Friday, 18 February 2011
“The Perfect Organism”
Lover: Taken from IMDB
“Three words perfectly describe ALIEN: Long, dark and ominous. You know you're in for a good time when even the opening title gives you a shiver. The music plays perfectly as the word 'ALIEN' slowly appears, line by line. Then there are the establishing shots of the ship; poorly maintained, claustrophobic. And then there's basically forty minutes of people in a ship pondering and eating and getting along (or not). The film has one little thing that allows it to draw you along so slowly - a promise. A promise made by the advertisements and hype that this was going to kick your ass. You just had to wait. But when it happens, it happens. Though the film doesn't speed up per se, there's a lot more happening in front of the screen to make it at least look like stuff's going on. The first half crawls almost depressingly, but the second half catches your eye and refuses to let go. I suggest everyone sees this film. Even if you skip through the beginning, you need to see this. It defined sci-fi and horror all in one. It's perfect.”
Despite loving the film they still sound Dubious about the first third of the film itself, I’ll go into it more with the hater review…
Hater: Taken from IMDB
“What do people see in this film? I am not one for horror films, though I do like this alien stuff. Nothing happens in the film. Nothing. We spent most of the time waiting and waiting for something to happen. This movie could have been cut to half an hour, easy. There is a saying that says that fear is being scared of the unknown, something that the X-Files has done really well. Unfortunately, this film has tried to do this too and has gone too far. Rather than waiting for something to happen, while on the edge of our seats, we wait and wait and wait and wait. We barely get to see the alien and the special effects are pretty poor. Sure it was a long time ago so we can't expect too much, but look at Star Wars which came out around the same time. They were much better than alien and Lucas had half the money. Alien is simply a boring movie that deserves no credit.”
Well there you have it, that slow fist third where apparently “nothing” happens!? The small matter of establishing the claustrophobia in space, the “signal”, establishing the relationship of the crew, arriving and landing on an alien world. I could go on however I won’t, I’m with them on the fear of the unknown and then they go and complain they barely see the alien and then compare the effects to Star Wars? They must have been watching the rubbish special edition or something!? Alien deserves a lot of credit, not just for redefining the sci-fi genre but for creating what is one of the most endearing and scariest Hollywood monsters ever committed to celluloid!? A horribly exaggerated review for what is a timeless masterpiece.
What I thought:
In 1979, science fiction was either squeaky clean or dirty fairy-tale land where the farm boy wins. That was until a script titled star beast got some serious re writes and became Alien, a sci fi film unlike any other. Despite the fact that horror and sci fi had met before, Alien did it like no other first and foremost because it was scary.
Ridley Scott described Alien as “Jaws in space”; he was quite right Jaws like the Alien is a perfect killer and their environments are just as scary, the ocean and space (where no one can hear you scream, arguably the best tagline for a movie ever). Ridley Scotts directing is divine, choosing silence over music with most scares and only showing just enough of the Alien till the end reveal. The Alien itself is one of the best creature designs ever to grace celluloid, it’s a totally inhuman thing that will hunt you without fear or prejudice and it will kill you.
Think of all the other horror monsters and killers, all are a clichéd model of each other. Knives and Chainsaws to Fangs and Rotting Corpse, all work well when they are used to a high quality but compare it to the Alien, how more original can you get? A facehugger that looks like a spider hooks onto your face and impregnates you; the Alien then grows and bursts out of your chest to feed again. Of course the design itself is what’s special and we have H.R Giger to thank for that.