xGary's Review of Alien
The crew of commercial towing vehicle Nostromo investigate a signal from an unexplored planet and unleash a hostile organism. Once again, Ridley Scott creates a totally believable future environment and another classic of modern cinema. Scott uses suspense and atmosphere to gain the desired effect and it is an object lesson to gore-obsessed horror directors everywhere; less is definitely more. Considering the "alien" is essentially a stunt man in a rubber suit, Scott's use of lighting and sparse screen time for the creature makes it far more terrifying than a hundred CGI monsters. Giger's designs are more akin to sculpted works of art than mere special effects and the crew feel like real people having real conversations, who just happen to also be on a spaceship; even the obviously now antiquated technology has a functionality about it so it still does not look out of place. Scott also employs an element of sexuality to the attacks on the crew, creating a sense of anxiety on many levels; the victims are not only attacked, but violated in various ways. Sigourney Weaver's Ripley is also one of the first "action heroines", always ready to take charge and deal with the situations she finds herself in rather than running around screaming, and Scott also pioneers the now familiar "first person camera" viewpoint making the film a bit of a ground breaker. The DVD also features some interesting deleted scenes, particularly the cocoon scene that is expanded upon so effectively by James Cameron in the sequel Aliens. Yet another reason why Scott is one of the most respected directors working today.