Alien ★★★★★


The art direction and craftsmanship of ALIEN is remarkable on every level, but what makes this film so viscerally effective, is how contained and isolated in is overall. The way Ridley Scott constructs the film utilizing small spaces gives the film a sense of claustrophobia that lingers throughout the entire experience. The dread and tension that follows only amplifies that feeling of claustrophobia, as well as bringing more weight to the production design. The alien design in particular is simultaneously symbolic as it relates to the film's thematic undercurrent and it's aesthetically terrifying.

While ALIEN has a lot to offer in terms of on-the-surface dread, and because of that it's in the upper-echlon of the best horror films of all-time, the film's themes are as resonate as its horror. The movie is equally defined by its anxieties about sexuality and gender identity, especially in a world whose institutions and technology offer no protection or guidance. The film's ideas on sexual violence and gender roles are aptly and smartly interwoven into the core fabric of this film's own identity and it dictates every action that takes place. As a result, ALIEN is a movie that stand the test of time, not only as a thrilling dramatic experience, but a potent thematic one as well.

Hear more on #221 of the InSession Film Podcast. We also discuss ALIENS and ALIEN 3.