ALIEN (1979) Reviewed

ALIEN ( 1979 )
For all the pretensions attached to it (like so many other 70s genre movies) ALIEN is really just a good old-fashioned sci-fi tingler that improved on the conventions of the 50’s drive-in flicks like The Thing from Another World. What’s amazing is how well the scares hold up nearly thirty years later. Ridley Scott would direct more ambitious films but this remains my fave. Its simple premise: a cargo ship, Nostromo, is ghost-piloted to the source of a warning beacon that’s mistaken for an SOS. When the crew of the Nostromo stop to investigate, something jumps out of an egg and attaches itself to John Hurt’s face. When Tom Skerrit breaks quarantine and brings Hurt aboard all hell breaks loose – over dinner, and right out of Hurt’s chest. H.R. Geiger’s alien (and some set) designs are amazing and set a new standard for monster movies. Sigourney Weaver’s heroic turn was a big surprise at the time of its release (most audiences probably pegged Skeritt as the film’s hero). The equally good Aliens and two inferior, but interesting, sequels followed. ***1/2

~ by Number5ive on November 17, 2008.

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