I must confess to not finding this film scary in the slightest scary. As a result, I have been more interested in the first half, in which Scott deftly creates atmosphere and foreboding, and the intelligent script sets up the relationships between the characters with great subtlety. The film becomes a little more formulaic after the ‘chest busting’ scene, but there are still surprises, and I admire he way that Scott is content not to play all of his cards at once, never really revealing the alien completely. The film’s originality and brilliance are undoubtable.
The picture and sound on this DVD are uniformly excellent. The picture has been specially cleaned up, and the refined sound allows us to appreciate the dramatic contrasts that are created with the minutely detailed sound effects, particularly in the contrast between the noise of the planet, and the eerie silence of the ship.
Ridley Scott provides an interesting and informative commentary, in which he explains technical aspects of the film, as well as explaining how certain problems were solved within the budgetary constraints. He is full of anecdotes about the shooting of the film and about working with the excellent actors.
Other extras include some deleted scenes, most interesting of which is a scene in which Ripley visits the alien cocoon.... Read more ›
There's more to it than that of course, including an intriguing subplot about the venality and greed of "The Company" who want to study the Alien, and many long lingering shots of the, admittedly stunning, set design. But it's the set up of the scares that's the important thing about this movie.
As a monster movie it has few peers.
It all starts very quietly. The crew of the Nostromo, a deep space cargo vessel, are woken from hypersleep by their computer.
"Mother" wants them to investigate a distress signal on a previously uncharted planet, and Ian Holm's science officer is strangely keen on the idea.
We find out why when the investigating shore party find the remains of a huge alien spaceship. The pilot, a giant alien, is long dead, its skeleton strangely buckled as if exploded from within. John Hurt goes down into the bowels of the alien craft, and in one of the great SF scenes of all time, finds a nest of alien eggs. He foolishly gets too close to one, and it hatches, releasing a face-hugging alien that wraps itself tightly around Hurt's head, refusing to let go.
When they get Hurt back to the Nostromo, Ripley (Sigourney Weaver) is reluctant to break quarantine to let them on board, but Ian Holm's science officer overrides her, and Hurt is taken to the medical bay.
Sometime later, the facehugger seems to fall off Hurt's head and he wakes up, seemingly recovered. The crew decide on one last meal before returning to hypersleep.
So as not to spoil one of SF cinemas great shocks, I'll just say that it's about now that the alien makes it appearance, a sharp toothed monster with concentrated acid for blood and a very mean disposition.... Read more ›
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