Alien ★★★★★

One of the most original, suspenseful & terrifying films you're ever going to come across, Ridley Scott's breakthrough feature is a masterful blend of imagination, art direction, set design, special effects, unsettling score, perfect cast, terrific performances & quality narration, and is an extraordinary achievement in the genre of both horror & science-fiction which today is universally hailed as one of the greatest motion pictures of all time.

Alien follows a seven members crew en-route to Earth aboard a huge commercial ship when their journey is interrupted by what appears to be a distress signal from a desolate planet. The crew lands to investigate but discovers a deadly life form which breeds within a human host. And so begins the horror... the horror of a highly aggressive extra-terrestrial creature which begins to stalk & kill them one by one.

Ingeniously directed by Ridley Scott, it's his brilliant use of atmospheric visuals & breathtaking details plus strong emphasis on realism over movie heroics that provides Alien an ageless appeal. Cleverly penned down by Dan O'Bannon, his vision of the monster and the futuristic world he sets the plot in is nothing short of breathtaking. Also, H.R. Giger's design of the monster is an exceptional feat in itself, for it is truly a unique & original fusion of insect, man & machine.

Cinematography & editing is carried out amazingly well and integrates effortlessly with other aspects of this film. The cast works together as a team with great maturity and it was pleasing to see each & every character getting equal importance as it provided viewers a bunch of very believable & convincing individuals. And in a cast that comprises of Tom Skerritt, Veronica Cartwright, Sigourney Weaver, Ian Holm & John Hurt, it is Weaver who ends up leaving the most lasting impression on the canvas.

But the most remarkable thing about Alien is its persistent attention on suspense over mindless gore & graphic kills and of course, its smart pacing as well that separates it from typical slasher films. Alien actually takes its time & waits until the viewers are fully immersed into its world and is at its scariest when nothing is happening as Scott allows plenty of space for our imaginations to run wild and, with little help from Jerry Goldsmith's tense score, turns almost every frame into a potential nightmare scenario.

On an overall scale, by bringing together the silence of 2001: A Space Odyssey to create suspense and the horror of Jaws by not showing but not ruling out the presence of the creature either, Alien succeeds in creating a very dark, moody & unique atmosphere that constantly provides a feeling of uneasiness throughout its runtime. A genre-defining masterpiece, a genuine fright classic, and an unprecedented fusion of art, science & horror, Alien is a distillation of everything that scares us in the movies. One hundred percent recommended.

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