"Alien" by Yojimbo
Yojimbo - wrote on 02/11/12
The crew of the commercial towing vehicle Nostromo investigate a signal from an unexplored planet and unwittingly unleash a hostile organism.
Once again, Ridley Scott creates a totally believable future environment in an object lesson to gore-obsessed horror directors everywhere; he uses suspense and atmosphere to gain the desired effect and less is most definitely more. Considering the "alien" is essentially a stunt man in a rubber suit, Scott's use of lighting and sparse screen time for the creature makes it far more terrifying than a hundred CGI monsters and his employment of an element of sexuality to the attacks on the crew creates a sense of anxiety on many levels; the victims are not only attacked, but violated in various ways in a way that is never exploitative or sensationalist. Sigourney Weaver's Ripley is one of the first true "action heroines"; her character is always ready to take charge and deal with the situations she finds herself in rather than running around in hysterics or waiting to be rescued.
As for the legendary visuals, H. R. Giger's designs are more akin to sculpted works of art than mere special effects and the crew feel like real people having real conversations, who just happen to be on a spaceship; even the now obviously antiquated technology has a functionality about it and so still does not look out of place. Scott also pioneers the now familiar "first person camera" viewpoint making the film a bit of a ground breaker.
Alien is yet another reason why Scott is one of the most respected directors working today and rightly regarded as a modern classic.