I don't think I have to make it obvious to you all out there that the horror genre is, probably, my favorite movie genre. There's really no other genre like it in terms of its dedicated fanbase, who will wade through oceans of shit in order to find a modern classic of the genre. The horror genre also has its opportunists trying to cash in on a dedicated fanbase, who will watch just about anything for their horror fix, and they purposely put out shitty movies knowing that, at least a few people out there in the world will give their film a shot because it's a horror flick. Superhero flicks are the closest thing possible to this in terms of rabid fanbases. But the one difference is the fact that hardcore superhero fans aren't seeking out low-budget, independent superhero flicks. If they were then that market would have been over-saturated by this point, as if it wasn't already saturated in the mainstream. The point that I'm trying to make is the fact that there are movies that every horror geek should watch, at least, once in their lifetime. It doesn't even matter if you end up liking the movie or not, but it's something that you must see. The Exorcist, Evil Dead 2, Carpenter's The Thing are on those list, if I were to compile my own. And many people would also say that that list wouldn't be complete without Alien. If I'm gonna be honest, I have absolutely no recollection of ever watching this movie in its entirety. I'm certain I have, but if I did then it must have been over 20 years ago. I'm 29 now, so I don't even wanna think of how far back I'd have to go if I actually did watch this movie. But Alien is just one of those movies that, even without watching it, you know of it by reputation. Alien is, after all, one of the more financially successful horror franchises in history. It might even be the most successful horror film franchise of all time, as, across six films, they've managed to gross $1.1 billion worldwide (and Alien Covenant just came out). Compare that to Friday the 13th which, they've grossed $465 million worldwide across TWELVE movies (Freddy vs Jason is included). Friday the 13th has twice as many movies as the Alien franchise and it has made less than half of the money. Honestly, I've been looking for this movie for months. I contemplated getting the Blu-Ray for this and Aliens, but I just can't afford it right now. So I had to settle for recording it on DVR off of IFC. IFC, sadly, has commercials, but they never edit movies for content or time, so this was as close as I was gonna get to watching the original cut without actually spending the money to buy it. What'd I think of the movie? I'll be straight up, I don't think I've seen a horror movie do so much with so little. And I don't mean that in derisive way. I think one of the benefits with this approach is that you can build so much dread out of showing very little of the actual alien itself. And that was by design, Ridley Scott made the movie this way, not like in Jaws where the shark not being shown until the end was done more out of necessity. Showing very little of the alien allows the audience to make up an image of what it looks like in their own mind, this adds more tension and suspense to the scene where the alien is actually shown. They're also very clever in that, almost, every instance where you see the creature, it has evolved in appearance from the previous scene it appeared in. First you see the facehugger, then in the next scene you might see it evolve the chestbuster. The final transformation, of course, is the full-grown xenomorph. Though you never get a full look at its body, just bits and pieces. This effect is, of course, lessened when everyone and their mother knows what traditional xenomorphs look like in today's era. That still doesn't mean that the thought process behind the design of the xenomorph, which is absolutely tremendous, very grotesque and completely reminiscent of its creator's (HR Giger) style. The other reason the film works so well is that the fact that it takes in such an enclosed spaceship. You have to deal with the fact that you don't know when this creature is gonna appear and where from, but you also have the claustrophobic setting to boot. These people are stuck in space with this thing (their shuttle can't carry all of them), so that certainly puts them all on edge. In terms of narrative, I don't wanna say the movie is empty, because it's not, but it's not the most important thing. There's clearly some hints here at a bigger picture type thing, like the xenomorph can be used as a weapon. Again, there's only hints here and I don't even know if Aliens explore these issues at length. This is a movie more about survival more than any deep existential exploration, as I'm sure Prometheus explored. They get the survival/space horror in this movie down pat, there's very few movies better than this of this genre. So, yea, I thought this was a pretty great movie. It's aged very well, particularly for a movie that turns FORTY years old in two years from now. It's still a visually intriguing movie, from the way it's shot, to the design of the ship, to the planet the crew explores, it is quite the movie to look at. And, again, that's even with the fact that it's showing its age in some areas. The cast is great, no complaints on that front. Sigourney Weaver is the ultimate badass and she always has been. She portrays Ripley as a headstrong, yet vulnerable character. She's not, at least in this movie, a straight-up ass kicker and that makes her a more interesting character than, say, a Rambo, who feels nothing but anger. I don't know what else I can say about this movie. Oh, the musical score is great as well. There's very little about this movie that I didn't like in all honesty. While I wish I would have watched this without commercials, since they killed some of the flow of the film, this is still a seminal piece of work and one that I would highly, HIGHLY recommend even if you're not a big horror fan. I think this is the type of movie that transcends the genre.