If you’re a fan of classic movies, then prepare to be very excited, because this month the 1979 sci-fi horror film, Alien, will be heading back into UK cinemas. The picture – directed by Ridley Scott – stars Sigourney Weaver, Tom Skerritt, Ian Holm, and John Hurt, and follows the crew of the Nostromo, as they encounter a deadly extraterrestrial life form.
In the movie, the seven-person crew of the Nostromo are on their way back to Earth, following a mission in space, when they receive a distress call coming from a nearby moon. With company protocol dictating that all distress calls must be addressed, the crew land on the moon and investigate.
Shortly into the investigation, one of the crew members is attacked by an unknown creature, and is taken back to the Nostromo for treatment. Although he appears to recover quite quickly, it soon becomes clear he has brought back an alien life form, which is now loose on the ship.
As the creature begins attacking, the number of crew members soon starts to dwindle. Those who remain must fight for survival, and find a way to destroy the alien creature before the ship makes it back to Earth.
Now, before I go any further, should you wish to watch Alien on the big screen, the film is getting a very limited re-release between April 21st and April 26th. I’m telling you now, so you’ve got plenty of advanced warning, so don’t say I didn’t make it clear!
Alien is being put back into select UK cinemas this month, to mark ‘Alien Day’ – an annual event which takes place every April, to celebrate the Alien franchise. Oh, and as an added extra, this year Alien will be joined by its sequel, Aliens, which is also getting a cinematic re-release!
As to whether you will want to watch Alien at your local participating cinema, well I believe the simple answer is of course, a resounding ‘yes’. Not only is Alien a ruddy great movie, and one of director Ridley Scott’s most celebrated films, but it’s also one of the best sci-fi horror pictures of all-time.
Tense, suspenseful, and utterly captivating, Alien is a slow-burning horror tale, which makes for compelling viewing. The film is a space-set slasher, which introduces one of the most enduring and iconic killers in cinema, and is a masterclass in simple, yet effective storytelling.
This is also a film that doesn’t just get one thing right, Alien has so much going for it that it’s practically obscene how well constructed it is. There is a reason there are so many books, online discussions, and university lectures about Alien, because it really is that good.
From its screenplay by Dan O’Bannon (based on a story by O’Bannon and Ronald Shusett), through to the design work by Ron Cobb and Chris Foss, and the now legendary creature design by H. R. Giger, Alien presents many boxes, and each one of them is ticked. The film tells a story, builds a world, and terrifies its audience, while simultaneously providing copious entertainment and making a star out of actress Sigourney Weaver.
Weaver plays the role of Nostromo crew member, Ellen Ripley, and she demonstrates how a good actor can stand out from the crowd. Prior to her casting in Alien, Weaver wasn’t the household name she is today, and was one of the lesser known names on the cast list.
But throughout Alien, Weaver ensures Ripley really comes to the forefront of the movie. It is a measured performance from the actress, and ultimately one that would make her a franchise star moving forward.
Oh, and the rest of the cast are pretty tip-top too. Tom Skerritt does a fine job as Nostromo captain, Dallas, while the likes of John Hurt and Ian Holm add gravitas to what on paper could have been a really ropey film.
If you’ve made it this far in life without ever watching Alien, then do yourself a favour and go and see it on the biggest screen you can. Switch off from the outside world, get lost in the coldness of space, and immerse yourself in a couple of hours of terror.
Don’t go into the film expecting big action sequences, or jump scare after jump scare, instead let the story and the characters wash over you. Alien is considered a classic for a reason, and even though it is inching ever-closer to its 45th anniversary (next year), it still feels very fresh.
Thank you for taking the time to read this review on It’s A Stampede!. For more reviews, check out the recommended reads below.
3 Responses to Review: Alien (1979) – Alien Day re-release
Brilliant news, will be awesome to see Alien on the big screen once more!
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Make sure you keep an eye on your local cinema listings. Some cinemas may only be showing it for one day, while others may have it on multiple days. 🙂
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I sure will, any chance to see Alien on the big screen is not to be missed. 🙂
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