Top Horror Films – #2 – Alien

1979; directed by Ridley Scott; screenplay by Dan O’Bannon; story by Dan O’Bannon and Ronald Shusett

Allen: To me, not only does Alien belong up there as one of the best horror films, but also one of the best science fiction films ever made. The story of a group of astronauts (including Sigourney Weaver in her career role as Ripley) stuck in their ship while an alien being stalks and hunts them is damn near perfect. They cannot escape, help will not come for them, they are there, alone, with IT.

The thing that impressed me with this film is that it takes its time. Many movies today are too eager to jump in to the action much too quickly. Here, director Ridley Scott allows it to grow in atmosphere and anticipation. In fact, about the first 6 minutes or so doesn’t include any dialogue. But when the action does happen, highlighted by the “facehugger” and the now famous “chestburster” scenes, it is sudden, unexpected, and terrifying. A great film that is supported by one great sequel that came right after it.

John: My favorite Ridley Scott film. He took the “used future” motif of Star Wars and made what I think is the most realistic spaceship environment on film. The script by Dan O’Bannon gave us the most original monster since The Wolf Man. The best of the series, although part 2 is a great action/horror hybrid.

Ed: If half the crew hadn’t gone searching for Jonesy the cat, they would still be alive. Forget about the cat, look out for the ominous Alien killing machine that has two mouths and bleeds acid!! Sigourney Weaver in her career-defining role is terrific, and this movie has earned its way into being a classic.

Team Rankings:
Ben – #2
Jeremy – #3
Ed – #4
Spencer – #7
Brandi – #9
Allen – #13
John – #13


Brandi is one of those people who worries about kids these days not appreciating black and white films. She also admires great moments of subtlety, since she has no idea how to be subtle herself.

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