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Tag: alien

My Favorite Horrors: ALIEN

I’ve written about the film Alien a couple of times here, but I’ve yet to come out and say that it’s my favorite horror movie. I wrote about how the alien creature itself has given me more nightmares than anything else, and how much I think of the big, out-of-nowhere twist involving Ash. Within the former piece, I go into what I feel makes the monster more frightening than any other I’ve seen on a screen or read about on a page. In the second piece I go into not just the unexpected revelation that Ash is a robot, but also how the film is built around escalating and unexpected threats. READ MORE

“It’s a Robot” – An Underrated Twist

Alien is a masterfully constructed horror film about unknown and escalating threats. Escalation of danger is one of my favorite things to see in a story, whether it takes place in a single scene (Spielberg executes this wonderfully in the opening of Raiders and in the first T-Rex attack in Jurassic Park), or over the course of the entire work. Alien is an exceptional example of the nature of the threat becoming steadily worse over the course of the film.

In many other stories–many of which I love–the animal, monster, demon, killer, etc. is completely or largely known from the beginning of the story, or even before that. Even if you hadn’t read the novel beforehand, the poster and previews for Jaws would let you know that the threat is a massive great white shark. Despite not seeing the shark for much of the movie, the only true and slight unknown is just how big the shark is, which we effectively learn when we hear of its “bite radius,” even before we get our first glimpse of it. READ MORE

Confessions of a Fearphile: The Alien

I never knew the creature as the “xenomorph”, despite having seen Aliens–the movie where the term xenomorph was first used–before seeing Alien. My friends and I were far more informed by the titles of the film franchise than by the scientific designation tossed out by everyone’s least favorite space marine, Lieutenant Gorman. We knew that the scariest creature to ever crawl across a movie screen needed no fancy descriptor. It simply was the Alien. The Alien.

To date I’ve had more nightmares about the Alien than anything else except for tornadoes, with Bloody Mary running a distant third. I’ve had nightmares about the first two well into my adulthood, and in fact had my most recent dream of an Alien swarm just a few months ago. I don’t remember much of the dream, just that the Alien infestation was so massive and devastating that the entire west coast was being evacuated, and it was roughly 100x’s more intense and frightening than any zombie apocalypse could be. READ MORE