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Alien (1979) RR

A commercial space ship receives a transmission of an unknown origin. Ship's computer wakes up the crew due the company policy and they go to investigate the source of the signal.

Like most of the good horror films Alien is built upon good characters that feel like real people and make the viewer interested in their fate. Tensions within the crew and their anxiety about the unexpected situation are used to propel the events after the first contact before the actual monster is set loose. The famous dinner changes everything and it's no longer the crew reacting to each other but to an external threat.

During the monster hunt the ship looks completely different from the introductory tour; tight sewer-like tunnels, open spaces reaching upwards like Gothic cathedrals (with chains that would make Pinhead feel at home too), etc. Black and gray monsters stalking in the darkness contrasted with fire and bright flashing lights. It all feels so cliched today but Alien makes it work.

There are some flaws in the film too. Some of the creature shots are too obviously a man in a monster suit. I would have preferred less visibility for the 8th passenger to prevent that effect. The self-destruction system in a commercial ship seems totally absurd idea. I hated the weak and predictable jump scares with the cat.

Overall a strong scifi-horror that hasn't lost its charm in 40 years. And couple of random thoughts that came to mind while watching: Aliens copied much more than I remembered and I need to rewatch Prometheus and Alien: Covenant at some point.