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A crew on a space ship answers what they believe to be a distress call, but unknowingly let a bloodthirsty alien on board. The film may be named Alien, but the film is actually more about the crew than the creature. Ridley Scott made the wise decision of focusing more on the characters than on a creature. The story is simple and never complicates anything. However, the characters are written well to the point that we feel very sympathetic for Ripley and want her and the crew to escape from the situation.
Alien was a large taking off point, especially for Sigourney Weaver who performs as Ripley. No matter how many films Weaver does, I will always remember her as Ripley. It's the character that I recognize her as and that won't ever fade. There are a few hit and miss lines delivered by the cast overall, but they communicate well on screen. Tom Skerritt, Veronica Cartwright, Harry Dean Stanton, John Hurt, Ian Holm, and Yaphet Kotto work together as the crew. There isn't a doubt that this is the best performance given by quite a few of these actors.
This film was a large risk for Ridley Scott. He feared that it wouldn't do very well in theaters and that it wouldn't necessarily find its audience. Alien has gone down in history for winning the 1980 Academy Award for 'Best Visual Effects'. The iconic scene of the alien bursting from a crew member's chest was executed very well. The atmosphere on the space ship is quite interesting. The corridors of the space ship are dark and the alien hides in these dark areas for most of the film. No FX can beat the imagination of viewers. Keeping the final appearance of the alien a secret for a majority of the film is a smart move. This kept a mysterious vibe to the creature that the audience knows very little about the monster.
I have never been a huge fan of science fiction. Despite that, Alien is one of the best science fiction/horror films ever made.. The film focuses on characters and the eerie atmosphere instead of having the creature jump out every few minutes. Alien is a timeless classic that will always be a part of Hollywood history. Whether or not you enjoy the genre, it's a must see.