In Space No One Uses the Buddy System – A Review of Alien (1979)

by Cesidia on June 27, 2012

thumbnailThe number one thing I love about summer is not the hot days, lazy hours by the pool or the fact that I don’t have school; it’s the summer blockbusters. I think in the past two weeks I’ve gone to see a total of four movies. That’s way more than average. But hey, there’s some great movies coming out this summer. Spiderman, The Avengers, Batman, need I go on? It looks like we are seeing a return of superheroes. But is there something else returning too? You bet. Aliens. And I’m not talking about Thor and Loki. I’m talking about the alien, made famous by Sigourney Weaver and the rest of her crew. I’m sure many of you avid moviegoers have gone out and seen the new galactic thriller Prometheus. Originally intended as the prequel to Alien, its script was rewritten to create a whole new storyline, which we now know as Prometheus. However there is still a connection between the movies, no matter how small and random it may seem to be. For those of you who have seen the movie, I’m talking about the very end of the movie.

But let’s talk about its predecessor Alien, the story that made Sigourney Weaver famous. After going to see the new movie in theaters I had to watch Alien to make sense of what I already new. It had been a while since I last saw Alien. It must have been at least 2 or 3 Halloweens ago. What I remembered was that it was scary and a little gory, two things I don’t always do very well with. Anyways I sat down with my family and we watched it. I couldn’t help but compare it to Prometheus. A lot of the beginning was exactly the same. Clearly Ridley Scott has it all down to a science.

There was one thing I noticed was different in these movies. I found it interesting that in Alien when the sleeping passengers woke up they were perfectly fine and it was simple. They sat up as if they were waking up normally. However in Prometheus it was the complete opposite. Everyone is incredibly sick after sleeping for 10 or so years. There is one part where it shows one of the characters puking continuously into a paper bag. Obviously hyper sleep had a very different effect and was interpreted differently in 2012 than in 1979.

Anyways, enough about Prometheus. On to Alien. It’s a great movie. I love it. Even though I said I’m not a big fan of blood and people popping out I couldn’t resist watching the movie. Even as I was cowering on the couch, with hands over my eyes I watched the alien bursting through Kane’s chest through the slits of my fingers. Although to be honest I was prepared for that. Luckily and fortunately (depending on how you look at it) I had seen the parody of the scene in Spaceballs, so it made it a little bit easier to watch. Regardless I am not a fan of all the blood. It makes me queasy to even write about it.

Although I think this movie is great there is always one thing that bothers me with movies like these. When I watched Saw the first time I saw kept saying the same thing over again: Buddy System. For some reason characters in movies don’t seem to understand this concept. They don’t understand that people always die when they are alone. Every time people wander away from the pack or go off on their own to do something they die. This is exactly what happened in Alien. As each of the people went off on their own the Alien caught up with them and killed them. Did they ever consider the famous saying “strength in numbers”? Obviously not. I believe if they all teamed up and came up with a plan they could have somehow outsmarted the alien and gotten rid of it and saved their lives. I understand that the reason why they avoid this is to make the movie more interesting but it’s the same way in every horror movie. You don’t have someone to help you out if you get attacked. They are defenseless, especially when they are up against insanely smart aliens.

Other than this small little problem I have I think this movie is amazing. It captivates your attention really well, even if you’re too afraid to watch the scene. I think the special effects are pretty good and the direction of the movie is interesting. However, this is coming from a girl who loves sci-fi, so aliens and space fascinates me. But I think its safe to say that anyone and everyone could find something they like about this movie.

So if you haven’t gone out to see Prometheus, check it out. And look forward to the sequel, which will hopefully answer all the questions Alien and Prometheus left us.

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