Live-Tweeting Reactions to ‘Alien’ (1979)

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After several not-so friendly pokes in the ribs from Lee, I’ve caved and watched Alien.

I have no idea how I evaded it for so long, and it’s something I’m pretty ashamed about. However, I jumped at the chance to watch it as a way to write something a bit different for Secret Cave.

Scroll past my proper-writer analysis below to read the condensed, live-tweet version.

Shamefully late Alien first impressions

Unlike audiences at the time, or even the majority of normal people on Earth today, I’d been exposed to countless Alien imitators, but never the genuine article.

Before Alien, throughout the 40s, 50s, and 60s, there had been a ton of horror/sci-fi films. The Thing from Another World makes for an interesting comparison because of the claustrophobia-inducing setting and suspense. However, the fact that The Thing is the closest older film I can think of says a lot for Alien. Because frankly, Alien is unique.

Horror wasn’t new. Neither was suspense, sci-fi, or gritty films set in space. What makes Alien unique is that it balanced its influences perfectly to create something the likes of which I’ve never seen before, and don’t expect to see again.

original-poster-alien

Everything I love about horror and sci-fi finds its twisted roots in Alien. I’m not saying it was truly the first of its kind (especially since I don’t have enough of a background in films that came before it), but the fact that the all of the film’s devices felt like they’d been done to death already makes me think it spawned many cliches. To name a few:

  • Bittersweet victory against overwhelming odds in the face of an alien aggressor
  • Creepy androids with human tendencies
  • Jump scares (of which there is only one or two)
  • Tense countdown timers

Seeing all of these plot devices done to death before seeing the film made it hard to place it historically and difficult to analyze against its peers. That said, if I could just get my head out of my arse for a moment and enjoy something for what it is, I’d probably do a lot more watchin’ and a lot less writin’.

My expectations for Alien were framed by Blade Runner — my personal favorite film, based on one of my favorite books. The parallels are obvious, from Ash’s tears-in-rain-esque speech to the beautiful set design and lighting. But, overall, I’m going to hold firm and say Blade Runner beats Alien by a pretty wide margin. Even if it is one of the best films I’ve ever seen.

Live-tweeted version

Space landscape-obsessed dreck penman. Appears on TechCrunch, The Next Web, and on Secret Cave in a far less restrained capacity.