Sunday, 16 November 2014

Alien Film Review

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 Alien is a science fiction horror movie released in 1979, with a typical monster storyline set on board a space ship with the main characters playing cat and mouse with an alien beast. Despite the simple and predictable story of the film, the director Ridley Scott had created a revolutionary motion picture that put a completely new dimension to science fiction and horror. The story of the film is simple enough to follow and understand. Set in the future a space ship carrying a small crew of workers lands on a planet to answer a distress call, which results in one of the characters becoming impregnated with an alien life form that later busts out of his chest and rampages around the ship killing off the other characters one by one. The plot concludes with the main character, Ripley evacuating the ship in a life vessel and killing the alien by sending it out in a vacuum when opening the air lock. This story is a simple tale of a monster hiding in the shadows and killing off each character one by one. There is nothing new about the storyline to this film that makes it so famous and memorable. It's the down to the design of the film that makes it so unique to other horrors.

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The alien that stars in this film and it's following sequels is known as a xenomorph, see figure two. This fictional breed of alien is what makes this film so unique to science fiction and makes this typical horror story so terrifying. Aliens have always been portrayed in films as small humanoid creatures with large eyes and an advanced intelligence. One example of this is from the film 'Close Encounters of the Third Kind,' see figure three, where the alien is portrayed in the typical and iconic image that aliens have gained in the world of science fiction.
Figure 3
 So when Ridley Scott went about creating a horror film featuring an alien monster, he wanted to bring something new, something that hasn't been seen before. He wanted to create something truly alien. The alien itself needed to be different and contrast to the typical image portrayed in science fiction. So Scott went to find someone who could design a creature, but didn't go to any concept artists who work in the film industry, he went to a fine artist, H. R. Giger.

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Giger was an surrealist who's artistic style is strongly iconic and recognizable as his own work. He was the the designer of the xenomorph alien. In my personal opinion this creature is so terrifying because it is more of an animal that a typical alien. It has no apparent intelligence, emotions or morals. It only has an instinct to kill, and reproduce. Another aspect of the xenomorph that makes it disturbing as well as scary, is the sexual relevance the creature has. The reproduction of the alien involves a human, it needs another life form to basically give birth to it's baby. This is what I find most disturbing about the xenomorph, it's species can only survive through reproducing through humans and other animals, by planting a baby alien inside a host until it bursts from within the body it's carried in. I believe that the concept of the xenomorph is hugely influenced by rape, and this brings a new kind of fear to this film.

Personally I think that Alien is great film, because of it's uniqueness of the alien beast and the strong and realistic human characters. It's an interesting portrayal of human nature and survival, and also focuses on the psychological fears that the audience has and puts it into one beast. This is a triumph as a unique science fiction film and it terrifies me so much that I am unable to watch this film again.                     

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