Saturday, 28 July 2012
Alien (4½ Stars)
I remember the first time I watched this film. It was 1981. My best friend Chris worked as a lab technician at Walsall Teacher Training College (which has since become part of the University of Wolverhampton). Among his other duties he was in charge of the weekly film club. I remember that I visited the club three weeks in a row to watch the films that he had personally picked for the students to watch. Chris had excellent taste. The films were "Carrie", "Dark Star" and "Alien". It was the first time I'd seen any of the three films, and they all made an impression on me. Yesterday I watched "Alien" again for the first time in 30 years.
"Alien" has a simple plot, but it's a well crafted film. A mining space ship is on its way back to Earth. During the journey they answer a distress signal from a small planet, and they pick up a stowaway. It's a small creature that grows by feeding on the crew members. Although set in space it's more of a horror film than a science fiction film. The eerie silence and lack of music for most of the film adds to the atmosphere. This is an all-time masterpiece.