In space, no one can hear you scream. What a genius sentence to promote a horror film. If I’m going to be more accurate about Alien, it’s a combination of the best elements of science fiction and horror. Ridley Scott directed this movie with suspense and paranoia in mind. Sigourney Weaver turns out a performance that has you rooting for her, and biting your fingernails due to the level of anxiety you feel.
Alien is loaded with atmosphere and tension, leading up to a great reveal of the alien monster (Xenomorph). What this movie does better than other horror films, that have been criticized for years, is that the characters don’t feel like walking body bags waiting to get axed. Almost everyone has something to bring to the table, whether it being beneficial to their survival or not. While the movie is subtle for the most part, it has scenes or gore and horror for us fanatics too.
The Xenomorph design is one of the film’s crowning achievements, being both believable but cool at the same time. The way the alien is introduced is also unique, coming off as parasite at first but evolving into something much more sinister. What I find to be even more scary than monster is the setting. They crew on board the ship have nowhere to escape because they are in space, which gives small snippets of claustrophobia to enhance your feeling of unease.
Almost forty years later, Alien still brings the scares and the tension horror is known for. This is often cited as a cinematic masterpiece, and for good reason. The film is often on top lists from critics and can be easily found on physical media and streaming. It has had every treatment as well as even theatrical re-releases. Just because it takes place in space, that doesn’t mean it’s void of terror.
Alien is available on VOD and wherever you can rent movies.