessive close-ups and restless, magnifying style.” (Malcolm, 2009). On fig. 3 we can see and really appreciate, the “alien” design inside the spaceship.

In conclusion, "Alien" is a film created with great attention to detail, it is a science-fiction for grown-ups where two worlds collide and their objectives are exactly the same - to survive.

Ebert, R. (2003). Alien Movie Review & Film Summary (1979) | Roger Ebert. [online] Available at: [Accessed 23 Oct. 2014].

Malcolm, D. (2009). Derek Malcolm's Alien review from 1979. [online] the Guardian. Available at: [Accessed 23 Oct. 2014]., (2014). Alien - Movie Review. [online] Available at: [Accessed 23 Oct. 2014].

Fig. 1, (2014). Alien (1979) Movie Review | [online] Available at: [Accessed 23 Oct. 2014].

Fig. 3 Ebert, R. (2003). Alien Movie Review & Film Summary (1979) | Roger Ebert. [online] Available at: [Accessed 23 Oct. 2014].

Fig. 2 Film Freak Reviews, (2013). Movie Review: Alien (1979) Horrorathon. [online] Available at: [Accessed 23 Oct. 2014].

1 comment:

  1. A well thought-through review Vlad; good discussion around the immersive conversation between the crew members, and the portrayal of the non-stereotypical female role.
    You might also have looked at the organic, sexual imagery used for the alien and alien environment, and maybe discussed in more depth the way the suspense is generated.
    All in all a nice review though!