0673: Alien (1979)

Alien

Rating: 9.5/10

There’s this game on Steam I like called Deadnauts. In it, you take a crew into abandoned ships left behind by dead civilizations. You do this to strip the ship for weapon upgrades and information but in the process you might run into threats that have all kinds of crazy abilities and you can never be sure what you’ll run into until you actually run into it. You might see an alien that has a ghostlike form and shoots lasers out of its eyes and you can only harm it with flamethrowers for some reason. Or you might run into some kind of parasite that infects one of your crew and then they suddenly have a monster burst out of their chest and it gestates into some kind of clawed killing machine with acid blood and an agility so high it can sneak up and kill one of you before you have a chance to even click the mouse. I didn’t have a point to make, I just like that game a lot.

In this movie, it asks fun questions like what would it be like to have one of your friends and coworkers suddenly give birth to an unstoppable killing machine. Also you’re all stuck inside a small contained space with it, where no one can hear you scream…except the alien, I guess.

This movie is a sci-fi, a horror and a slasher, we watch the alien rip the people apart as it hunts them down one by one. This makes it something entirely new, a space-slasher, I don’t think anyone has really tried something like this since then, at least that wasn’t blatantly ripping this off. I know you might say well what about all the sequels to this movie? Aren’t there like 73? Well, those movies are more typically action movies mixed with some sci-fi and they drop the horror entirely, outside of some of the atmosphere. So they don’t really count.

I digress, this movie is a masterpiece in horror and, much like Psycho, it’s slower pace helps to build the tension of the movie up to the point when everything goes horribly wrong. Then it’s both fun and frightening watching and wondering who is going to get murdered next as they all rush to try to find the alien before it kills them all. Just like a slasher movie without feeling anything like a slasher movie at all. Somehow, it’s both smarter and scarier than any other movie in the genre.

The only thing I don’t like about this movie is there’s an unnecessary subplot in the first 30 minutes of the movie that should have been cut out. Everyone after they wake up is all concerned about how much they’re getting paid or something like that. Even though they’ve been asleep for years, even though they won’t get paid until they go back again, even though they can’t do anything with money this far out in space. Even though this does nothing but waste my time and do nothing to progress the plot or develope the characters. It also doesn’t help to build any backstory about the company they’re working for. I can’t think of a reason for it to be there, outside of the filmmakers wanted to bore their audience so that when the action starts it will be that much more exciting…or something like that?

Why it’s on the list: A good horror movie is rare enough I could probably count all the ones I’d rate above average on both my hands. Then again, the ones that are so-bad-their-hilarious are nigh infinite. This isn’t just a good horror movie though, it’s a movie that’s smartly written, legitimately scary, and did things on the silver screen no one had done before them. Also, first cat in space.

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