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Review #14 - Alien:
(Ridley Scott, 1979)


Alien is one of the best in proving the effectiveness of a slow burn, the first hour or so sets up the characters and places them into a distinct persona - Ripley as the law abiding captain, Dallas as the law breaker, Lambert as the station princess who can't handle things herself, Parker as the macho dude and Brett as his smartass sidekick. In the first hour, the tension lingering made my body numb and I sat there, just anxiously anticipating. It's like you just want the first scare to pop up already, so you don't have that sense of paranoia tingling in the back of your mind. It's practically bone chilling, Ridley Scott tossed me a bone with signs of the first scare with the egg opening and all, loosening up the tension, thank you. It's still terrifying all in all, the creature being obscured with a dark environment was a brilliant idea on whoever's part, it leaves a lot to the imagination, well until Cameron decided to go all frontal for the sequel (which is completely fine).

I could see Dallas being killed midway into the film and so early into the Alien's wrath as shocking for the 70s, the supposed hero gone in a second and with his unclear death, you're just left waiting for a return that never comes. All left for an unusual survivor in Ellen Ripley, It takes a good hour or so to know who the film is centring on, you could make the assumption of Kane being the main character from the initial scene or Ripley for her likeability and smarts in the after segments or Dallas for his hero traits (protecting Ripley from the facehugger). It's all a secret until the killing begins and you finally realise who's got the tools to survive.

The ending is masterful, you sit there, waiting for it to be over and it goes on and on. Such a sequence must've been unknown to a 70s audience, so unexpected and the literal scare is creativity at its best. The Alien using its bodily abilities to hide in a wall, then just stretch out carelessly like it has Ripley cornered and dead, NO MATTER WHAT. You've probably heard it before but I'll be one to reassure, Alien is the perfect Sci-Fi/Horror film.