Horror movies were, for the most part, secluded to earth and what we know. Never on such a large scale had horror been presented to us from another world. From another place, far, far off in the galaxy somewhere. Ridley Scott brought Alien to us in such a way that melds both horror and science fiction. He brings us an instant classic.
Alien is the best horror movie in the series. Aliens is full of action and Alien 3 is dramatic. Then the horrible sequels don't do it any justice. The original is near flawless and simply amazing. The character development, the story-line, and even the effects are all phenomenal. The acting is a little two dimensional at times but it's a non-issue. Yup, Alien is quite the picture.
A crew aboard the space vessel Nostromo is heading home when they are awaken early by an SOS message. It appears the message is coming from a nearby planet. When they investigate they end-up picking up a stowaway in the form of a vicious and horrible alien!
The cinematography is fantastic. Every shot is right on point. Scott really out did himself when he was working on this film. His work in the darkness really sold the picture. It was that use of darkness that kept that sinking feeling of dread hanging around. The atmosphere is bleak and echoes that message throughout the movie. The planet they are on is "dead" and really drives home the pointlessness of fighting the creature.
I recommend this movie to anyone that hasn't seen it yet. Do yourself a favor and see it as soon as possible. Get yourself in a dark room on a late night and really experience it. It was ahead of it's time in 1979 and holds true today. The tagline should be enough for you to see it. "In space, no one can hear you scream!" If the alien from this movie doesn't freak you out, then I don't know what will.
Did ya know:
To get Jones the cat to react fearfully to the descending Alien, a German Shepherd was placed in front of him with a screen between the two, so the cat wouldn't see it at first, and came over. The screen was then suddenly removed to make Jones stop, and start hissing. The rumor that the cast, except for John Hurt, did not know what would happen during the chestburster scene is partly true. The scene had been explained for them, but they did not know specifics. For instance, Veronica Cartwright did not expect to be sprayed with blood. Ridley Scott cites three films as the shaping influences on his movie: Star Wars: Episode IV - A New Hope (1977) and 2001: A Space Odyssey (1968) for their depiction of outer space, and Tobe Hooper's The Texas Chain Saw Massacre (1974) (1974) for its treatment of horror.