In a cinema near you:
In what become may become a new trend, Ridley Scott has revisited his modern day masterpiece of horror with a director's cut to mark its er, twenty-fourth birthday day. Yet the fact that the director has made little in the way of alterations, adding a mere five new minutes and paring down some old scenes to accommodate says it all, really. You can't, after all, top perfection.
The film charts the fate of the crew of the space freighter, the Nostromo. As it is returning from a distant planet, the skeleton crew of seven receive a distress signal. Taking the diversion, the crew land on an inhospitable planet where they are encounter an alien life form, and bring it back onto their ship. From here, the creature escapes and grows, as the ever diminishing crew try to figure out a way of stopping it. Which is easier than it sounds.
Some critics, like the late great Pauline Kael, have dismissed 'Alien' as more gripping than entertaining but that's essentially the point of this masterclass of the horror genre. A slow burning example of suspenseful filmmaking at its very finest, 'Alien' slowly creeps up on its audience - the richly detailed sets add greatly to the uneasy atmosphere of the early part of the movie. Like another great suspense film 'Jaws', the sparse viewings of the creature adds to the tension, meaning that the film's climax is almost unbearable.
If you've seen 'Alien' before, don't miss this opportunity to catch it on the big screen, since its pristine condition and the digital sound enhance the viewing experience even more. And if for some reason, you've never seen this classic film before, shame on you. Now, do yourself a favour, drop everything and go. You won't regret it.
Review by entertainment.ie | 09:00 | Friday 24th October 2003 | Movie Review