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He Said, She Said Review Site


What She said:


So, where do I even begin?  I guess I’ll just say it how it is.  Alien is a rock solid, bone chilling horror/thriller that reminds you of what good filmmaking is all about.  You don’t have to be really into the genre to like this movie. 

The film begins by introducing the viewer to the Nostromo, a commercial towing spaceship that is returning to Earth with a haul of mineral ore from another planet.  The crew is awoken from hyper slumber before their destination when the ship receives a mysterious call from another vessel.  They interpret it as an S.O.S., and go to check it out.  Three crew members go out to investigate, but one comes back with a mysterious creature attached to his face.  That’s when all heck breaks lose.  The creature matures, becomes independent from its host, and hides in the caverns of the Nostromo.  Warrant Officer Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) and company play a game of cat and mouse, or kill or be killed with the alien beast, and let’s just say, they’re not exactly on the winning end. 

The story is one that is thrilling and enticing.  You begin to learn that things may not be all that they seem, while also being enthralled in the fact that crew members are being picked off like crazy.  Ripley is annoyed by the complete lack of common sense by some of her crewmates, and you cannot help but agree.  And then it all starts to make sense.  The acting across the board is well done, and you’ll feel their terror as they come face to face with the demon with the acid blood. 

Despite being made over 30 years ago, the movie still looks pretty darn good.  Ridley Scott did a very good job of using models to create realistic special effects.  It’s actually refreshing at times not to see cheesy CG like you often come across today.  I’m assuming the alien is some sort of puppet, but I’d never call it that to its face, because that thing is flippin’ terrifying.  It sends a chill down your spine when it opens its mouth with razor sharp teeth and then a second mouth with even more razor sharp teeth comes out.  The thing also drools, just to remind us of how appetizing human flesh looks to it.  I remember being pretty traumatized by this thing as a kid, and even today I shudder at the sight of it.  Very well crafted.

Overall, Alien is a compelling movie that is well made and well acted.  It makes me truly look forward to Prometheus

Thumbs up.


What he said:


This movie essentially created the sci fi/horror genre. It is a perfect blend of both.

There is not a lot of "real" science fiction out there. Most of it is sci fi/fantasy. Take Star Wars for example. I love Star Wars, but it's not the most reality-based work out there. Hard science fiction is stuff that is based on real science or at least stuff that is believe to be theoretically possible. There are no "laser guns" or ships that can travel the speed of light. Instead, we are shown the (sometimes painfully slow) way science does things. Spaceships cannot travel to galaxies far-far away at the press a button. There are no flashy weapons or technology. It is those small details that make this movie so good.

Then there is the horror aspect of the movie. It is top-notch. I can only imagine how much this must have terrified audiences back when it came out; when nobody knew what Alien was. 

Alien tells the story of a crew of intergalactic miners. They are led by Dallas (Tom Skeritt). They are on their way back to Earth after a long haul in space, but before they can go home they are sent to investigate a distress signal coming from the planet LV-426. Here they find a crashed spaceship, filled with eggs (of only God knows what) and a dead, fossilized pilot. Neither the pilot nor the eggs appear to be from our world.  One of the eggs releases something that attaches itself to the face of the crewmember named Kane (John Hurt). This is where things start to get dicey.

The other members of the crew who boarded this strange alien vessel bring him back to their own ship, but Warrant Officer Ellen Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) objects. She doesn’t want to expose the rest of the crew to whatever attached itself to Kane’s face. Well they should have, because all hell breaks loose soon after that. Science Officer Ash (Ian Holm) let’s them on board anyway. He claims to have been concerned for Kane’s safety, but you just get the feeling something deeper is going on with this guy.

What is this creature? Where did it come from? And what does it want? Interestingly enough, the upcoming movie Prometheus is going to address some of these issues. Alien tells the story of how the crew of the Nostromo deals with this hideous creature, but fans have always wanted to know more about that crashed ship that led the crew finding the now infamous alien. Well Ridley Scott has decided to finally address the issue. The movie comes out in a few weeks. I wrote about it a while back. You can read that here.

Alien is also pretty much responsible for inventing the strong female lead. Sigourney Weaver and Ridley Scott created a legendary character in Ellen Ripley; earning them both a spot in film history.

Having just watched it recently, I am even more excited for Prometheus than I was before.

Rating: Thumbs up.

This movie review was updated on May 28, 2012.