Movie Review: Alien (1979)

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As October is coming to a close, so does “The Month of Spooks”. That’s right, this will be the final review for “The Month of Spooks” and that is why I started it in such a cliché way. And I thought therefore that the final review would be for one of the first horror movies I ever saw and hell, it’s even one of the first that I ever enjoyed. But do I still like it after a few years of not seeing it. So we are ending the series of horror reviews in a pretty big way.

Ladies and gentlemen, please give a big hand to… “Alien”.

So in the movie “Alien” we follow the crew of a giant cargo ship called the Nostromo as they receive a distress call from a seemingly unexplored planet. But after their search for survivors come up with jack shit… sort of. When they return to the ship and plan to leave they learn that some strange biological life form has come aboard and wants to murder them all. So it’s a fight for survival as they try to get home and make sure to not be killed by this Alien. The concept is pretty simple, it’s kind of like “Jaws” but with a scary fucking space alien in a close quarters environment instead of a shark in the ocean. And how is it executed? Saying that it was done well would such an understatement. The story not only is presented in a well told way, but is is also suspenseful and scary. The reason this all works so well is that they keep it very confined and doesn’t stretch it out too far into something that it isn’t. I also like how it explores a very realistic science fiction universe. And the entire way the suspense is real and the scary bits are least said terrifying. Great job, plot of “Alien”!

Since this basically is a monster movie, you expect that the majority of the characters will die at some point. The interesting part is though that you don’t want them to bite the dust in this movie. Yeah, these characters aren’t just tasty snacks for the alien in the movie, but they all feel like actual people who you care about, even if they at times are dicks. And the acting is really good in the movie, and it’s great to see that there are so many well known actors here. Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, Ian Holm, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt… we got a great selection of people here. And they all perfectly nail it in the movie!

The score for the movie is about as tense as the story. Yes, I think it’s pretty damn great. It got a lot of subtle tracks which sort of just lie in the background as ambient noise, but then we also got a lot of the tense and action-y tracks which made my heart race. And who do we have to thank for all of this? The combined forces of Jerry Goldsmith and Lionel Newman, that’s who!

This movie is almost 40 years old and the visual effects still hold up brilliantly. And the overall directing is pretty damn fantastic as well, all perfectly orchestrated by Ridley Scott who despite some failures, is one of the greatest directors ever. And of course we have to give some awkward and creeped out love to H.R. Giger who designed the alien in the movie, it is scary and will live on forever as one of the coolest monsters ever. And the sets all look fantastic and oh my god, everything in the technical department is just amazing in this movie! I’m sorry, I can’t help but praise the praise-worthy stuff in this movie, it’s just great in that sense.

This movie has gotten some pretty great reception over the years. On Rotten Tomatoes it has a 97% positive rating and a “Fresh” certification. On Metacritic it has a score of 83/100. Roger Ebert gave it 4/4 stars and has it on his “Great Movies” list. And on imdb.com it has a score of 8,5/10 and is ranked #52 on the “Top 250” list. The movie also won 1 Oscar in the category of Best Visual Effects. It was also nominated for 1 additional Oscar in the category of Best set decoration. 

Guys, “Alien” is one of the first horror movies I remember seeing and actually enjoying. And that memory is now justified with a tense, scary, well acted, perfectly directed movie that also has great sets, visual effects and music. Time for my final score. *Hiss*. My final score for “Alien” is a 9,88/10. It most certainly, without a single doubt gets the “SEAL OF APPROVAL!”.
Seal of Approval

“Alien” has now been reviewed.

In Space, no one can hear you scream…

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