Thursday, 26 May 2011
alien film review
this is a short review on alien focusing on the psychological aspects of the film in conjunction with the on screen gore.
Alien was directed by Ridley Scott and is in some ways unique in the fact that it is more of a horror movie in space than a science fiction film. Although the film does use a mixture of killing and fast paced music to show horror the greater effects are more psychological. The beginning of the movie is often said to be long and lethargic however the point of this is that it sets up the rest of the movie. With viewers seeing a relatively normal beginning to a film they then get thrown into a suspense filled chase with terror lurking around every corner. The most famous line from alien ‘ in space there is no one to hear you scream’ sets up the horror perfectly in itself. Before even seeing the movie the viewer is already filled with suspense and the thought of the characters being completely alone. Continuing with the lonesomeness of the film the alien picks the crew off one by one leaving only Sigourney Weavers character left behind destroying the ship and escaping in a smaller one. In the final scenes she is heard saying that it will take her six weeks to return home, which leaves the viewer with a strong sense of her loneliness and reminds them of the famous line that preceded the film.
Alien is fairly fast paced after the initial slow beginning, the use of darkness, mist, and lighting creates the psychological horror in the film. This especially works well when the character Dallas is crawling through the air ducts to find the creature. With a flamethrower in his hand this is the main source of lighting and with flickering flames the darkness is shown all around him. With darkness come the unknown and with the unknown comes fear and the character portrays this well. The use of the lighting in conjunction with the claustrophobic space really delves into the characters on screen emotions and fear of death. When the alien finally catches up with Dallas and takes him the audience sees the inevitable but are still left shocked with another crewmembers possible death. The fact that the death is not shown either due to it being shown later leaves the viewers wondering whether Dallas could still be alive or even if he succeeded in destroying the creature.
This was personally the most memorable scene in terms of psychological terror and I believe that it works very well.