Damn, they don’t make them like this anymore!
After years of being a horror fanatic I’d put off watching Alien because of how dated it looked. Never much of a sci-fi fan it just didn’t have any appeal. But after finding a boxset containing all the Alien and Predator films it seemed as good a time as any to get watching.
One thing is obvious when watching the first two Alien films; so many contemporary horror films still draw from it for inspiration. Even though it does look dated, as can be expected from a film from the 80s, Alien and Aliens both look better than a lot of what gets churned out these days. Detailed costumes and sets and actual attention to creating a realistic and terrifying monster.
Alien has everything that a horror film needs: bags of tension, a great soundtrack, fantastic make up and special effects and a kick ass female lead. It is leagues above many other horror films and its so easy to see why it’s hailed by so many as a classic.
Everything looks like a penis.
Then Alien 3 happened. I’m not sure I even want to talk about it…I’d rather just forget I saw it and pretend it never happened! The CGI effects in the third film that take over from the previous use of costumes and make up (and no doubt a load of other technical bits and bobs) are absolutely shocking and the alien just loses all its credibility and its ability to scare.
Ignoring the atrocity that is the third installment though, I’m honestly wondering why I didn’t watch Alien sooner but thankfully I finally have. To say that it’s mind-blowing wouldn’t be an overstatement. The first film had me cracking up, mainly because everything looks like a penis, but that doesn’t detract from the awesomeness one bit.
When finally watching an old classic like this for the first time it’s interesting and also quite good fun to see how many references you now understand. Alien paved the way for a lot of contemporary horror films and its easy to see where and how many of them have drawn inspiration. Alien really is a masterpiece!
On with the rest of the Alien / Predator franchise, tonight’s film will of course be Alien 4 and I’m hoping that it reverts back to old ways and doesn’t continue in the same shit vein as the third! I’m especially excited to see Ron Perlman in the film having met him a few days ago, so here’s hoping Alien 4 doesn’t disappoint. Please…no spoilers!