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Alien

📅 2012-Jan-08 ⬩ ✍️ Ashwin Nanjappa ⬩ 📚 Archive

 
 

Back in the good (?) old days when Star Movies was new in India, they had a small basket of movies which they cycled through over and over again. Alien, the first movie of the Alien series, was one of them. I have seen this movie innumerable times on Star Movies, but always in bits and pieces, since my process would typically be preempted to give up the TV resource to a higher priority process in the family.

Alien is a sci-fi horror movie, the intelligent kind where the scares and thrills come mostly from the dark imagination of your own mind. It starts off on Nostromo, a spaceship that is lugging ore from a distant planet to Earth. The crew is woken up from their deep sleep and asked to investigate a beacon from a nearby planet. They discover the remains of a giant spaceship there and inside it, the eggs of an alien being. One of the eggs hatches and the crab-like alien from it attacks the crew. They leave in their ship hastily, but their efforts to kill the alien on their ship gets scarier as it evades, kills and grows.

For a movie from 1979, Alien looks gorgeous even today. The grandeur of the alien nest is jaw-dropping and the white-red interiors of Nostromo are a joy to watch. The alien creature itself is quite something indescribable, like something fused from the elements of many horrible dreams. The plot is just a slasher in space, but director Ridley Scott and the writers have eked out a sophisticated creation from it. The Alien script was involved in quite a bit of wrangling by its studio and I did not really like the robot character that was thus introduced into it. The casting is perfect, and the young Sigourney Weaver is a delight. There is a comfort in watching good movies over and over again. I know I will be watching Alien sometime again for its fun ride.