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.


  1. I personally prefer this to aliens. The characters are better, with better performances (of course there were many 'red shirt's in aliens).
    The pacing works great, and at the time it was very canny to have Ripley survive yet she was not credited first.
    Prometheus was fun but dumb, yet i still welcomed some elaboration on the alien's origin.

    1. I slightly prefer "Aliens" over "Alien". But only slightly. Maybe I should watch them again back to back so I can make my mind up. I just checked my rating for the four Alien films: 4½, 5, 4½, 4½. I make my ratings on the spur of the moment. I can remember the films, but I can't remember how I came to those ratings. I don't think 3 and 4 were as good as the first two, so I probably over-rated them. It's difficult to rate films sometimes. What I mean is, if a film is bad I give it less than 3 Stars, and if a film is good I give it at least 4 Stars, but it's difficult to give an exact rating between 4 and 5. If two films are good, which one is slightly better? If I think (in retrospect) that I've rated a film wrong I don't go back and change my review, but if you check my A-Z list you'll see that I sometimes change my rating when I watch a film a second time, usually the films that lie between 4 and 5 Stars.


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