In the spirit of Halloween, I rewatched this horror classic.
Ridley Scott’s Alien terrified audiences in 1979. I adapted the story to poem for a project freshmen year, prompting the professor to recant a tale of his younger self taking a girl (future wife) on a first date–to see Alien. “I heard it was scary,” he told us. “But it backfired. It was too scary. We held each other the entire time.”
Modern audiences might be desensitized to the slow-burning pace, or the lack of creepy Japanese girls crawling backwards up walls, but there is a purer terror here: Scott evokes the claustrophobic isolation of space, turning the enormous Nostromo into a shoe box from which there is no escape.
The creature is a stunning embodiment of evil, a miracle of evolution, the perfect demon. Giger’s creation has endured more than three decades, a sleek black nightmare waiting behind closer doors in the dark bedrooms of our memory.
Final score: While maybe not your best bet if you’re going for a screaming good time, Alien has the tagline “In space, no one can hear you scream” for good reason. 10/10