Alien: Movie review of the paranormal classic

Story by Macayla Jones, Reporter

Photo courtesy of

Aliens. Most of us have seen them all before, whether it be in a movie, or that time of year when people claim to see UFO sightings or the existence of Planet 51. The movie Alien intrigued me because it is a classic in the film world. This movie has won countless awards, inspired multiple sequels, and was selected for preservation by the National Film Registry. So naturally, a film enthusiast like myself had to see what all of the hype was about– and wow, I was not disappointed.

This movie was released in 1979, so I already had semi low expectations. You can guess my shock when I was sitting on my futon, goosebumps covering my arms and my blanket half covering my face, while simultaneously being unable to peel my eyes away. The marvel of this movie is the suspense, the foreshadowing of events to come yet never knowing exactly how the director is going to throw it at you. For example, the opening scenes show the different compartments of the spaceship the majority of the movie takes place on, without any crew except for a breeze that eerily creeps through the halls like a snake looking for prey. This immediately sets the scene for the viewer to prepare for some crazy events to take place.

But I am getting ahead of myself. You may be just as naive as I was walking into this movie and thinking, “okay, but what is it about? An alien invasion? Alien possession? Been there, done that.” Yes, to all of the above! A crew of seven to eight astronauts and scientists are returning back to Earth from a mission when they receive a distress signal from a nearby planet. Protocol requires them to investigate in case there is a life form needing help. After landing, they end up accidentally picking up an unwanted guest that attaches itself to the helmet of one of the crew members, eventually being carried onto the ship. The rest of the movie follows the crew’s desperate attempts to survive and defeat this being that attacks them one by one, while also combating deception amongst each other.

However, the true qualities that reels the viewer in is the fact that the film keeps the viewer guessing the entire time. Yes, there were characters I predicted would die, and when they would die. Yes, I had characters I wanted to be killed off, and characters I was rooting for too. But, Alien left me keeping one eye open until the last second. I respect that in a movie, because I think it can be easy going into a 70s film arrogantly thinking, “Oh yeah, I have this whole plot structure planned out,” but I absolutely adored being proved wrong.

Lastly, another unique aspect to Alien is the strength and willpower of one of the movie’s main characters, played by the extremely talented Sigourney Weaver. Man, I gained so much admiration for this woman in this film, and now understand why it is truly one of her most iconic roles to date. She shows exactly what women are capable of, not only through her willpower, but ethics as well, which is shown when other crew members want to cut corners throughout the film and test her leadership skills. Overall, I recommend this movie, even if you do not like scary movies, because it will intrigue, frighten, and excite you all at the same time.

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